Archive for the ‘Shopping Centers’ Category


July 30, 2017

While the old Jewel in Hoffman Plaza is being reconfigured, we’ve been delighted to see remnants of it still visible as the outer facade was torn off.  We’ve seen the barrel roof and brick walls that have been uncovered.

And, just recently while traveling down Roselle Road, I noticed that the curved struts and braces of the interior are now visible.

Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian, noticed the same thing and was able to take the picture below that is even more up close. The condition appears to be quite sound.  It is amazing to us that the developers saw the worth in this part of the structure and incorporated it as part of the new building.

It’s fascinating to consider that this structure is now almost 60 years old.  This brief timeline of Jewel in Hoffman Plaza gives you an idea of the importance of this location.

  • Jewel opened Summer of 1959.
  • Osco opened in the Jewel in September 1964.
  • The Jewel-Osco relocated to its current location on April 14, 1973.

This is today’s Jewel, still in the 1973 location, with the 1955 water tower ever present in the background.  You can also see the water tank in the background that was built in 1962.  (For more information on these water storage facilities of Hoffman Estates, read Pat’s column from August 2010.)

Who knows if the old Jewel will ever be uncovered again?  We’re just glad that we got a glimpse of it before it was encased in the redeveloped Burlington Coat Factory.  It was nice to take the photographs when the opportunity presented itself!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 30, 2017

Hoffman Plaza came up twice this week in conversation.  The first mention revolved around the demolition at the shopping center.   Hoffman Estates Historian Pat Barch wrote about the Plaza’s plans in her January 2017 column in the Hoffman Estates Citizen.  As she mentioned, the south portion of the 58-year-old plaza is being demolished.  I’ve been tracking the progress as I make my commute each day and, one day this week, while driving by, I saw this:


When I looked closer I realized what I was seeing.  It was the roof and brick outline of the original Jewel that opened in Hoffman Plaza.  Hidden for all of these years behind the more modern facade of the plaza were the round barrel roof and brick walls of the first Jewel to make its way to Schaumburg Township.

This Jewel opened in the summer of 1959 and faced Higgins Road.  A line of shops extending to the west towards Roselle Road were connected to it.  Snyder Walgreen Drug Agency was one of those that opened at the same time.  As Pat said in her column, Ben Franklin, Twinbrook Hardware, Turpin Fabrics & Drapery, a beauty shop owned by Frank Vaccaro and a doctor’s office opened later in 1959 and on into 1960.

Maybe you can see something more in these photos:

If you spot anything, chime in and let me know.  And, for those of you who do not live in the area, just a heads up that a Burlington Store is planned for the shopping center. (Click on the photo below and you can see the sign off to the left.)  According to a Daily Herald article from April 19, 2017, a 50,000 square foot store will open in the location of the former Dania furniture store.  With a light now at the entrance to the shopping center on Roselle Road, it should make for some easy shopping!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Many thanks to Pat Barch for jumping in her car to take the photo of the Jewel in the early morning hours and some of the others you see here.  Teardowns can happen so fast that it’s necessary to get there as fast as we can.  I appreciate her alacrity!

Look for another column on Hoffman Plaza next week…


January 12, 2014

Last week I wrote a brief history of the first Town Square Shopping Center that opened in 1971 on the southwest corner of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.  The center stayed in business until 1995 when it was purchased by the Village of Schaumburg.  During those 24 years of operation, many businesses came and went.  Below is a list of some of those establishments that occupied the low-slung, one-story, rustic mall that started operations just as the area was really taking off.Town Square 1

  • All American Army Surplus
  • Always Andrea
  • Anna Marie Dance Studios
  • The Art Mart
  • Beverly’s Shop
  • The Big Banjo (a restaurant that served pizza, ribs and chicken)
  • Bolger Realtors (?)
  • Calabrese Pizza
  • The Candy Barrel  (a specialty shop fondly remembered by many of those who grew up in the area)
  • Chez de Noux Coiffures  (hair salon)
  • Coins C. Stamps
  • Design III Interiors
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Fenton’s Window Fashions
  • Geronimo Birnbottom  (jeans and tops)
  • Green Apple (dress and jeans shop)
  • Homefinders (realtor)
  • Musacci’s Pizzeria
  • Norge Town Cleaners
  • Northwest Uniforms
  • Nosh Nook
  • Paddock Restaurant
  • Pizza Amore
  • Radio Schack
  • Ray’s Heating & Plumbing
  • Red Carpet Realtors
  • ReMax Realtors
  • Reno’s Upholstery
  • Resource (Fashions for women)
  • Schaumburg Auto Parts
  • Silver Reef (baseball cards)
  • The Stop  (a restaurant that is often mentioned and must beloved by those who enjoyed its hotdogs, hamburgers and other sandwiches)
  • Town Square Electrologists
  • Town Square Grog Shop (probably one of the most popular tenants of the shopping center and, certainly, the most visible from Roselle Road)
  • Town Square Hairstylists
  • Town Square Pharmacy (a long-time drug store owned and operated from 1971 until 1985 by Cliff Skarr who was also president of the Olde Schaumburg Center Commission)
  • Triangle Pet Center
  • V.F.W. Post 2202
  • Village Gate Realtors

