Archive for the ‘Businesses’ Category


January 15, 2017

It seems a bit of a fried chicken craze hit Schaumburg Township in the early 1970’s.  Kentucky Fried Chicken had already paved the way in Hoffman Estates in the late 1960s when they opened a brand new restaurant at Higgins and Roselle Roads.   In 1970 Ray and Geri Herringer opened a Chicken Unlimited franchise at 10 N. Roselle Road.  [Daily Herald, April 26, 1971]  This was followed by another Chicken Unlimited franchise that opened in July 1972 on Higgins Road.  In addition, Brown’s Chicken decided to join the competition with their restaurant at 620 S. Roselle Road in September.

In the July 12, 1972 issue of the Daily Herald, an ad invited the public to the grand opening of Chicken Unlimited’s Schaumburg stores at 805 W. Higgins Road and at 10 N. Roselle Road. The Higgins Road store was at the intersection of Higgins and Golf and the Roselle Road store was in this small strip mall that was on the northwest side of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.


When they came to town they brought not only “the world’s best fried chicken” but fish & chips, giant Whamburgers, fried shrimp and hot apple puffs.  Yum!  And, to celebrate the opening of the stores, they offered a “Get Acquainted Coupon” that featured 12 pieces of light, crispy chicken, french fries, cole slaw, hot rolls and honey.  All for the low price of $3.99.  Certainly enough to feed a family of five or six!

The Herringers also offered a package deal for catering purposes.  It was called “Parties Unlimited” and featured a package of chicken, salad, rolls, plates, knives and forks.

Yet another ad from a November 1973 mailer stated that the stores were open 7 days a week, beginning at 11 a.m.  It also featured this coupon for a fast way to save a buck.


Unfortunately, though, Chicken Unlimited did not last long. On March 30, 1976, the franchise filed for bankruptcy and it was around this time that the restaurants shut down in Schaumburg.  The last time there was an appearance in the Daily Herald for one of the Schaumburg locations was in 1976, although ads for the Palatine and Elk Grove locations appeared into the later 70’s.

Maybe one of our readers worked at one of the restaurants or remembers when they closed?  If you can clue us in, it would be most appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


December 25, 2016


Over the years, we have obtained cookbooks from various churches, schools and organizations of Schaumburg Township.  They are an interesting snapshot of the home culture of the day and also provide us with names of the local cooks.  This cookbook from Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle was passed on to me not too long ago and was published sometime between 1936 and 1942.

While it has interesting recipes like Spinach Mold, Creamed Kohlrabi and Ham Tiffle, there were a fair amount of recipes from some of the German farm families of Schaumburg Township.  The names were recognizable and it was interesting to note the variety of recipes and ponder how many of the dishes are still in the cooking repertoires of those families.

Also included in the pages of the cookbook are ads from various local businesses–most of which were Roselle-based businesses. However, two Schaumburg Township businesses were also listed and, not surprisingly, both were located at the intersection of Roselle and Schaumburg roads.botterman-garage

The first was Schaumburg Garage, owned by Al Botterman.  In the book Genesis of A Township, Marilyn Lind notes that in 1936, “The garage at Schaumburg Center was now being operated by Albert Botterman” and then in 1942, “In March, Albert Botterman decided to sell his garage because rationing of tires and gas would cut down his business.”  She derived these details from The Herald and they help confirm the time frame of the cookbook itself.  The 1940 census also confirms Mr. Botterman’s employment by stating that he was “manager of service garage.”

Botterman’s Garage (as it was known by the locals) was directly to the south of the current Lou Malnati’s on Roselle Road.  According to an article from the Roselle Register (May 14, 1959), the building was dated as a “45-year-old garage.”  We can then derive its origin as circa 1914.  This photo of the garage was taken around 1928 during an earlier ownership.  Roselle Road is in the foreground.


Mr. Botterman did auto repairs at the garage but never sold gasoline even though the above quote from The Herald implies that.  (Not only were there were not visible gas pumps outside of the garage, but this fact was also noted by a few of our oral historians.)

