North Park Mall; Villa Park, Illinois

North Park Mall main entrance in Villa Park, IL

In January 2006 the Goodwin Williams Group of Chicago released a document outlining the current and future development environment in Villa Park, Illinois.  In their findings, they noted Villa Park is a mature suburb 18 miles west of downtown Chicago, with a population of 22,000 and an income level near that of adjacent suburbs like Addison but lower than that of Elmhurst and Lombard.  They also noted that Villa Park is the geographic center of the entire Chicagoland metropolitan area with easy access to several interstates, including I-355, I-294, I-88, and I-290.  In addition, there are two major east-west commercial arteries which bring commuters and residents alike through Villa Park from outer suburbia/exurbia to the west, IL 38 and IL 64.  Also, the study outlined there are two commercial centers to Villa Park, both along a former railroad which has been abandoned and removed.  One of these centers lays claim to having the first enclosed mall in the world, opening in 1926 and connecting four shops.  We’ll let our readers decide that one.  The largest shopping center, however, is the North Park Mall along Route 64 on the northern edge of the village.

Like many smaller, enclosed neighborhood malls in Chicagoland, the 340,000 square-foot North Park Mall was never a regional draw like its nearby monster cousins Yorktown Center and Oakbrook Center, at 1 and 2 million square feet, respectively.  Instead, it was a collection of local and national stores drawing predominantly from the collection of post-WWII suburbs in eastern DuPage County.  In terms of size, North Park is similar to other former enclosed neighborhood malls in the area which have since bit the dust: St. Charles Mall in St. Charles, Washington Square Mall in Homewood, Meadows Town Mall in Rolling Meadows, Forest Park Mall in Forest Park, and numerous others.  The one major difference between North Park Mall and these others is that North Park is still open for business and has been virtually unchanged by current retail trends of disenclosure and repurposing – for now, anyway.

North Park Mall pylon in Villa Park, IL

We aren’t quite sure when North Park Mall originally opened, but that’s what our peanut gallery is for.  We also aren’t quite sure of the original anchors, but we do know that at some point K-Mart flanked the west side and JCPenney flanked the east side.  K-Mart closed by 2000, and JCPenney had to have closed by March 2001 because that’s when Ames opened a store there during their brief re-introduction folly into the Chicagoland area before their demise less than a year later.  Ames announced it was leaving Chicago in November 2001 and all stores were liquidated by early 2002, including this one.  Shortly thereafter, the former Ames there became a HOBO (Home Owners Bargain Outlet) location.  In 2005, Staples opened on the west side of the mall, joining a box-sized flea market and a grocery store.  There are also ancillary businesses such as Pet Supplies Plus, a women’s clothing outlet, a local sandwich shop, and a Chinese buffet, which have both interior access into the mall and exterior entrances facing North Ave/IL 64.  These businesses seem to be holding up, but what about the interior portion of the mall itself?  

North Park Mall directory in Villa Park, ILThe enclosed portion of North Park Mall connected the two east-west anchors and has a side hallway leading out to the main entrance facing North Avenue.  There are currently very few, if any, remaining retailers who only have access into the mall and don’t have an exterior entrance as well and all of them are on the side hallway leading out to the main entrance.  Once in the mall, there are many empty storefronts and kiosks, several of which feature spanish-only signage, for the derelict retail fan’s amusement.  Although the enclosed portion of the mall remains open to walk through, both HOBO and the flea market are sealed off completely.  On the day we visited in October 2006, the two security guards who were chatting in the middle of the empty mall had to wonder why we even went back there.  During our first visit in 2000, the interior corridor had a few more stores and a nacho stand in the middle, but aside from that it has been virtually unchanged since.

North Park Mall’s decor is reminiscent of the 80s, which was probably when it was last partially remodeled: lots of neon strips along the ceiling in the side hallway and otherwise relatively spartan.  It’s also notable how wide the main corridor’s hallway is.  Wide enough, in fact, for a clustering of normal-sized stores to exist toward the HOBO end of the mall.  Also interesting are how old the mall directories are, which still list JCPenney, K-Mart, and a slew of other long-since retired merchants.   

North Park Mall in Villa Park, ILCompetition from regional mega-malls like Oakbrook Center, Yorktown Center, and even Woodfield Mall combined with the onslaught popularity of Big Box-anchored strip malls have put nails in the coffin for gems like North Park. It’s definitely one of the last of a dying breed, and its current condition proves this.  How long will it be before it is flipped inside out or knocked down like many of Chicagoland’s other sMalls like it?  Take a look at the photos featured here which were taken in October 2006, and leave some comments of your own.  We’re specifically interested in the mall’s history.  When did it open, what were the anchors, and when did it fall down the stairs and hit its head?   

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114 Responses to “North Park Mall; Villa Park, Illinois”

  1. Nice one. I can’t believe the directory still has KMart and Penney’s up!

    I’m told that the Penney’s was originally Ames. Also, there was once a Dominick’s there if I’m not mistaken.

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    Sue chandler Reply:

    @Bobby, I remember a dominicks…

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    Sue chandler Reply:

    @Bobby, I remember a dominicks…

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Bobby, There was a Dominick’s back in the day.

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    Dave Erber Reply:

    @Sue Chandler, Sue Chandler… the Sue Chandler that use to work at U.P.S. ??

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  2. Also, given the Kmart’s L-shape, I’d bet it was once something else too.

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  3. So Ames, then Penney’s, then…Ames? Say it ain’t so, that’s just too much.

    Was the Ames originally a Zayre then, I wonder? I know many of the Zayre became Ames in this area briefly in the late 80s before Ames messed up that time.

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  4. My bad, I didn’t see that you’d mentioned it was Ames. Everything I’ve checked says that it was Penney’s from day one, JCP outlet from 1990-2000, Ames in 2000, and HOBO from 2001-present.

    There was an outdoor mall in Joliet (Hillcrest Shopping Center, since demalled) that had an anchor go Goldblatt’s->Venture->Ames->Goldblatt’s, however.

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    Tim Reply:

    @Bobby, actually JCP was not there first ,it was originally a liquor store ,I remember because they use to sell a lot of oddball single can foreign beers ,that I used to twist my dads arm to buy ,back when beer can collecting was big ,I think it was called Miskas ? or maybe Foremost ?

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  5. Oh yeah, and someone tell us if that Kmart used to be something else. It looks too lopsided to have always been Kmart. TurnStyle or Woolco maybe? Venture? Korvette’s?

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    scott Reply:

    @Bobby, the very first ancor store in the k mart location in the mall was a robert hall village outlet

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  6. HOBO?! Talk about your wrongfully marketed acronyms. Who thought this would be a fine idea? No home owner wants to be jabbed with HOBO.