This is a list of some of the tenants of the Medical Building that was at the west end of the shopping portion of Town Square–and not the separate building that came later.  This building contained six medical offices.

  • Dr. Lewis Hirsch—general dentist
  • Dr. Alberto Armas–pediatrician
  • Dr. Bruce Peterson–optometrist
  • Dr. Phillip La Spina—internal medicine
  • Mr. Joseph Bruns–physical therapy
  • Dr. Daniel Uditsky–general dentist
  • Dr. Emanuel Uditsky–general dentist (father of Daniel)

If you know of any others that I’ve missed, please send in your comments.  It’s nice to have as complete a list as possible.  Next week, the story of the Grog Shop and its origins!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Thank you to Dr. Daniel Uditsky for sharing the information on the Medical Building.


January 5, 2014

A year before the largest mall in the world drew its first customers, another shopping center in Schaumburg opened for business.  It was located at the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads and it was called Town Square.Town Square 3

For over a century, this intersection had been the shopping hub of Schaumburg Township.  The bank, hardware store, gas station, saloons, small grocery store, implement dealer, blacksmiths and Lutheran church and school had provided most of the services and sustenance the farmers needed to conduct their lives.

With an ever growing, urban population, it became increasingly obvious that additional shopping and office space was needed near the growing Weathersfield, Timbercrest and F & S homes that were sprouting up every day.

George Shapiro of Morwell Builders who were the developers of Timbercrest, purchased 27 acres on the southwest corner of the intersection and proceeded to erect the first phase that opened in early 1970.  It was noted by Mayor Robert Atcher in his annual report that appeared in the January 21, 1970 The Herald that “The Heritage Square portion of the Town Square Center is well under way.”  The look was meant to be “a step into the Early American atmosphere…  Throughout the center the heritage design will be followed.”  (The Herald, February 24, 1970)  And, in fact, the Olde Schaumburg Feasibility Study published in 1981 states that the buildings were “designed with what might be termed a ‘rustic’ appearance, an ‘old town’ image with a western flavor.” 

When the center opened, two other phases were planned as well as “a large lake and probably a clock tower.”  (The Herald, February 24, 1970)  One of the phases was to consist solely of medical buildings and a second phase was indeed built in 1975.  (Daily Herald, June 23, 1980)  They also intended to have a 10,000 square foot steak house and parking for 2200 cars!Town Square 1

Town Square eventually grew into a large L with the long arm bordering the Town Square Apartments (now Condominiums) to the south and the short arm bordering Sarah’s Grove Townhomes to the west.  Per the Olde Schaumburg Feasibility Study, the long arm housed “twenty-four individual commercial and retail establishments as well as a separate cluster of professional offices” which was the short arm.

In the middle of the L was a small pond, children’s zoo and sitting area.  According to Cliff Skarr who owned the Town Square Pharmacy and eventually became president of the Olde Schaumburg Center Commission, the zoo area was called the Pet Park and was fenced in by the first owners of the development.  He said the Park was designed by Don Eggelston and had ducks, geese, goats and a peacock as part of the menagerie.  He also mentioned that the Jaycees built the gazebo in the center while tree plantings were done by other local groups.

Town Square 2The shopping center was eventually bought from Arthur Frank in 1980 by Imperial Realty.  According to the Daily Herald article of June 23, 1980, Frank had purchased the center in 1977–ostensibly from Shapiro and Associates.  Imperial was caretaker of Town Square until the village of Schaumburg absorbed the property as part of a tax increment finance (TIF) district and purchased the center for redevelopment in 1995.   The only building that remains from the days of the first Town Square is the Trickster Gallery which was built in 1976 as Lake Cook Farm Supply.

Town Square is now anchored by the venerable Schaumburg Township District Library and includes a number of commercial enterprises.  It remains an important cornerstone of the township just as it did for the farmers of the 1850s and the early suburbanites of the 1970s.  Next week look for a list of businesses that operated over the years.  Maybe you can help us add to the list!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library