Part of the building must have been parceled off to Lake Cook Farm Supply around 1938 when they came to Schaumburg Township.  The Daily Herald states the Farm Supply’s location thusly: “The building was an old barn where Botterman did auto repair work.  Lake Cook supplied farms with bulk feed, fuel oil and gasoline.”  (Daily Herald, November 10, 1938)

In 1957 Lake Cook Farm Supply built this low building for their retail location.  If you remember this building next to today’s Lou Malnati’s, it is a bit confusing to imagine a garage in between the two.  It is important to keep in mind that in 1957 the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads was much smaller, with only two lanes in both directions.

The garage remained in between the Farm Supply and Niemann’s Tavern (Lou Malnati’s) on the corner until May 1959 when it burned down.  The Roselle Register article states that the “two-story frame garage” was “two doors away from the intersection of Roselle and Schaumburg rds.”  The fire leveled the garage in an hour.  With the open space created, this is what made it possible to move today’s Lou Malnati’s when the intersection was widened in 1980.  The tavern was then moved 35 feet to the south and east.

A few doors down from Bottermans was the other business mentioned in the cookbook–Hattendorf’s Grocery.


Herman Hattendorf opened a small grocery store on Roselle Road in 1932 in a house that had been owned by Alma and Frank Lengl.  Mr. Lengl was the nephew of Frank Lengl who was the proprietor of Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn, which is today’s Easy Street Pub.

When opened, the grocery store was small in scope but carried enough basic products to satisfy the farmers who were the main shoppers.  As one of our oral historians mentioned, the locals would often bring in eggs to barter with.  If she brought in one extra above the normal dozen, she was allowed the delight of picking out a piece of candy.

It is also interesting to note that, in Genesis of a Township, Mrs. Lind also notes that Herman and Clara Hattendorf delivered groceries by truck throughout the township.  In essence, it was an early Peapod!

Considering that this was the height of the depression, Mr. Hattendorf managed to stay afloat and even had the store repainted “a combination of white and green.” [Cook County Herald, September 30, 1938]  Because it was a brick building, the story must have been referring to the interior.  You can get an idea of the size of the store from this rear view photo that shows the store being torn down in 1982.


In 1940 though, Mr. Hattendorf was prosperous enough to buy the former Schaumburg Bank building that was on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads as a new location for his store.  The sale was announced in the January 19 issue of the Cook County Herald and said that Mr. Hattendorf planned to spend $3000 to remodel the interior of the building and even purchased additional ground to provide parking.  The grand opening was set for March 1 and 2.  Interestingly, the article also states “the store at that time will be converted to the self-serve type.”  This implies that in the old store, prior to the move, a list was given to Mr. Hattendorf and he collected the goods for the shopper–in an old-fashioned general store sort of way.

And, on March 1 and 2, the new version of Hattendorf’s Grocery opened.  Included in the new store was a “complete, fresh meat department…  Goods are being attractively and conveniently arranged so that you will find it delightful to serve yourself.”   [Cook County Herald, March 1, 1940]


The grocery store was in existence through at least 1955, but it has been difficult to determine when it closed.  Suffice to say, it was a draw for the locals of Schaumburg Township and, obviously, a convenient store to have in the area.  If you can provide any details, please provide a comment or send me an email.

You never know what can be found in an old book and how it can trigger an investigation into our local history!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


October 23, 2016

There were other places to get pizza in Schaumburg in 1975 but when Pizza Hut finally came to town, it was reason for a little rejoicing.  Even though it was a bit off the beaten path at the time of its construction–relatively speaking–it was exciting to welcome this well-known pizza chain to the area.

Classified ads for this location began appearing in the Daily Herald in July 1975.  They were looking for cooks and management personnel at their new location at 914 Roselle Road, just north of Wise.  You can actually see the building in this 1977 aerial photo.

