I've heard of and seen malls that have sat abandoned for 5-6 years (see river roads) but this has been sitting abandoned for 22 years and looks no worse for wear, really. Exclusive photos: Click here for more exclusive m photos. Bing Bird's eye view: Dixie square mall from a satellite in space User comments (new!) (Please be respectful of other users, thanks! For a permanent essay post, please use this link.). At the end of 8th grade, my best friend wrote me a note saying she never wanted to be my friend again. I was devastated, and terribly depressed all summer, terrified to start High School alone. Forty years later, i realize that that experience was probably what made me finally reach out to develop new friends.
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A lot of the outlot buildings are also dead and rotting just like the mall, but the mall is fashion still buried. It is actually quite a ways off Dixie hwy, and closer to the next parallel road east. The easiest entrance was off 151st Street, just east of Dixie hwy. Harvey in and of itself is completely downtrodden. The economic base of this community is as bad if not worse than in Jennings,. There seems to be no saving grace here, what with the mass exodus of people for suburbs further out or even back to the city. The inner-ring suburb problem has a poster child in Harvey. The boarded up businesses and houses don't just occur near the mall, they occur everywhere in the city. If anyone has more information on this mall, or perhaps a link to some info, feel free to e-mail me about it - i'd be very interested. In terms of deadmalls, this one takes the cake.
The overgrowth completely covers the outside of the mall in some areas. To end this I want to also mention the area this mall. This area is in dire need of rehabilitation. I am completely blasted that this mall is still standing. Any piece of real-estate in this location, 20 miles from downtown chicago, and within miles of three major interstates, should not be to waste like this! It seems like the community of Harvey has covered the mall up, so to speak. If I hadn't been tipped off by this mall, i would never have found. Even if I had driven down Dixie hwy, i would not have noticed the mall. Since the malls shuttering, numerous other buildings have surfaced in the outlots affronting Dixie hwy, such as the harvey police Precinct and another long governmental building.
Maybe someone reading this can clue me in, or maybe tell me more about the specifics of this mall when it was open. It was closed almost 2 years before my birth. Another point of intrigue to this mall was the amount of plant overgrowth. The parking lot is full of weeds that have evolved into shrubbery and some of them even into full-fledged trees. One such pine tree was at least 30 feet tall, maybe more. Parts of the parking lot are so overgrown it is almost impossible driving. Yet, surprisingly, other parts of the parking lot have original yellow pavement markings and the like. Parking spaces can be made out quite clearly. Also, the mall would have been more easily to photograph from the outside were it not summer.
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It is typical of some current still-standing Penney's designs. This is the anchor with the copious graffiti on the front with of the board-up. I'm surprised this board-up is still there. This was actually and surprisingly the only area of the mall to have lots of graffitti. Perhaps the proximity of the police Precinct keeps the miscreants away.
Also interesting to me was the metallic hooped device seemingly at center court. It looks like a giant basketball hoop chain sticking up in the air. It's not easily discernable in the pics. This was also near the only labelscars on the outside of the mall, which read City life. I'm completely unsure what City life was. It sounds like a dance club, maybe a disco of some sort. But i am completely at a loss.
They are completely unpredictable and unreasonable. After this I took my car around the mall and got out only to take pictures and go right back in, for fear the dogs may be nearby. At some points they were, but mostly they did their own thing. Also, i found out that the gaping holes at that anchor that was presumably sears were to be found all over the mall. The entire mall was open.
Mall entrances, anchor doors, even service entrances and the boiler area were all completely open. I walked in some doorways but only to take pictures and leave. I would have gone i n further to explore, but it just didn't seem safe. After another turn I found a mall entrance with an anchor on one side. This anchor had winged pillars/decor and a brown facade, and was probably montgomery ward. At another turn the third anchor to the mall i am almost 100 positive to be jcpenney.
Essay on a, visit
I would have gone in further, as the actual mall part was accessible through here (and as I later found out, many other areas however, the mold was obnoxious. The mold smell was so strong it made me dizzy and gave me a strong headache, so i guaranteed went out. I started walking down the outside of the anchor to find more entrances like this to take more pictures, and I saw them. There were two dobermans about 100 feet ahead of me in the way that I was walking. They were walking, also, and had not noticed. Immediately i turned around and made a break for my car, which was 50 feet or so away. The dogs had noticed me running and came quickly, but I was way too far ahead of them and in my car by the time they were even halfway so they turned around and went inside the mall. This disappointed me, because at this point I was not afraid of any people i would encounter. However, dogs are a different story.
I came to plan an anchor's loading dock area. Parts of the loading dock garages were still there, parts were completely smashed out. What could have caused such damage to those? I walked around the corner, looking for an entrance, and find one. It is not boarded. In fact, someone had bashed in the board-up across the doors and the board up, as well as the remnants of the doors (with lots of glass were strewn all over. I cautiously walked inside the gaping hole where the doors once were, and to my amazement there were still labels and decor on the walls from the anchor (presumably sears) when it was open in the 1970s. This was like a living time capsule. "Curtains" and a brand name was written on one wall, and above all exits was printed "Thank ease come again." I was ecstatic to have made such a find; I did not expect this much to be visible after so many years.
two squads boxed me in and interrogated me as to my actions. I calmly and politely told them I was working on a website devoted to the decline of retail ventures in suburbia,., and they bought it without a hitch but told me to leave immediately. Upon further investigation I noticed that the main. Harvey police Precinct, a newish looking building with approximately a dozen squads parked out front, was on the outlot to the mall. In fact, the police Precinct uses part of the mall parking lot for their helipad. Less than a week later I had time to go back; this time, during the middle of the afternoon. I parked my car in a nearby lot with cars in it, grabbed my camera and walked toward the mall and started taking pictures.
Tons of pictures and information on this site! Ross Schendel's Commentary: Posted August 14, 2001 (user submitted). L iving just north of the Chicagoland metro area, i had no idea dixie square. Mall in Harvey, il existed until Pete tipped me off. I even have friends. Chicagoland and they had no idea it existed. The reason is thus: The 800,000 square-foot mall was shuttered in September, 1979. It has been left standing plan since.
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This mall was prominently featured in the 1980 feature film "The Blues Brothers". The mall was already closed for a year when producers rented it out, renovated the interior display, and drove cop cars through. Travis Bell from m recently took his 1974 Dodge monaco (the same make and model used in the film) on a re-enactment of jake elwood's ride through Dixie mall. The video is available on the site. Excellent editing by Travis inter-cuts his footage with scenes from the actual movie that provide for an entertaining short to resumes watch. Click link below and then click link that says "Big Mall Video" to watch. Return to dixie, links: m - link to paul Mcvay's site, a comprehensive and likely spectacular documentary on the history of Dixie square.