    No idea what those anchors where but the roof and awnings remind me of older Toys R Us stores. They definitely weren’t, just throwing that out there. I’m not too knowledgable of the Illinois retail market to know what stores were big back then. I’m surprised Ames had a store all the way out here…

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  7. Yeah, Ames had stores out this far at least twice, during their late 80s acquisition of Zayre and again during their ill-fated attempt at expansion in 2000 right before they died in 2002. Can we say overzealous?

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  8. Unfortunately I have no way of veritying if this is correct, but I believe the K-mart ‘was’ an original anchor to this mall. I saw some old print ads going back to 1981 with North Park, and also Arlington Heights’ now de-malled-and-big-boxed Town & Country Mall.

    North Park Mall opened in 1980-1981. The unremodeled styling, mixing the late 1970s favoring of dark tiling, and early 1980s use of neon and bright pastels gives it away. It was built on the tail end of the late 1970s/early 1980s ‘small mall’ era leading into the boom of ‘super-regional’ mall development that would come.

    I was down in the area (and will be again this year) for a convention, and to be honest, I didn’t really think this mall would be on any maps or anything, but there it was, so there I went, and I did snap a few exterior shots. The outside did get new color schemes (as seen in these pics)….the ‘North Park Mall’ canopy used to be a light blue, not the almond shade with white trimming, not red.

    I think what the new owners are ‘trying’ to do here is eventually, they’d like to rip down the backside of stores and leave the front wall facing North Ave. alone (since the stores with exterior entrances are pretty well occupied. It’s the backside of shops and the interior mall that are not needed anymore.

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  9. ok lets start with this the kmart was originaly a department store called robert hall village ,thay were apart of the robert hall clothing stores . robert hall stores were sort of like a early version of a tj maxx. i never saw this but did some reacherch thay ancored not only north park but also washington sq, and crystal point in crystal lake all the stores became kmart the st.charles mall may have had one as well but have never been able to find mutch out about this mall. i however suspect that thay were all developed by the same developer and all the malls had the same look and layout and also all had k mart in common.

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  10. I didn’t realize Pet Supplies Plus was that big of a chain. We have a few of them here in Boston but they struck me as sort of localish. Guess not!

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  11. Thanks, John Gallo! I know that Courtland Center (nee Eastland Mall) in Flint used to have a Robert Hall Village store, and there was also one in Muskegon, so they had a presence in Michigan.

    And Caldor, we have Pet Supplies Plus in Michigan too.

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  12. Finally North Park Mall is on here…..I grew up going to that mall and i still eat at garibaldis…..I used to see santa and the easter bunny there believe it or not!! Some stores i remember in its heydey were Kinney Shoes, Radio Shack, Payless Shoe Source, Sam Goody, GNC, Gamers Paradise, 16 Plus(Mom used to drag me in there), Lerner(now new york&company), Card and party outlet, Blockbuster video (where discovery now is), off 8 arcade, jims pet world, a toy store..not kaybee…thats all for now but my buddy works there i’ll see if he knows anymore

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Joe, You remember more than I did! I remember a record store, Baxter research (my first job), Penney’s, KMart of coarse, The Pet Shop (my boyfriend worked there) Fredericks of Hollywood, Garabaldi’s…. that’s about all I can remember for actual name places- pretzel place, jewelry stores, airbrushing… etc…

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  13. Well, I have to say that is one of the ugliest mall interiors I have ever seen. Sure, something like the Bergen Mall is pretty decrepit, but at least it has high ceilings.

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  14. I never would have known all those stores once were at this mall, Joe, had you not brought them up.

    I know one thing, since other, larger malls are in close proximity to North Park Mall, it had to of emptied out very quickly during the 1990s. Having all that anchor changeover in that decade (Robert Hall > K-mart > Swap Mart) / (Zayre > Ames > JCPenney Outlet > Ames (again for only less than a year) > HOBO) doesn’t help matters either, as shops within the mall have no idea if they should stick around and weather the changes, or just bail out.

    Sealing off the mall entrances when K-mart and JCPenney Outlet moved in doesn’t help much either. That may have been another reason for its very quick demise.

    As for the interior decor…having been in this mall twice, yes, it is ugly. Why they chose to use really dumpy looking courrigated trimmings like that is beyond me. And …gymnasium-type lighting along the sides? Sorry, but to me, that screams ‘cheap’. The mall really has no ‘center’ area either for displays or shows….that part is hogged by those ‘kiosk’ type things. Then again, the concourse to this mall is one of the widest I’ve seen, so they didn’t need a courtyard type area.

    Prangeway, I’m sure you noticed how the mall slopes down twice when going from one end to the other. (there are no ramps/stair sets). One immediately coming out from the space housing HOBO (saled from the mall) and another as you head down towards the Swap Mart space (again, sealed off from the mall). I found this rather odd. Most enclosed malls I’ve been in aren’t like this.

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  15. The store didn’t actually go Zayre->Ames->JCP->Ames, Matt… it was originally a JCPenney, then JCPenney outlet from 1990 to 2000, then Ames from 2000-2001, and HOBO from 2001-present.

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    Tim Reply:

    @Bobby, actually JCP was not there first ,it was originally a liquor store ,I think it was called Miskas ? or maybe Foremost ?

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  16. Hmmm, another Illinois mall which I thought had been LONG GONE, and am wrong about! (a la Machesney Park) Sheesh…..

    Anyway, where did the Dominick’s(if there was one) used to be in this mall? Was it in the space where Kmart(and formerly Robert Hall) used to be? Since it looks like there was a space for a store to the left of the Kmart space that I’m guessing had(s) an exterior entrance only, based on if that map of the mall is correct.

    I’d love to see this mall for myself, now that I know that North Park is still open(too bad to see its attempts to cater to the Hispanic community haven’t obviously helped the occupancy rate of the interior part of this mall). This mall reminds me of The Plaza(formerly Evergreen Plaza), except that The Plaza has been much more successful than this one, and that it mostly caters today to the black community to the east of Evergreen Park(but with much more successful results, not to mention it still has several national retailers, unlike this one, which seems like it was more a community mall to begin with, rather than a ‘regional’ or ‘super-regional’ mall).

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  17. [...] Allan: Hmmm, another Illinois mall which I thought had been LONG GONE, and am wrong about! (a la Machesney Park)… [...]

  18. Fruit & Meat Market is likely the old Dominick’s

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    none Reply:

    @Bobby,

    fruit and meat market was originally half of the dominicks, Chubb the computer school was the other half. chubb has closed and now the meat and fruit market has taken over the whole space which use to be dominics. North Ave and Addison road.
    I went to chubb in 1999 approx and this is when the fruit and meat store opened.