Notice two-lane Roselle Road in the background of the photo.  Hartford Drive is the road that bisects off of Roselle and leads to the Pheasant Walk subdivision that is under construction.  Two doors down and to the left of Hartford Drive is Pizza Hut.  (It is noticeable because of its standard Pizza Hut roof!)  Fortunately, it was built far enough off of the street for the eventual widening of Roselle Road.


The building was built in the standard style of most Pizza Huts of the time, as you can see below.  It obviously had the prototypical red roof at one time.  That was changed at some point as can be seen in the more recent photo below.


The restaurant lasted for many years, serving pizza, salad and pitcher after pitcher of cold pop and beer.  It closed its doors in 2013 and sat dormant until it was torn down a few weeks ago in September, 2016.


But, isn’t it nice to remember date night in the booths or getting loud and raucous with your friends at a couple of tables with the jukebox playing the top hits of the day?  All while you waited for that cheezy goodness that was going to burn the roof of your mouth?  Remember when those pan pizzas first hit the menu?  Yummy.

Just a year later, another Pizza Hut opened at 1280 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates.  This building can still be found three doors to the west of Hoffman Estates High School and is the location for Simply Stereo.  It has been modified so that there are now shutters on the windows and has a bright green roof.


All in all, two nice pizza bookends for Schaumburg Township!

[According to the Village of Schaumburg, the new owner of the Roselle Road location spent $700,000 to demolish the Pizza Hut and erect a Dunkin’ Donuts that is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2017.]

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

(Thank you to for the use of the Simply Stereo photo.)


September 11, 2016

lenglsFor years Frank Lengl owned and operated Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn on Roselle Road.  This is the building that is now known as the Easy Street Pub.  Lengl purchased the business and surrounding property in the late 1910’s and owned it until his death in 1965.

Born in Germany, Mr. Lengl immigrated to the United States in 1914 according to the 1930 census.  He never forgot his homeland and it was evident in the menu and the atmosphere of Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn.

In a 1959 issue of the now defunct, The Higgins Herald, an article was written about a trip Mr. Lengl, who was in his 70’s at the time, took to Germany to visit his birthplace and his relatives.  It is reprinted here in its entirety as it was written and is an interesting perspective of post World War II Germany and Europe.  For instance, rather than renting a vehicle while he was there, he bought one instead and resold it when he left!  Enjoy his take on the parts of Europe he visited.


Frank Lengl of Quindell rd. in Schaumburg Center recently returned from a trip with his niece, Hanna Heinle, to Europe.

They left Schaumburg March 12 for New York where they sailed on the S.S. America for Bremerhaven, Germany.  In route they stopped ove[r] in Ireland, Le Havre, South Hampton, and finally in Bremerhaven.

The two took a train to Augsburg where Mr. Lengl bought an Opel automobile.  This transaction took one day.  They arrived in Augsburg on Monday and owned an Opel on Tuesday, with license plates and full insurance.Opel

Mr. Lengl was born near this Bavarian city 73 years ago.  He lived and grew up there to become a butcher.  He continued this trade as a sausage maker when he came to America in 1912.  In 1922 he move to Schaumburg Center and has lived in his large brick house on Quindell rd. since then.

Lots has happened to his home town since he left it many years ago, Mr. Lengl said.  “It looks just like it does around here,” he said.  “There is a lot of new industry, a new depot, a new subdivision like Hoffman Estates, and even a 30-story building.”

He calls the change the “difference between night and day.”  The big industry going on is the textile industry.  Other industry in the city that is new since he left is a Messerchmidt airplane factory and the Maschineenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg factory which built the engine that powers the Hanseatic, the ship which brought them home again.  This factory makes the Deisel engines, and was started by the man who invented the Deisel engine that bears his name.

Mr. Lengl was especially pleased with the new highways.  He said that he considered the Autobahn as fine as our turnpikes.  As he drove all over Europe he was glad to have such fine roads.

They also travelled in Austria, Switzerland, and France in their car.

