When Woodfield Mall opened on September 9, 1971, the unlikely duo of actors Carol Lawrence and Vincent Price were on hand for the celebration. In addition to his grand opening duties, Mr. Price, by special arrangement, conducted hourly talks in the carpeting department of Sears on the subjects of art, gourmet cooking and home decorating. Being quite the connoisseur, he brought with him a selection of paintings from the Vincent Price Gallery of Fine Arts.
The mall was over 2,000,000 square feet and had 160 stores when it was completed. The three anchor stores were Sears, Roebuck and Co., Marshall Field and Company, and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. The mall was named for General Wood, chairman of the Sears board at the time, and Marshall Field of Marshall Field and Co. When the doors opened, and for a number of years afterwards, the mall was the world’s largest indoor shopping center.
Some of the first stores mentioned in early articles on the mall were the Plum Tree (novelty shop), Fanny May, Mirette (what was this?) Musicland (record chain), Bressler’s 33 Flavors, Peck & Peck (women’s specialty shop), Paddor’s (fashion store) and Madigans (another women’s clothing store.)
Do you remember any other early Woodfield Mall stores? Were you there on opening day? What made Woodfield Mall so special to you when you first saw it? Let us know!
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library