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @none, I do remember Chubb, for a breif time…

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  19. That, and Staples next door, were all part of what was a Dominick’s. I forgot who told me this or where I found out, but I recall being told this. Fruit & Meat Market only takes up 2/3 of the former Dominick’s space. Staples is a 2005 opening. I did not see it there when I went out to this mall in 2004….it was just vacant space at that time.

    Thanks for correcting my mistake earlier too. I stuck one too many instances of ‘Ames’ in there and I know Zayre had stores in both the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. I must have been thinking of a different retail area of North Ave.

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  20. OK, I see now where the Dominick’s at this mall was.

    Relooking through the pics again, the layout of the mall makes a little more sense to me now(and that I can see why the Dominick’s space ended up being subdivided). I hope this mall can hang on(and isn’t disenclosed), and that the owners can up succeed adding stores to the interior of this mall, since it looks like the occupancy rate isn’t great in the interior portion of the mall(and could use a good boost for the interior portion). Not to mention, giving the interior area some renovation may not hurt either(provided they keep that neon and not remove it!).

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  21. Well….. I’m delighted to see this little mall make it to the pages of this site.

    Yes, the Dominick’s was at the west end of the mall, and to the best of my knowledge didn’t have mall access (I could be wrong about this). K-Mart did have mall access, which is ironic because I used to shop there quite often, but only rarely noticed there was a mall entrance midway back through the store (“Oh look, there’s a mall here!”). I don’t think I ever made the walk through that entrance during the mall’s heyday.

    I had forgotten about Robert Hall Village; it probably became K-Mart before I got my driver’s license. During its K-Mart days, however, it had a very different decor from any other K-Mart I’d ever seen. The whole store and its furnishings were very different.

    Anyway, I stopped in several months ago, just to see what had become of this mall. I suppose if urban, ethnic, or “mom & pop” stores are the hallmark of a dying mall, then that describes this one perfectly. There was a sportswear store there with only person in it, an employee, and he watched me intently as though he expected me to come in and rob his store. Several other businesses had signs entirely in Spanish, and there was a Mexican restaurant there which smelled delicious but for some reason the smell lingered on my clothes and by the time I got back to the office it was getting rancid. Strong stuff! By the way, the west end of the mall still has the directory standing, with K-Mart, Penney’s, and all the other stores, including the now-torn-down Denny’s in an outlot along North Ave.

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  22. well after i thought about it for the weekend i remember what the 4 shop food court used to have in it…there was a hot sams pretzel shop, breslers ice cream shop, a candy store across from hot sams…can’t think of the name, and i believe a hot dog stand. My friend works at HOBO and he recently told me that HOBO will be moving into the old K-mart space which will be alot bigger than their current location at the old JCPennys. The Denny’s that used to be on the outlot burned down..though it wasn’t Denny’s at the time, it was called North Park Cafe i think..i was never in there and it was only open for 6 months if that.

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  23. North Park Mall had a rocky start. It was built just before the oil crisis of the 1970′s and sat mostly empty for a long time. I remember that the only tenant was Bell’s Liquor Store. That space is now occupied by Garibaldi’s.

    When Robert Hall opened, you could look into the mall and see that the floor was unpaved – only gravel.

    Goto http://www.flickr.com with keyword

    BTW I think that Robert Hall started out in Chicago in the 1940′s as a down market seller. They advertised their ‘pipe racks’ and inconvenient locations. They didn’t last long after they up-scaled to the suburbs.

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  24. The flickr keywords are:

    northparkmall, villapark

    Enter both together.

    I hit the wrong key(s) in my previous message,
    Sorry

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  25. Re: Denny’s

    That’s right, I almost forgot about the fire. It sat unoccupied and boarded up after the fire for quite a while.

    By the way, I just want to clear up some confusion I may have started when I speculated whether the Dominick’s store had mall access or not. Obviously it didn’t have direct access, since it was located down at the end and past K-Mart. I meant to include I was wondering whether it was connected to the K-Mart building, physically, or not.

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  26. This mall is still standing? I remember the Penney’s being an outlet store circa 1996. It looks like the last day on the planet sale going on, the place was a choatic nightmare! Was there a home improvement place (Builders Square??) in this mall around 1988? Only the former South Commons Mall in Bolingbrook was smaller.

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  27. North Park never had Builders Square that I know of – Washington Square in Homewood did have Builders Square in a former Robert Hall->Kmart location. That mall has been torn down.

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  28. Was the same developer who built North Park Mall also behind the construction of some of these other malls that had Robert Hall/Kmart in the 1980s? I’ve vaguely heard about Washington Square Mall in Homewood, from certain internet sources(and it seems like it was similar to how North Park Mall was/is today, from what I’ve read about it). Never have heard of South Commons Mall in Bolingbrook, however(I guess that was another long-gone mall, a la the nearby Old Chicago Mall which I believe was also in Bolingbrook too, if I’m not mistaken, and probably has gotten much more documented than South Commons).

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  29. South Commons was actually across from Old Chicago if I’m not mistaken.

    I would guess that maybe they did have the same developer, as a.) they all had Robert Hall Village, and b.) they were all about the same size. Crystal Point also had a Robert Hall->Kmart.

    Does anyone else know anything about the Robert Hall Village chain?

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  30. Yes, South Commons Mall was across the street from Old Chicago. The only building still standing is the former Kmart. The anchors were Kmart (North end) and Crawford’s (South end – maybe 50,000SF there?) The Kmart later became a Menard’s, and is now used for some auto related business. As far as I can tell, the South Commons Kmart was a standard format late 70s Kmart with the arches in front, and the slanted area where the “Kmart” sign went.

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  31. I just stopped in the mall today. Turns out a collectibles shop I used to visit there moved to Lombard so that is another store closed. There was nobody inside the mall while I was there. It was depressing. Of the stores that were occupied, most of them weren’t open. I still remember the days when North Park Mall used to be packed with stores. Anyone remember when they had Fredrick’s of Hollywood?

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @TJ Foxworth, I remember Fredericks! We used to go there every weekend after my boyfriend got paid…lol

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    Steve Reply:

    @TJ Foxworth, that collectible store was great. I went here in late 80′s through mid 90′s. I remember the collectibles store, some small pet shop inside the mall (not pet supply’s plus) and some music store (possible music land)

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  32. I believe the North Park Mall was built somewhere between 1972 & 1974. I remember when it opened and I remember Robert Hall Village & Penneys as the anchor stores. I also remember all the little stores in between. And yes I do remember Fredericks of Hollywood being there. I also remember a pet shop being there, but I don’t think it was Jim’s pet world. Jim’s pet world is still in its original location on Addison road 2 blocks south of north park mall. Does anyone remember what the anchor store was at Villa Oaks Shopping center next to Willowbrook High School? Does anyone remember when Villa Oaks shopping center used to be a horse stable?