He said that there were many soldiers stationed in Augsburg but that they were nice to the people and brought in a lot of money with them, so were well accepted.  Apparently, he said, the military police are quite strict.

The Lengl home is still standing but quite different from the building that Mr. Lengl knew as a young man.

The war hit all of the neighborhood but it is still built up again now and town is in fine shape.  He said that many of the people were prosperous and unemployment is nil.  Property is very expensive for this reason.  Everyone has money and some hold land as well.  The land is valuable with the post-war growth and the land owners can ask a very high price.

Mr. Lengl commented on the large number of displaced persons in Germany.  He said the persons from Checoslovakia [sic] who owned a business in their home land valued at 200,000 marks would be set up in business by the German government at the same cost.

Both Mr. Lengl and his niece were amazed to see snow on the ground in the Bavarian mountains on May 1.  The valley was all green and warm and the mountains [sic] top were white with snow above 1200 meters.

Prices compared quite favorably with Americans [sic] prices.  A dinner, for example, that would cost $3.00 here would run $1.00 there.  A good men’s shirt there would be about $3.00, and a pair of Italian impored [sic] woman’s shoes was only $15.00.  His niece bought a Dendel for about $15 and a camera priced at $300 here for $150.

They visited with relatives on the trip who are still in Augsburg.

After completing their round trip tour of Europe they came back to Augsburg and resold the Opel.  Then they took a train to Hamburg and sailed for home on the “Hanseatic.”


Other articles on the Easy Street Pub may be found here and here.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Gratefully reprinted from The Higgins Herald.  Higgins Publishing Corp., Hoffman Estates.  P.O. Box 295, Roselle, Illinois.  July 16, 1959.  Vol. 1, No. 24.

The Opel photo is gratefully used from Wikipedia’s page on the Opel Olympia Rekord P1.


July 24, 2016

When the Hoffman Estates Police Department was doing its patrols in the 1960’s, the village was divided into four area zones.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Historian, graciously passed on a list of the businesses that were located in each zone.

Based on the businesses I am familiar with and where they were/are located, I have come up with a rudimentary description of each Area.  I have also placed an asterisk (*) next to the businesses I am unfamiliar with.

If any of these businesses ring a bell, I would be happy to update the list.  Please leave a comment or contact me by the email listed below.  I appreciate any assistance you can provide!


Southwest corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hoffman Plaza.  East side of Roselle Road between Higgins and Golf.

Abco Job Center*
Barton Stull*
Burger King–on north side of Higgins Road, just east of Roselle Road.Burger King
Car Wash–on south side of Golf Road, just east of Roselle Road.
Clothes Basket*
Colonel Sanders–(KFC?) on south side of Higgins Road, just west of Roselle Road.  Correct?
Currency Exchange–in Hoffman Plaza.
Dog ‘N Suds–on west side of Roselle Road, just north of Bode Road.
Duco Engineering*
Guido’s–on west side of Roselle Road, between Bode and Higgins Road.
Hoffman Plaza–on east side of  Roselle Road, between Golf and Higgins Road.
Hunt Construction*
Irene’s Rainbow Inn–on west side of Higgins Road at Roselle Road.
Jerome Fabrics*
Jewel-Osco–in Hoffman Plaza.  See above.Hoffman Plaza
Jupiter Cleaners*
Kinney Shoes–on south side of Golf Road, just east of Roselle Road.
Neff T.V.–on west side of Roselle Road, just south of Higgins Road.
Pete’s Barber Shop–on west side of Roselle Road, just south of Higgins Road.
Plaza Shell–on the northeast corner of Higgins and Roselle Road.
Post Office–in Hoffman Plaza.  See above.
Ralston T.V.*
Ray’s Heating*
Rice Heating*
Robert Hall–on the southeast corner of Higgins and Roselle Road.
Russell’s Barber Shop*
Texaco–on the northwest corner of the Bode and Roselle Road intersection.
United Rent-All*
V & S Hardware*
Value Land*
Dr. Waxler*


West side of Roselle Road, north of Higgins Road.  Golf Rose Shopping Center.  [Are there other locations?]

