SHOPPING AT HOFFMAN PLAZA

May 7, 2017

Last week, in Hoffman Plaza, the brick outline and barrel roof of the first Jewel in Schaumburg Township was revealed during the demolition of a portion of the shopping center.  The interest was overwhelming!

This week, I captured a better photo of the building now that the western portion of the shopping center is gone.  You get a good idea of the outline of the building in this photo:

This photo, from a Hoffman Highlands brochure given to me by local realtor Larry Rowan, gives you just a small hint of the interior of that Jewel:

But, the interesting thing is that another mention of Hoffman Plaza came up in conversation last week when one of the staff said that he bought shelves at the Handy Andy in Hoffman Plaza when he moved to the area.  I only knew of the Handy Andys on Golf Road and on Irving Park Road in Schaumburg but wanted to make sure that was correct.

In doing a bit of research, I discovered that there was a Handyman store that opened in the summer of 1976 in Hoffman Plaza.  The ad from the July 24, 1976 issue of the Hoffman Herald even sported a caricature of a little “Handyman” similar to the little “Handy Andy.”  Handyman was a “super hardware center” that offered shelving, lumber, tools, cookware, electrical lighting and vanities, to name a few items.

In searching, I also came across an ad for Hoffman Plaza in the December 7, 1976 newspaper that invited shoppers to meet Santa and do their holiday shopping at the following stores.  It is a nice list that captures a moment in time for Hoffman Plaza.

  • Mr. Michael’s Hairstyling
  • Bowen Ace Hardware
  • Barb Fisher Dance Studio
  • Olympic Karate
  • Russell’s Barber Shop
  • ABCO Job Center
  • Ralston Electronics
  • Century 21 McMahon Real Estate
  • Gallo’s on the Plaza
  • Ruby Begonia Plants & Macrame
  • Fashions at Large
  • Vitamin House
  • Red Squire Fashions for Men & Young Men
  • Maxine’s Clothesline
  • Jewel
  • Osco
  • Valueland–Jewelry & Beauty Needs
  • Rosati’s Pizza
  • Electronic Game World
  • Woodfield Auto Parts
  • Bell Liquors
  • Denny’s Restaurant
  • Acorn Tire
  • Hoffman Estates Currency Exchange

Not too long after the above list ran in the Hoffman Herald, this photo, compliments of the former Profile Publications of Crystal Lake, appeared in the Northwest Suburban Association of Commerce and Industry Community Profile of 1982.  It is a great depiction of the Plaza, complete with the iconic water tower.

Because there seems to be an interest, I have begun a list of the businesses that were/are based in Hoffman Plaza.  What have I missed?

  • ABCO Job Center
  • Acorn Tire
  • Allen Awards
  • Barb Fisher Dance Studio
  • Barber Shop (Stan ______, proprietor)
  • BBQ Hut (Korean restaurant)
  • Bee Discount
  • Bell Liquors
  • Ben Franklin
  • Black Forest (German restaurant)
  • Bowen Ace Hardware
  • Burger King
  • Century 21 McMahon Real Estate
  • Crest Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Dania Furniture
  • Denny’s Restaurant
  • DeRamos, Dr.
  • Electronic Game World
  • Fashions at Large
  • Gallo’s on the Plaza
  • Giant Auto Parts
  • Gold’s Gym
  • Highland Superstore
  • Hoffman Estates Currency Exchange
  • Hoffman Home Values
  • Home Center
  • Hot Dog Place
  • Jewel
  • Jockey (Asian restaurant)
  • Jupiter Cleaners
  • Lifesource
  • Maxine’s Clothesline
  • Mr. Michael’s Hairstyling
  • Midwest Outpost
  • North Beach
  • Olympic Karate
  • Olympic Torch
  • Peppermint Stick Lounge
  • Plaza Valueland
  • Ralston Electronics
  • Red Squire Fashions for Men & Young Men
  • Rosati’s Pizza
  • Ruby Begonia Plants & Macrame
  • Russell’s Barber Shop
  • Sally Beauty Supply
  • Syms
  • Thai House
  • Turpin Fabric & Drapery
  • Twinbrook Hardware
  • U.S. Post Office
  • Universal Painting Contractors
  • Valueland–Jewelry & Beauty Needs
  • Vazquez, Dr. Ivan
  • Viet House
  • Vitamin House
  • Wok ‘n Roll
  • Woodfield Auto Parts
  • Yu’s Mandarin  (First location)

The comments and nostalgia for this first shopping center have been a great addition to our local history.  Now, Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian and I wonder if, with further demolition, the outline of the Jewel letters on the front of the store might even be uncovered.  If that happens, our cameras will be ready!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY OPEN HOUSE

May 6, 2017

Schaumburg Center schoolThe Schaumburg Township Historical Society will sponsor an open house of the Schaumburg Center School on Sunday, May 14, 2017.  The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The schoolhouse is located on the St. Peter Lutheran Church property.