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Chris, The pet store was “the pet shop” owned by Rich and Bobby LeSare (sp). Their daughter Lisa and son John…

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  33. E.J. Korvettes used to be at Rt. 83 and St. Charles Rd. Then it became Builders Square. Now it is Kohls. Korvettes or Builders Square were never in North Park Mall. Where Robert Hall Village originally was, then KMart is now 5 Star flea market. Go figure.

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  34. I remember a hot sam, glamour shots and a rather large hair cut place being in the mall. There was also a game room next to the garibaldis. Don’s hobby shop was that for a long time as well.

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  35. I was a manager of the North Park Mall Kmart during 1998-2000. This thread is getting long (and is very interesting!) so I hope to not duplicate what has previously been posted.

    I have always been fascinated by this mall – it’s probably becuase I find the 80′s look asthetically pleasing, and it takes me back those days. I was 12 or 13 and remember Garibaldi’s and the arcade, back in it’s hayday. It still looks the same, although all the tenants inside are little businesses and quite uninteresting.

    Anyways, the Kmart was a Robert Hall Village back in the day, and the building just was not right for a Kmart store. It was too narrow. The ceiling lights were different – they had a silver reflector behind the flourescent tubes and the stockrooms and offices were not adequate or logically designed. The Muzak system was horrible – I remember that every speaker in the building had practically dry rotted out.

    Kmart leased 4 spots adjacent to the interior mall entrace. 1 slot on the North was used by our regional folks for training, and the other two on the North were used for storage. These are next to the telemarketing company that occupies much of the North wall.

    There was a huge vacant slot just South of the mall entrance, and we used it for cold storage of documents from closing Kmarts in the 1990′s (it’s located between the China Buffet and the flea market). I remember seeing all sorts of Robert Hall stuff – from flowery wallpaper to original carpet, and hanging signs still in place. Even 2 to 3 old rotary phones were on the wall. The bathrooms were dismantled but somewhat intact to the original 70′s look. There was a single flourescent light on in the center of the room, and the place was dark as hell. I remember going through the back rooms with a flashlight and being covered with cobwebs. What a treasure find that was still intact since the mid-70′s.

    The mall was very dead, and that’s why Kmart closed in 2001. The Elmhurst ‘Sears Essential’ is where all the employees were transferred to.

    I remember a psychic fair being at the mall once a year, at the large indoor area near the Kmart entrance. Radio Shack was also hanging on for dear life – they must have left sometime around 2001. The JC Penny entrance was still open, and there was a decent amount of traffic coming into and out of the mall.

    The mall has a little ‘community room’ in back, along with public restrooms. There is a little corridor that goes to the back of the building. I never saw that room or the management office, but I can only imagine that the only thing there is the amplifier supplying commercial-free music to the mall (why even have the expense? – cancel the service!)

    So, I like this mall and like to check it out once in a while when I go to Garibaldi’s. My guess is that it’s only a matter of time until the interior is eliminated, since it needs so much work.

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  36. When I visited that mall in 2006, it was 4 months after Marlena the Rock Lady passed away. Melody Joy (Marlena’s daughter) also gave readings there the 2nd weekend of every month. Since that was a dead mall (and still is), Melody Joy stopped holding the fairs there, as it wasn’t making money. Like the mall itself, it couldn’t even support something like that. Like some people post on here, I won’t be surprised if the place gets gutted.

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  37. I went there on Dec. 27th and it’s being remodeled. The interior is purple. I heard the flea market is going to be in the hallway now.

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  38. The pet store in the mall was Pet Stop not jims pet world.

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  39. There were always airbrush t shirt stores and lower quality jewery stores. There was also a ice cream shop up the middle of the mall can’t recall the name though.

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  40. well for one there was not a dominick’s it was a little ceasers it was located right next to the Kmart and closed at about the same time Kmart did

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  41. Yes there was a Dominicks.

    Anyway, I stopped in the mall at lunchtime since it had been about a year since I’d last been there. The flea market place really is moving into the main hallway – they’ve put up new walls that take up most of the space that used to be the long, wide corridor. Its no longer possible to walk through it to what was once the Kmart entrance, without going through the flea market’s space.

    Several of the little shops in the mall are closed and getting remodeled. I’m not sure what this means, but its possible the expansion of the flea market meant some of the shops had to move within the mall. Also, the large North Park Mall sign above the main entrance has been removed, leaving a really big discolored label scar. I’ll try to grab a picture.

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  42. What kind of music do they play at that discovery there? it’s great!

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  43. Wow. This was great to relive all the memories of North Park Mall but sad because it’s gone so far downhill. I can not believe they still had the old directory in there all that time! We moved to Villa Park around 1980. We used to walk to the mall from our house and did all our shopping there. The grocery was Dominicks, and the anchor stores were KMart and JCPenney–I always remember Penney’s as an outlet, but I was a kid so it’s possible it was a regular store there in the beginning. We always walked through from end store to end store and shopped in all the little places in between. My brother worked at Radio Shack for awhile. I did tons of shopping in Jean Nicole and Marianne’s. I’d forgotten about 16plus, that came in later. I think Marianne’s was one of the first shops to close; I was crushed! There was also a Waldenbooks in there, Barret’s electronics, and Musicland. I’d forgotten about the Frederick’s! But I think there was a Casual Corner clothing store, and as mentioned above, a Lerner (now NY&Co.) Plus there were all the little stores in the middle that often changed…the ice cream place was there a long while, as well as Claire’s–although wasn’t that a 2+2 or something first? This is really shaking out the cobwebs. I went with friends, family, and my future husband to Garibaldi’s constantly. I can’t believe they’re still there! I think it was the early 90s when the stores started to fold up. What I’d heard was that the owners of the mall wanted the stores to each sign a 10 year lease and a lot of them balked. So they left. We were stunned every time we went to the mall and saw another store closed. Radio Shack hung on a long time, and Jean Nicole did too. It’s a shame this mall fell apart the way that it did.

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Donna, Damn! You remember a whole lot! More than me… I was there all the time in the late 80′s.

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    Steve Reply:

    @Donna, I went here in the 80′s as a kid too. I have so many good memories of this mall. My mom never took us to York Town so this was all I knew. Also there was a Sizzler where the Aldi is now.