American Loans*
B & K Realty*
B.P.A.A. (Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America)
Bakery*–I think this is the Golf Rose Bakery in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See below.
Baskin Robbins–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See below.
Dr. Bennett–Dentist*
Brass & Glass*
Budget Rent A Car*
Century Towers*
Cherry’s Shoes*
Citgo–on the southwest corner of Roselle and Golf Road.
Deanna’s School of Dance*
Diamond Cue*
Drake’s Male Fashion*
Firestone Tire–on the west side of Roselle Road, between Higgins and Golf.
Golf Paint, Glass & Wallpaper*
Golf Rose Barber Shop–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See below.
Golf Rose Plaza–on the west side of Roselle Road, between Higgins and Golf.
Grants–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Heritage Trace Apts.–on the south side of Higgins Road between Roselle and Golf.  (Now known as Steeple Hill Condominiums)
Heathron Beauty Salon*
Ho Luck Chop Suey*
Hoffman Lanes–on the north side of Higgins Road just west of Roselle Road.Hoffman Lanes
Hoffman Rosner Corp.–on the west side of Roselle Road, between Golf and Higgins.  Across from Firestone.
Law Offices*
McMahon Real Estate*
National Foods–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Omega Sports*
Orchid Cleaners*
Prairie Ridge Apts.*
Record Newspaper*
Sentiment & Sweets*
Shakey’s Pizza*
Snyders Drugs–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Sorority House*
State Farm Insurance*
Suburban Bank–on the west side of Roselle Road, just south of Golf Road.
Thunderbird Theatre–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Dr. Udesky–Optometrist*
Union 76 Gas Station–on the northwest corner of Higgins and Roselle Road.


Higgins Road on the north side, west of the intersection with Golf.

Dale House*
Enco Station*
Hilldale Village*–apartment complex on the north side of Higgins Road at Huntington Boulevard.


Higgins Road on the south side, west of the intersection with Golf.  Higgins Road on the north side, west of the intersection with Huntington Boulevard.  Central Road.  Algonquin Road.

Barrington Square–on the north side of Higgins Road between Governor’s Lane and Barrington Road.Barrington Square
Clayton Corp.*
Mobil Station*
Moon Lake Village–apartment complex on the south side of Higgins Road at Moon Lake Blvd.
Standard Station*
Thomas Engineering–at Central Road and Ela Road.
Winston Knolls–on the north side of Algonquin Road between Ela Road and Windemere Lane.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


March 13, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The intersection of Higgins and Golf Roads was a busy intersection in the 1930s and 40s as it is today. During the farming days of Schaumburg Township the service station was a necessary part of the community.

The Sunderlage family had a gas station and small grocery store on the south side of Higgins across from what was their granddaughter and her husband’s farm, the Christenson farm. It was a meeting place for the farmers who went there with their milk for pick up by the local dairy.

Another gas station was also located at this intersection serving the motorist with personal service that has long since disappeared. Excellent mechanical work for their cars, a fill up and windows washed was expected when you pulled in but most enjoyed a friendly welcome by the owner, Anton Kosnik.

Anton Kosnik and his family established their home and gas station at Higgins and Golf in 1928. A picture and caption of Anton being presented with a 25th anniversary plaque by Standard Oil was in the Daily Herald on 7/14/60.

The story of this gas station came to my attention this past year with a call from a gentleman who remembered the gas station and the son of Anton Kosnik. He and many of his young friends, who were now gray haired, had wondered about Anton’s son and whether or not he was still alive.

Yes, Anton’s son was still alive. With help from old newspaper stories and a photo, the gentleman’s question could be answered and further information shared with him.

It was another reminder of how the neighborhood gas station was more that a service station. It would become the hang out for customers and their kids. What had happened to the friendly young man? Anton’s son had cerebral palsy and the other kids would always be around if he needed help.

