Rich's Commentary

Posted March 29, 2006 (user submitted)

One Schaumburg Place was opened in 1991, directly across the street from the southern end of Woodfield Mall. It was meant to supplement Woodfield, rather than compete against it, hence the large selection of discount retailers. I also found it ironic that their entryway never quite lined up properly with that of Woodfield's - although I suspect this was probably due to Woodfield's clout, I feel that the lack of a proper entryway setup probably helped lead to this mall's downfall. If people could have crossed directly from one mall to the other, then this story might have had a different ending.

One Schaumburg Place was a full two level mall with a single hallway, and its green-themed architecture was reminiscent of the last of the indoor malls built in the area (Charlestowne, Lincolnwood Town Center, and even Gurnee Mills have similar elements). Stores lined the west side of the hall, and a facade of glass made up the entire east side, behind which the ground level parking sat. In addition, there were two multi-level parking structures, one each on the north and south ends of the mall. Each parking structure had an indoor connecting ramp to the second level of the mall. Montgomery Ward was the most prominent anchor, and they resided on the north end. They were the only store in the mall which took up two levels, and they also had an auto shop which lay inside the first level of the north parking structure. The other anchors on the first level were Phar-Mor and Child World (both towards the middle, plus Highland Superstores (later Office Depot; south end). There also was a Super Crown Books. The second level included a Filene's Basement.

The middle portion of the second level housed the first-and-last food court in the town of Schaumburg, plus a complex of several movie theaters towards the back of the food court. First-run movies were spread amongst these theaters and the Woodfield Cinemas across the street.

Even when I was employed at the Ward's store here in 1995, the mall occupancy really wasn't at full occupancy. However, the weekend traffic still gave me a good run for my money. There was also a busy nightclub named Venus which occupied the second level in the space between Ward's and the north parking structure; I can fondly remember reading in the newspapers about all the trouble they caused at the time.

By the end of the 1990's, most of the prominent tenants experienced financial trouble and thus vacated the mall. The disappearance of the Filene's Basement, Child World, and Phar-Mor chains is well known. Ward's also shuttered their store here in 1997, as a part of their last round of cutbacks before the ultimate liquidation which was to come four years later.

By 2000, One Schaumburg Place had been entirely vacated. It has since been redeveloped as an designer strip mall now known as the Streets of Woodfield. Much of the original two-level skeleton structure was preserved, with some significant alterations nonetheless. There is now a two-level Carson Pirie Scott which resides in the former location of the food court, itself reduced in depth by a circular driveway out front. The theaters have been relocated to the southern end of the complex and were summarily expanded onto two levels. A two-level Galyan's (now Dick's) was placed at the northern end of the mall where Ward's used to be. The north parking structure was also demolished, and the south parking structure no longer has a connecting walkway.

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