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  44. The 5 Star Swap Mart has opened up in the interior of the mall with a lot of great shops with all sorts of brand new merchandise (it’s not really a flea market which will usually have mostly used/second hand merchandise). They have toys, clothes, a couple of hair salons, a nail salon, all kinds of collectables, and even pet shop in the swap mart (has MUCH better pricing than Pet Supply Plus and the cutiest little rabbit I’ve ever seen). HOBO is moving over to where 5 Star was, next to the grocery store, and I heard a rumor that maybe an OTB is going in where HOBO was on the end. I went there just out of curiosity after find this blog and boy did that take me back. I used to come here as a kid and play in the video arcade with my friends, and then we’d hit Garibaldi’s for their flavored Italian Ice (which they still have and it’s as good as I remember, with real fruit in it and everything!) The rest of the stores are being remodeled too. Looks like it could possibly make a come back! I will definitly be going back again that’s for sure!

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  45. I’ll be heading down to Chicagoland in mid-May. I’ll have to swing by and have a peek.

    Last time I went to this mall (2006), the interior was void of anything useful, and that swap meet was in that rather cramped K-mart/Robert Hall slot.

    Gutting out that mall’s interior and opening it up has literally doubled the space. It should be rather nice.

    So is HOBO planning on taking over the old swap meet space? They’d probably love that, as it would double their square footage then. The old Penneys could be redone into something else or just torn down….it’s the part of the mall building that’s a little worse for wear.

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  46. Never mind. Previous poster above me gave all the details.

    That’s a great reuse for the mall’s interior slots though, none-the-less, rather than setting up one big space full of partitioned booths, like how most indoor swap meets are done up. There’s still the common area too.

    Pet Supplies PLUS seems to be going out everywhere. They pulled out of my hometown a year or so ago. Then again, we gained PetSmart in the main retail area of town, so that may explain it.

    (Apologies for the double-post)

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  47. While driving around the NW suburbs the other day, I believe I may have found another Robert Hall Village mall. Barrington Lakes Mall located on Higgins and Moon Lake Rd. It was anchored by a Menards that looked like an old K-Mart. The rest of the place looks like it was turned into a strip center, which appered full. I could see a skylight structure located in the back. I wish I had time to take a better look at this place.

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  48. Hmmmm.

    THE mall of my childhood.

    So many memories… I used to get my Dungeons & Dragons stuff at the Gamers paradise and Al’s Hobby (the hobby/toystore just outside of k-mart). I got my hair cut at the hairstylers (which was run by this woman who was a dead ringer for Peg Bundy and would sit there and chain smoke all day).
    Next to the Hairstylers there was Just 4 Fun, an arcade… When streetfighter II came out me and ma boyz would ride our bikes there almost everyday to play it…
    What else?
    I bought Use Your Illusion 2 on cassette at the Musicland, and I helped my friend steal the Black Album CD from K-mart.
    I got my first BMX bike and Bauer hockey skates from the JCPenney outlet mall.
    Oh, and a bit of trivia… The first ever Mcdonalds playland was located on St. Charles road in Villa Park, Just to the south of Northpark mall.

    The JC Penney outlet was there from the very beginning. The whole Zayre -Ames idea is the result of a conflation of North Park and Hillside Malls.
    Hillside mall was remarkably similar and very close to North Park Mall. It was anchored by a Carson Pirie Scott and a Zayre – Ames, but the mall was eventually torn down and now is just a Menards (local hardware chain) and a CarMax.

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  49. Hmm…

    This mall’s decline is closely linked to demographic patterns…

    Villa park took a quick turn for the worse towards the end of the eighties, though I can’t really say why…
    In this regard it is worth noting that an apple computer megastore once stood on the lot a few spaces east of NPM on North avenue. And this was like 1988-1992, when most people didn’t even own computers.

    It would certainly appear that North Avenue in Villa Park was meant to be a retail strip – note also the Spiegel outlet, Sims, and Montgomery Ward outlet, and freestanding Pearl Vision all located in less than a one mile radius from the mall.
    Ironically, and I always found this weird and unique, you go not even half a block north or south of North avenue and you’re in what I believe to be one of the largest industrial zones in Illinois… It’s huge! As if retail is just a facade…
    But the real reasons for this mall’s gradual decline are all connected to developments in Oakbrook/Oakbrook Terrace at the beginning of the 1990s. First there was the Wall Mart on Rt. 83, which probably dealt a fatal blow to both NPM’s anchors.
    And then there was the expansion of Oakbrook Center, completed in 1991… Oakbrook Center had once been more of a park than an actual mall, as we mere mortals couldn’t afford anything there. In 1991, it got a sizeable new wing, which was originally intended to keep up the mall’s rep for notoriously expensive stores, but also cater to younger shoppers (something the old Oakbrook did not do). Musicland, The Gap, Claire’s Boutique, Babbage’s, Footlocker, plus “experience” stores where you would go to look and not actually spend money like the Disney Store, FaO Schwarz, and the Sharper Image… There was no reason to go to North Park Mall after that, especially considering the superior accessibility of Oakbrook’s location right off of Rt. 83.
    What’s also interesting is the fact that Dominick’s disappeared… I can’t remember any other Dominick’s or Jewel that just plain disappeared, the ones that were there when I was a kid are still there, albeit having undergone serious renovation… It may have been that the Aldi just across the tracks (sic) was eating too much business…

    God I love North Park Mall.

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    Steve Reply:

    @M.C Jumic, Sizzler originally sat where Aldi was back in the day.

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  50. Maybe the mall’s decline was due to all the petty theft at Kmart.

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  51. Actually, Charles, although your comment was made in jest, it brings up a good point.
    The thing with large busy roads is not only that they make malls accessible to cars: they also make them rather inaccessible to trashy kids with bikes who like to steal. And once you crossed Rt. 83 (which kids from Villa Park didn’t even have to do) you essentially had nothing but parking lots to cross all the way to North Park Mall.
    Compare the enormous chain mall cluster on Butterfield around Yorktown mall: I once had to leave my car at the Montgomery Ward service center, and decided to walk to the Best Buy in the strip mall “just across the street”. What an adventure! I was covered in roadside mud by the time I got to the Best Buy less than a quarter mile away!
    But what would a mall be without trashy kids with bikes who like to steal? In the nineties they were the driving force behind this nation’s economy… No, actually they weren’t, but they were pretty damn cool.

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  52. Yorktown’s retail area reminds me of the glut that is Appleton’s Fox River Mall region. A confusing maze of roads (Just finding Butterfield Rd. is an adventure), you have the main mall, then all those big boxes, hotels and strip malls around everything with an interstate tollway slicing the area in half.

    Most of the stores you mentioned in OakBrook’s addition I believe, have all since been retenanted to more upper-tier stores as well. Literally the only place meant for ‘everyone else but the rich’ is Sears, and I’ll be betting they’re only there because they 1: own the building they’re in, and 2: longevity….they are an original tenant to the complex.