The gentleman who called me asking for help, made me realize how the history that we write about and the resources that we rely on are important to those who remember special people, events or memories from the past.

Many thanks to Schaumburg Township District Library’s historian Jane Rozek who is invaluable in helping with research.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


February 7, 2016

valentines dayHappy Birthday Schaumburg!  You’re turning 60 this year on March 7, 2016 and we’re happy to celebrate with you!

In honor of your birthday year, we’re doing a monthly blog posting based on some of our favorite things about you.

During the month of February–and in celebration of Valentine’s Day–we’re asking the readers of this blog to share their favorite Schaumburg restaurant to have a romantic meal.  Maybe it’s a let’s-get-dressed-up type of establishment or maybe it’s a place where you went every week, rain, snow or shine.  Maybe it’s where you had a first date or maybe it’s where you met a future spouse.

Here is a suggestion to spark a memory or two.



If it holds fond memories for you–or you’ve just discovered it–please share your favorite spot!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


January 24, 2016

While preparing a group of photos to be scanned for the library’s archives, I came across these two that were part of a collection donated by the family of John Sternberg, former longtime pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church.  (Thank you to the Sternberg family!)

The photo below shows a group of parishoners of St. Peter’s enjoying some time at a bowling alley.  Judging by the clothes, the time frame is either the 1950s or the early 1960s.  Hoffman Lanes opened in 1961 and I’m hoping this photo shows their interior because that would be a neat addition to the collection.  It looks, though, like many bowling alleys of that time period so it could be any one of a number of bowling establishments.  Can anyone possibly discern which bowling alley it might be?


This  next photo obviously depicts a very new subdivision in our township.  Distinguishing characteristics are the very young trees in the parkways, the fact that there is curb and gutter edging the street, the subdivision is built on a slope and the car on the right looks like it was probably from the 1950s.  The back of the photo says ca. 1963.  Any ideas about which subdivision this might be?


As always, your assistance is much appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



January 10, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Curved side 2


In the spring of 2016, the building located at 1070 N. Roselle Rd. will be torn down to make way for a McDonald’s Restaurant. The building has been the home to many different businesses since it was constructed in 1971. It was constructed by Hoffman Homes, previously F & S Construction, the builders of Hoffman Estates. It was built as the first corporate headquarters in the town that had been named for the Hoffman family. They moved into their new headquarters in 1972.

Jack Hoffman, president of Hoffman Homes, didn’t want to build just homes. He wanted to build a complete community. First and foremost, he wanted to build homes that the returning World War II vets could afford. He knew the town would need shopping and office space, apartments and schools and places to have fun.

The homes started going up in 1955 with Parcel A, then across Higgins to Parcel B in 56 & 57. Twinbrook and Fairview Schools were the first of many schools in the newly developed neighborhoods. Conant High School, the first to be built in Schaumburg Township, was built in 1964.

Shopping was needed and Hoffman Plaza at Roselle Rd. between Golf and Higgins, opened in 1959 with a Jewel Food Store, much awaited by the community that had to travel to Roselle or Palatine to shop. A Walgreens Agency Drug Store (Snyder’s) doctor’s offices and other retail stores quickly filled the Plaza.

To continue the plan for a complete community, F & S. Construction built the Golf Rose Shopping Center across from Hoffman Plaza in 1963. Grant’s Department Store, National Tea Grocery Store and the Buttery Bakery were some of the much awaited new additions to the growing town. The Thunderbird Movie Theater came along a few years later. It was in this shopping center that F & S Construction, now known as Hoffman Homes, chose to build its first corporate headquarters in 1971.

Front facade

In doing my research, I had the privilege of talking with Harry Buck, the project manager for F & S Construction. He built the Golf Rose Shopping Center and later constructed the 1070 corporate headquarters. Harry is 90 years old and remembered so much about the building. He told me that it was built without any corners. He recalled calling it the castle since it had a ramp entrance with what looked like a moat below. When I talked with Buz & Ed Hoffman, Jack’s sons, about the building, they remembered calling it the submarine. Everyone was sad to hear that it would soon be gone.

