HOFFMAN ESTATES IN 1963

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

In doing research about our grocery stores that opened in the early years of our village, I discovered that the year 1963 was quite eventful.  That was the year that the newest downtown shopping center opened at Golf and Roselle Rd.  It was across Roselle Rd. from the Hoffman Plaza Shopping Center that opened in 1959.  At that time it was called Golf-Rose Shopping Center. The name was changed to Golf Center and over the past 50 years the shopping center has seen many changes.Golf shopping

The first store to open in August of 1963 was the Golf Paint Glass & Wallpaper store.  It was located about were Dress Barn is now.  The grand opening offered a chance to win one of 2 picnic tables or 10 transistor radios.  Tri-County latex wall finish was $3.95 a gallon.  Balas Carpeting and Furniture opened next to the paint store in October.  Grants Department Store opened on October 17th at the far south end of the shopping center were T.J. Maxx is.  They had the “New Grant’s Opening Sale” in October with the sale of (your choice) a 15.1 Cu. Ft. chest freezer, a full size 10 lb. automatic washer or an automatic defrost refrigerator for $188. The National Food store opened on October 15th at the north end of the shopping center were Petland is now located. National Food

Several other small businesses were in between.  Hoffman Liquors, a Laundromat and a bakery that was there for many years and remembered by many of the early residents.  The bakery was Little John’s Butter Bakery.  Later the name changed to the Golf-Rose Butter Bakery that had wonderful German bakery goods.

On October 31 the dedication of the new shopping center would bring residents a fun and exciting Halloween celebration.  There would be a pumpkin carving competition, costume judging, and a sky high bonfire in the evening.  Residents were encouraged to “bring their junk” to fuel the huge bonfire.

In addition to the new shopping center, other building projects were getting underway.  In the spring of 63, plans for the community pool, were announced, with completion by June. In September, the Robert Hall clothing store was under construction at the southeast corner of Roselle & Golf Rd.  The 8400 square foot building would be ready for business in the fall.

The circus came to town in June to the Hoffman Plaza to help the Lions Club raise money for the new community pool.  Lions, llamas, chimpanzees, aerial acts and a dancing elephant were featured.

presbyterianThe United Presbyterian Church (to the right) and Bethel Baptist Church had their ground breakings in the summer and fall of 1963.  Bethel Baptist Church had been meeting in the Blackhawk School at Illinois Blvd. and Schaumburg Rd.  Due to the growing population, St. Hubert Catholic School added additional classrooms in 1963.

But the most exciting event of 1963 wouldn’t be in new shopping centers or new buildings and churches going up around town but the partial eclipse of the sun on July 20th.  Everyone was talking about it and everyone, especially the children, was given instructions on the importance of protecting their eyes during this awesome event.

The village was growing by leaps and bounds and 1963 was a banner years for the development of our downtown area.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

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4 Responses to “HOFFMAN ESTATES IN 1963”

  1. Dan Says:

    What is the Robert Hall Village now? Was it part of the Hoffman Plaza itself or on the outlots?

    • jrozek Says:

      Hello Dan,

      The Robert Hall Village store opened in their own stand alone building on October 17, 1963 at the SE corner of Golf and Roselle Roads. This is the building that currently holds a Chipotle and Discount Mattress. They built the store and, according to Hoffman Estates Historian Pat Barch, eventually moved to Barrington Square in the space later occupied by K-Mart and Menards.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  2. David Olson Says:

    I was interested in reading about the circus coming to the Hoffman Plaza that year, which I remember having attended. Toward the end of the show, a strong thunderstorm hit, and we all had to quickly evacuate the tent, which added to the excitement. (Actually it was pretty scary, with the ringmaster shouting into the microphone.)

  3. Judi Becker Says:

    My father’s barbershop was right around the corner from where you took the picture: Red’s Barber Shop. He was an icon all by himself, from what I still hear from folks who remember Red the Barber! 🙂

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