    I’m heading down next week, so I’ll swing by North Park (or will try to) and see what they’ve done.

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  53. My wife bought her wedding dress at the JCPenney outlet mall there in 1984. I think it cost $80.

    They will be opening a restaurant/OTB where the Denny’s used to be.

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  54. I’ve lived in the Lombard/Villa Park area for 49 years. It amazes me to discover what I remember as well as what I have forgotten. Quite a number of the recollections above ring true to me. There was a Dominick’s food store at the west end of NPM, and I believe that the Chubb Institute (now Staples) and the Fruit and Meat Market took over that space when Dominick’s left. (I think that was before Aldi appeared across the street – they were originally further west on North Av near Portillo’s.) I can only remember Robert Hall, K-Mart, J.C.Penney Outlet, and Ames as former achors, along with the many smaller chains and independent shops that came and went through the years. I also seem to remember an attempt to provide a recreational facility for youth (skating rink?) on the northwest end of the mall before the corrider where offices and public restrooms were.

    I’ll write again if I remember anything else not yet mentioned about NPM. For contributors who have a general interest in this area’s malls and those who have questions about other locations, I remember that when my family first moved to this area, we had to go to Oak Park or State Street for major department stores. Gradually stores (including discount stores) began to appear closer on North Av in Maywood and Melrose Park. Further south Hillside Mall finally came along with Carson’s and Goldblatt’s as anchors. We were thrilled when Oakbrook Center went up. In fact my mom and dad took the whole family on a Sunday drive to stroll around the uncompleted mall. They were especially impressed with the Sears store which was soon to open. Yorktown wasn’t completed until I was a freshman in high school (had my first retail job there). Yes, I do remember the horse stables where Villa Oaks is now (near Willowbrook H.S.) as well as acres and acres of farmland all around these parts. One, among a few stores that occupied the current Burlington Coat Factory spot, was Woolco, I believe. We did have a TurnStyle in the area, but I don’t remember where it was – I remember so many, Shopper’s World, Community, E.J.Korvette, and don’t get me started on home centers and grocery stores! Thanks for the fun playing mall trivia and the memories of adventures to these curious places.

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  55. the game room was the best,mid 80′s there was awesome.

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  56. One of my bridesmaids (and I was one of hers) used to work at Frederick’s of Hollywood. My mom, sister and I used to walk from one anchor to the other, too. I got lots of stuff from JC Penney Outlet and Jean Nicole. Ah, the good ol’ days!

    Does anybody know if the iron-on stall is still there?

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  57. My only recollection of that mall was the video arcade. It was the best in the area..

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  58. Was by there this evening and the interior seems more of a booming cultural center than ever a mall. Weird remnants of the older abound. Including the several directories long outdated.
    Crazy walled off sections everywhere.

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  59. That’s hilarious that this is even still open. Maybe the owners forgot about it?

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  60. I grew up in Addison, and spent a lot of time at this mall as a kid and then again working there as a teenager.

    Here are the stores that I remember being in the North Park Mall at one time or another (sorry for any already mentioned duplicates):

    K-Mart
    JCPenny Outlet
    County Seat
    Two Plus Two (earrings store like Claires)
    Hot Sam (Pretzels)
    Baskin Robbins
    Barrels and Bins (bulk candy store)
    Beth’s Hallmark
    Athletic Express
    Musicland
    Garibaldi’s
    Regis Hair salon
    Gamers Paradise
    Learner
    Jean Nicole
    Kinney Shoes
    Pearl Vision

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  61. Oh, and there was another store there called Stuart’s. It was a women’s/teen clothing store.

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  62. Does anybody remember the Sizzler Steakhouse across the street from the mall where Aldi’s/ Auto parts stores now are?

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Joe, Yep… and Naugles!!! I loved their tacos!

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    Steve Reply:

    @Joe, YES! I hope they open sizzler again in this area

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  63. To the west (across Addison Road)? I remember it being a Naugle’s Tacos in later years when that chain had a very small presence in the Chicago area; haven’t seen one around here in years.

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  64. Yeah there was a Sizzler where Aldi’s is now. There was also some kind of Produce type business where the Auto parts store is now. I remember going to KOONER’S at 4am!! And before Kooner’s it was a taco joint call Naugle’s. Yeah North Park Mall used to be awesome back in the late 80′s/early 90′s. The game room (Just 4 Fun I think?) was THE hangout. I dumped a small fortune in that place!! I remember Sports Gifts with the wall of T-shirts, Don’s Toys & Hobbies, Hot Sam’s cheese covered pretzels, Musicland. I remember the Baseball Card Shows they had too. That shoe place (I forget the name) had all the new Jordan’s when they came out. I got my ear pierced (The place was right by the entrance of JcPenney at the time). Barrels and Bins!!! I bought a Sega Genesis from Gamer’s Paradise back in ’91. So many memories, even though it’s a shell now, I’ll never forget hanging out at North Park Mall.

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  65. My mom would take me and my brother to North Park Mall all the time growing up. We would always get pretzels from Hot Sam’s. I also got my first ear piercings from 2+2. Always saw the Easter Bunny & Santa (in the open area between Hot Sam’s and the Ice Cream and Candy shop.

    They also had “big wheel” races that my brother participated in towards the Kmart entrance.

    Does anyone know why the flooring in that place is not level? Down by the Kmart wing the floors went up on an incline and was just bizarre.

    I remember Don’s Hobby Shop too. That guy would watch you like a hawk….very uncomfortable. I remember him having very high prices too.

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Susan, I applied there when I was 16, but didn’t get hired….lol I remember him– you are 100% right!!

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    Tony Coniglio Reply:

    @Sue Chandler, Good old Don, remember the 80′s riffic blonde lady that worked there?? Sue I don’t remember you? who did you date at Pet Stop?? I worked there forever? I can’t place your face?? Umm Hot Sams pretzel bites and cheese …….

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Tony Coniglio, Don… lol. I don’t remember the blonde lady.
    As for the Pet Stop, I dated Mike Konieczka.
    We were together from 86-90.. I was 16 with red hair.
    Yeah- the pretzel place…good stuff.
    I really liked Penney’s and Frederick’s of Hollywood…lol

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  66. Went by the mall this past Friday evening while out and about Chicagoland. I think it’s been confirmed here already, but I had to be sure myself.

    Sure enough, this is no longer a ‘mall’….now it’s nothing more than a big-box strip. Save for the buffet, clothing store, Pet Supplies Plus, and the other restaurant, the rest of the interior has been gutted and reconfigured into a much bigger 5 Star Indoor Swap Meet, which used to occupy the former Robert Hall Village / Kmart spot. This is now of course, HOBO, which in turn, got a bigger spot, moving out of their former spot which was a JCPenney (Outlet).