Water tower view

Harry reminded me that the Medcoa building & apartments at Higgins & Grand Canyon along with the bowling alley were also built by F & S/Hoffman Homes as part of their plan for a complete community. It was great talking to the man who had actually built the 1070 Roselle building.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


November 1, 2015

When it was first built on the northeast corner of Meacham and Golf Roads, the modern building rested in solitary splendor on a great expanse of lawn surrounded by fields and more fields.  Home of the Pure Oil Company that was later named Unocal, the two story corporate office building came to Schaumburg Township in 1960.

Pure Oil

(Photo acknowledgement to the Daily Herald.)

Pure Oil incorporated as Columbus Production Company on April 19, 1914 in Columbus, Ohio. Two days later on April 21 the name was changed to Ohio Cities Gas Company. This name lasted for six years until it was changed once again on July 1, 1920 to Pure Oil Company.  By September of 1926, the company moved their headquarters from Columbus to what was known as the Jeweler’s building at 35 E. Wacker Drive in Chicago.  As the main tenant in this new skyscraper, the structure soon became known as the Pure Oil Building.Pure Oil building(Photo acknowledgement to

  • They remained in this location until October 31, 1960 when they moved to their own home in what was then known as Palatine.  The offices later were annexed as part of Schaumburg in the mid-1970’s with the address being 1650 and 1700 E. Golf Road at various times.

Their new building, according to an undated Daily Herald newspaper account, was mostly a one-story structure with a red brick and limestone exterior. At the main entrance, in the center, was a two-story section housing the executive offices on its second floor. The building contained 250,000 square feet of floor space and was designed by the architectural firm of Perkins & Will, according to the Village of Schaumburg’s Woodfield Regional Concept Plan.  The newspaper account says that the building was constructed by the George A. Fuller Company.

The 700-foot-long front of the building faced south toward Golf Road and was on a 240-acre parcel. The one-story office areas surrounded four landscaped courts of varying sizes. The 69-foot-wide interior sections of the building were free of columns and allowed for flexible office partitions and layouts. The building also contained an employees’ lounge, a cafeteria, an auditorium, a two-story map room and a specially designed area housing “an electronic computer and other data processing equipment.  It is also noted in the article that the building was air-conditioned–obviously an improvement for the time!

The circular parking lots occupied nine acres at the east and west end of the buildings and provided space for 1000 cars. Entrances were on both Golf and Meacham Roads.

Approximately 1500 employees worked in the building when it opened.  Many had lived in the city but subsequently moved out to the suburbs to be closer to work.  Robert L. Milligan, President of Pure Oil said, “We have found few inconveniences in being 26 miles from the Loop.  The Northwest Tollway and Northwest Expressway put us within little over half and hour from downtown.”  Shortly after the move, employees in the Arlington Heights office were also moved to the Palatine location.

On July 16, 1965, almost five years after they moved in, Pure Oil merged with Union Oil Company of California and the name was changed to Union Oil Co.  On April 25, 1983 the company officially became known as Unocal.  In 1992 it was announced that Unocal would be leaving the Schaumburg area and, by 1993, their National Auto/Truckstop system was phased out of the property.

The property was subsequently purchased by Roosevelt University and the buildings renovated to accomodate classrooms and offices. The campus was opened to the public in 1996.  It stands directly behind the far east end of the Woodfield Village Green shopping center.  It is bordered on the east by Roosevelt Boulevard and on the west by McConnor Parkway which Unocal built on its own in the 1980’s.  (The Parkway is named for W.S. McConnor, a Vice-President of Refining and Marketing for Union Oil in the 1970s.)

Below are some photos of what it looks like today.

Roosevelt UniversityRoosevelt UniversityRoosevelt University

Roosevelt UniversityRoosevelt UniversityJane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library