SOUTH COMMONS MALL: BOLINGBROOK, IL
Chip Strahl's Commentary
Posted May 3, 2011 (user submitted March 10, 2005)
Across the street from Old Chicago sat the South Commons Mall. This mall looked like it was built aroung the Mid-1970's, probably opened around the time Old Chicago did. We moved to nearby Romeoville in 1984, so I don't know who was originally in the mall. The mall was very small for the Chicagoland area, anchored by K-Mart and Crawfords. I never went to Crawfords, but it looked like a department store nicer than Sears but not as fancy as Marshall Fields.
In the mid-80's South Commons was already near death. The closing of Old Chicago helped with the destruction. The mall itself only has a Radio Shack (in its bright orange glory), Pearle Vision, and a naked furniture store. Crawfords closing around 1988. The mall was sealed soon after. K-Mart stayed around until 1991 when they built a new store at Boughton and Naperville (now Weber) Roads. This started the big box/chain restaurant sprawl cycle on Weber Road the continues today. The new K-Mart closed in 2003 and ironicaly its strip mall is now almost dead.
Menards moved into K-Mart's spot in 1992. A friend who worked there said the backside of the mall was home to a large number of bums and other unsavory people. The front of the mall was an eysore with weeds and trees growing the the numerous cracks the parking lot. When Old Chicago was torn down, it was replaced with an auto auction center. They were using South Commons as an overflow for their cars.
Finally, South Commons Mall, except Menards, was torn down in 1997. Menards built a new store farther north on Hwy. 53 in 2002 and closed the old location. The final remnant of South Commons was torn down in 2003.