    I couldn’t tell what was, if anything, in the old Penney / HOBO spot.

    Staples is also gone. Not surprised there, and the produce market is still there of course.

    Inevitable, considering what the pics show and what I saw in person in 2004 and 2006. It was just a matter of ‘when’.

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  67. My mom would give my brother and I $5 each and let us wander the mall when she would go shopping for herself. I was between 8-12 years old when we went there regularly.

    Ha. Nick and MC, I bet I fought you on the original Street Fighter 2 in Just for Fun.

    Hot Sams had THE BEST pretzels ever. But I think this spot closed down and turned into an airbrushing place. I once had my hoodie airbrushed there.

    I used to buy model rockets and a few Transformers toys at Don’s Toy’s and Hobbies and yes, these were overpriced.

    Bought a few Dungeons and Dragon’s books as well as Warhammer figurines from Gamers Paradise. Even bought the original NES there when it first came out. I had a friend that ended up working there. Gamers Paradise ended up moving across the hall for some reason and I know that it didn’t last long there.

    I can confirm that Dominick’s was where the fruit and meat market are now.

    If I remember correctly, I think the bathroom hallway was next to Don’s.

    Also, there was a hair salon next to the inside Garibaldi’s entrance and then Just for Fun.

    Currently, there is a Discovery womens clothing store next to the chinese restaurant that has an entrance both outside and inside the mall.

    The flea market that resided where the KMart used to be has now moved into the mall. Not sure what exactly is going to happen from here on, but I hope the owner’s can get this place booming again.

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  68. I was involved with the Robert Hall Village Stores when they were opened which was in the Mid70′s. There were five stores that were opned at the same time in Chicagoland. I recall the stores in Homewood, Hoffman Estates, Villa Park , Crystal lakeand the last which escapes my memory. The stores were a forerunner to K-mart and they were built to emphasis the clothing merchandising of Robert Hall Clothes. The other merchandising groups in the stores were leased departments. The store were all the same sizes , about 120,000sq ft. They were flips of one another. At the time Robert Hall Clothes consisted of a nationwide chain of 500 family clothing stores. Each of the family clothing stores were 8000sq. ft. The chain which strted in about 1940 declared bankruptcy in 1975.

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    Aaron Reply:

    I believe the Robert Hall Village that escapes your memory was in Downers Grove at Butterfield and Finley…I think where Bed Bath and Beyond is now.

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  69. I live near NP Mall in Elmhurst and it opened in late 70′s. The JC Penney’s there was always an Outlet store, not a full JCP, which is still at nearby Yorktown Mall.

    NP Mall was called ‘poor man’s Woodfield’, but to me it was tacky, even in the 80′s heyday of malls. [I was in my 20's, then, target shopper] Seemed like it was trying too hard to be trendy with Hot Sam, Glamour Shots, and Jeans West; stores that were poor knock-offs. They couldn’t compete with Oak Brook and Yorktown mall’s name brand stores.

    The indoor store signs had splashy logos which were dated by 1986. The entrance by Girbaldi’s smelled of Pizza and hair slaon chemicals. I’d go there mostly for a good laugh, especially the novelty store that sold computer print outs of your face, so “70′s” in the late 80′s

    Robert Hall Village was a discount store that didn’t last long, and K Mart took its place. In the 80′s, K Mart was a big “no way” to young shoppers and that alone turned “mall rats” away.

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  70. Ok now facts,North park mall was sold in the early to mid 90s,story goes the owner had passed away, left it to his sons (thats when the lease and price increase came to play with the tenants)Somewhere in there the mall after all the decline,was going to be torn down and target(now down at north and ardmore) was to be built there along with from what i was told years ago a Home depot well that never happened .Now it is owned by company who also owns the shopping center on butterfield rd where the olive garden is located on downers grove.I used to plow snow there for a guy,but the place has goen to the pits and I honestly see it when the economy comes back being knock down

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  71. I worked at JC Penney Outlet there from 1986 to 1990 I know that penneys used to be down the road where parts city / bingo hall is now, And moved there in the early 80′s. My mom worked for them from 76 to when it closed. The outlet pulled out becuse there where to many outlets in the il area already and it was getting old. That store used to rake in the money. We used to get bus loads of people on the weekends and you couldn’t find a parking spot in the mall on the weekends. The mall had full occupancy at that time. Like many others I was 16 when I started there and have may great memories of hanging in the mall on lunch and nights. I have been to Hobos to by stuff, But I have not been in the mall itself sine about 98 I might have to stop by this week and walk the old memory row….

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  72. What a riot! For some reason, I wanted to find out if NPM was even still around so I found this site by chance after a google search. Such a trip down memory lane.
    I remember the mall as a child in the very early 80s. The interior always fascinated me, it was so different then other shopping malls. Much of the physical features are still there (same round seating, brown floor, rounded off square store signs, etc) but the lighting is much changed. It was almost entirely can (track) lights with spot lights back then & very moody, almost dreary. Everything was brown or “earth tone”. It really screamed the mid-late 70′s and you could tell it was designed and built on the cheap.
    For me, I mostly remember the Dominick’s as my mom shopped there and the Garabaldi’s. I’m so surprised its still there!! I loved it as a 4-5 year old, and again I remember the funky look to the place. Its stuck in my head, plain as day, 25+ years later. I also remember the oddball sloped floors, the Hot Sams pretzels and later on the little interior shops, incl. one that had a glass artist and the airbrushed clothing. I think the last time I was in the mall had to be 1990 or so, and even then it seemed like it was struggling pretty bad. I do think there was a demographic shift and as much of the surrounding area started to become more affluent (or at least “upper” middle class) more and more people visited Yorktown or Oak Brook Center. NPM struggled with its identity and still does. I hardly ever make it to the western burbs anymore, but if I do I will make a point to go to Garabaldi’s!

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  73. Hubby and I both lived around NPM years ago – we were out that way tonite and were trying to remember the name of a restaurant/bar that was across from the mall on the corner of North and Addison (southeast). It served these great reuben sandwiches with several dips. We asked some family members that are from area but they had no idea. It is drving us nuts trying to remember the name – anywone know?

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    Nick Reply:

    I believe the name of the restaurant/bar across North Ave from the mall was called Danny’s Bar & Grill, I think. Somebody has got to have some old pics of the mall buried somewhere…these pics on here depress me so much. If anyone has ANY PICTURE from the mall, like late 80′s/early 90′s please submit it!!

