Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian. This column originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter. The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

During the time that I’ve been writing the Historian’s Notebook articles for the Citizen, I’ve received may e-mails from families who have moved away and mostly from the kids who grew up here. They are always so surprised when they return for visits at how many things have changed. I’ve had questions about why the addresses changed, what happened to various buildings and stories of what it was like when they lived here 15, 20 or 30 years ago.

It’s made me think about all the incredible changes that have taken place over the years. The village boundaries have expanded to the west so that you can talk over the fence to your neighbor in Elgin. The same is true up north with neighbors in Palatine.

hoffman estates village hallOur police department has a beautiful new building and the building that was our second village hall and police department at Golf and Gannon is gone. The Veteran’s Memorial has been moved to its new site on the grounds of the new police department at Springmill and Higgins Rd. Our village hall on Hassell and Huntington Blvd. was completely renovated into a beautiful new facility for the community.

Baker’s Square Restaurant is no longer on the corner of Jones and Higgins and the Menards store that was in Barrington Square is gone while the open field awaits future development. The building that was once the Thunderbird Movie Theater and then Harlem Room Place in Golf Plaza is now the Royal Buffet, a great addition to fine dining. Mariano’s grocery moved into Dominick’s at Barrington and Golf much to the delight of villagers and neighbors alike. And it’s hard to believe, but true, that Valli Produce’s newly remodeled store at Roselle and Bode Rd. was once the world’s largest indoor roller rink. The changes keep occurring as the village grows and adjusts to the 21st century.

Hoffman PlazaThe wider streets and roads, the number of stop lights, the continued development always surprises the kids of the families that moved here 30, 40 or 50 years ago. It doesn’t look like the same place they say, and it won’t look like the same place again if they stay away too long.

P.S. I’m always looking for old pictures that you might want to share. Contact me and I’ll quickly copy them and return them to you.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian

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