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  74. Wow, I just remembered, does anybody remember Carnival Video? It used to occupy both spaces where Pet Supplies and Discovery is. This mall has always fascinated me, I remember the day they closed the arcade, that was pretty much the decline for me, God I miss that place

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  75. Dooooode! I just took my wife to this mall! I told her it was like taking a time portal to the mid 80s. There’s NOTHING in this mall. Just about every shop is vacant. Why isn’t this thing knocked down? People actually enter the mall and sit… but there’s nothing to do there. I remember the Ames next door. That place was several steps BELOW a KMART. A great location since it was next to the North park mall.

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  76. Wow, its been really great reading this thread. I’m sure I probably ran into a bunch of you back in the 8day at the mall! I grew up about a half mile south of the North Park Mall, and one of my favorite rituals was to go to Just 4 Fun (the greatest video arcade ever) while my mom shopped at JC Penney, then we’d meet up at Garabaldi’s for a slice or two. I used to always go to Gamer’s Paradise, Musicland, the pet store, and sometimes I’d grab a pretzel at Hot Sams. I spent alot of my childhood in that mall, and thinking about the mall back in the day always brings back good feelings. I stop by periodically when I’m back in the old neighborhood…its a shadow of its former self. However, I think that if they were ever to tear it down, I would be very sad, so here’s hoping it finds a way to survive!

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  77. And I forgot about Don’s Toys & Hobbies…thanks for the reminder Stevie Vee! He was sooo overpriced, but it was fun to browse there. He always had a great Transformers selection.

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  78. I have a probably ’89 picture of me here with the Easter bunny, and the back says “North Park Mall”. o_o

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  79. I am pretty sure I have some pictures somewhere of a car show that they had inside the mall…probably circa somwhere between 1980 and 1982.

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    Prange Way Reply:

    Sounds great, please send them if you can.

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  80. They are building an OTB across the street from the target on north ave down the street. The Garabaldi’s is revoked and closed and there were a few work trucks and the old HOBO (JCPenney’s) last week when i went. I haven’t been too the 5 star swap yet and the Fruit Market has been remodeled so it looks less like the old Dominick’s now.

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  81. As far as I remember, and I’ve lived in the Villa Park area my whole life, North Park Mall pretty much ceased being a mall around the time that the stores on 83 and St. Charles were torn down and remodeled.

    That area of shops, around 1997 had a Builders Square, Dominick’s, and K-Mart, with an Eduardo’s Pizza on the outlot (that’s all I remember though…)

    Around 2000 or so, they tore town the entire strip and built the current one, putting a Kohls where the Dominicks was, and moving the Dominick’s to the other side of the strip. The Builders Square was gone. Originally, what is now Sears Essentials was a K-Mart, and that is probably what caused the North Park Mall K-Mart to close.

    An earlier poster mentioned there being a Little Ceasar’s attached to the North Park Mall K-Mart. If I remember correctly, there used to be Little Ceasar’s Pizza locations in many K-Marts.

    I wish I remembered more of North Park Mall though. My strongest memories of it were shopping at the JC Penney Outlet and K-Mart with my mom when I was in elementary school.

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  82. This has been a great read. The pictures and the comments bring back some old memories.

    I’m not sure when it first came or when it left, but I remember there was the Alien Entertainment store during the early 2000s.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/alien-entertainment-company-lombard

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  83. I worked my first job there back in 1987 at basted research. The mall had a Fredricks of Hollywood, garfields (food) the gap( or some other Jean store that was popular back then) jc penneys, kmart, pet shop pet store( my boyfriend worked there) I can’t really remember any other big name stores.
    Most of them were just small things… There was a record store, pretzel place, airbrushing place, lots of jewelry stores, small clothing stores, shoes. Alot of the stores were pretty lame back then…

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  84. I went there last weekend (5-13-11) I took pictures, but they really aren’t any different than what to most recent pics are.

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    Mike N Reply:

    @Sue Chandler, How was it inside? I just drive by at night and notice they leave the neon lights on the ceiling near the entrance

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    Sue Chandler Reply:

    @Mike N, I think it looks pretty much the same- took me right back to the 80′s…lol. All the stores that are in there are little mexican shops, so we didn’t stay very long. The hallways are all blocked off so you can’t really go anywhere into the mall. It was definitly weird to go back in there.

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  85. Wow so many memories! My mom used to take me there in the 80′s then used togo there as a teenager. Jcpenny was always an outlet I believe. Can’t believe garibaldis lasted as long as it did! Guess it recently closed? The salon next door was hairstylers I believe not Regis!
    Yes that salon reeked! It was the 80′s so everyone was getting smelly perms back then!!
    Then jewelry store on the corner store was it whitehall? I remember my friends mom signing for me to get my ears double pierced and my mom was furious!! 2+2 jewelry, Lerner, radio
    shack, fredricks, shoe store, Stewarts, jean
    Nicole, county seat, musicland,kmart, etc etc. Then in the 90′s the stores started closing and smaller owned stores opened but it soon starting going downhill. I remember those psychic fairs…later the discovery clothing went in, Chinese buffet, shoe store, perfume store,dollar store….hobo, flea market. It was turning into a flea market anyways lol. Haven’t actually tried to walk in the mall in a few years. Sad to hear garibaldis closed. I wish I had some pictures but do not. Would love to see some from it’s heyday!
    What else….it was always a cheesy mall kinda ghetto compared to oakbrook.

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  86. Someone in my family recorded us when I was 6 years old in 1997 while we trick or treated at North Park Mall. Reading this makes me want to watch it because it’s sooo different now!

    I was really young but I still remember K Mart and eating at the Little Caesars in it.

    The only memory I have of JcPenney is when my sisters boyfriend bought me a Pocahontas backpack. I’m guessing that was around 1996. I didn’t know it was an outlet until now. My sister still has pictures of us from the photo booth outside of JCP.

    When I got bored of shopping with my family I would go out and sit on the round bluish green hard benches from the pictures or play with the wood chips inside of the big pots with trees in them that matched the benches.

    Then they had a weird Alien store (which is now on Roosevelt Rd.), a candy stand, a cheap jewelry shop, the perfume shop, a hair salon, and a Mexican restaurant in the middle of the mall.

    I had my first job at that shopping center in 2005 when my brother in law opened a boxing gym there. By that time it was empty and boring.

    I can’t believe Garibaldi’s closed! The tables still have the cheese and salt shakers. I don’t really like pizza but I loved Garibaldi’s pizza! Now the closest is in Hoffman Estates.

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  87. I used to hang out at North Park and Yorktown in the mid and later eighties. I remember that NP had a Jeans West, and they carried Cavaricci pants.

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  88. Great info here. If you went here in mid 80′s to early 90′s as a kid/teen you get this great feeling thinking about it now. I will always hold NPM in my heart.

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