Constructed in 1872–and first called Sarah’s Grove School, it is believed to have been the first of five public schools in Schaumburg Township. It was later renamed Schween’s Grove School and called Schaumburg Centre Public School until 1954. For 82 years, the building served as a one-room schoolhouse, and was the last active one room schoolhouse in District 54.

With the widening of Schaumburg Road, the building was saved from demolition and temporarily placed on the grounds of the Town Square Shopping Center in 1979. It was permanently relocated to the St. Peter Lutheran Church property in September, 1981. It has been fully restored as a museum and is under the auspices of the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.

WHAT THE DEMOLITION AT HOFFMAN PLAZA REVEALED

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
jrozek@stdl.org

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…

WOODFIELD MALL AS IT USED TO BE

April 16, 2017

In the summers of 1977 and 1978 Steven Wilson was a young man working at McDonalds in Woodfield Mall.  It was a seasonal job and, in his spare time, he indulged his appreciation of the architecture of the mall with his recent interest in 35mm photography.

With Mr. Wilson’s permission it is a pleasure to share some of his photos with the blog’s readers.  You can view the photos on his Flickr account and see the grandeur of Woodfield Mall’s Center Court during that time.

Take note of the iconic piece of art that hung from the ceiling over Center Court.  It has been gone for a while but the colors obviously worked with those of the carpeting.  The same colors and elements of the design were also thematically reflected in the Woodfield Water Tower.  It was obviously a planned theme.

Also interesting to note are the geometric themes carried out in the sunken stage, the ceiling and the art work.  And, of course, you get a good view of the fountain, the crosswalks and the double escalators.

As far as stores go, I see Holland Jewelers, Johnson & Murphy shoes and Regal Shoes.  Do you spot any other stores that you recognize?  What, for instance, is the store next to Holland?  Or the store that has rainbow colors to the right of Johnson & Murphy?  If you can help with any names, it would be appreciated.

Many thanks to Mr. Wilson, author of the soon-to-be published Six Flags Great America, for these great photos.  We are fortunate he picked up a photography hobby at the same time he was making Big Macs and french fries!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

SPRINGTIME ON THE FARM

April 15, 2017

The Volkening Heritage Farm at the Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg invites you to participate in an introduction to  life  on an 1880s working farm in the springtime.

This family event features such activities as plowing, blacksmithing, laundering, gardening and butter churning.  Family members will be able to participate in many other activities such as handcrafts, games and hayrides.  Refreshments will be available.  Admission is $4 per person and $16 per family.  Children 3 and under are free.

April 23, 2017   12:00 – 4:00
Spring Valley Nature Center
1111 E. Schaumburg Road
Schaumburg, IL

TAKE A TOUR OF GREVE CEMETERY

April 15, 2017

On Sunday, April 30, 2017 the Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission will conduct guided group tours of the Greve Cemetery on Abbey Wood Drive in Hoffman Estates.

Groups will be shown the interrelated Greve, Meyer, Ottman and Sunderlage pioneer families buried at the cemetery which is also known as Wildcat Grove Cemetery or Evangelical and Reformed Cemetery.

The event is free but reservations are required.  Tours will start at 1:00, weather permitting.  Call 847-781-2606  for reservations after Monday, April 14.

Tours are also available for small groups by appointment at other times.

THE TRADEWINDS SHOPPING CENTER OF HANOVER PARK

April 9, 2017

The year 1968 was a big one for Hanover Park.  Anne Fox School opened.  A new fire station on Maple Street opened.  And, commercially speaking, the village’s largest business venture opened as the Tradewinds Shopping Center.

In 1967 3H Building Corporation purchased the Melvin Lichthardt farm that stood at the northeast corner of Irving Park and Barrington Roads.  [From Camelot to Metropolis, Ralph Feeley, 1976]  Development began shortly thereafter, and in 1968 the $3.5 million,  200,000 square foot shopping center opened.  [Chain Store Age]

It wasn’t until 1969 that Dominick’s and Zayre, the two large anchors, opened.  Zayre opened October 8 in 80,000 square feet while Dominicks, with Bob Johnson as the manager, opened December 13 in a 30,000 square foot store that eventually expanded to 65,000 square feet.

The ad for Dominicks described it as “a truly modern and beautiful food store that was created and designed to make shopping an adventure, a pleasurable experience, the last word in exceptional convenience.”  Given away that day were 40 bushels of groceries, gifts, balloons, piggy banks, and aprons and nylons for the ladies.

The shopping center really came into its own on July 6, 1973 (per commenter Dan, below) when the Tradewinds Cinema I and II opened as twin theaters. During those intervening years between 1968 and 1973, the shopping center had boomed with the following stores:

  • Walgreens
  • Peter Pan Cleaners
  • Hanover Park Interior Lighting
  • Hanover Fabrics (November 1970)
  • Lincoln Realty
  • Tri-Village Realty

Outbuildings in the shopping center included the First State Bank & Trust Company of Hanover Park and, more popularly, the St. George and The Dragon restaurant.  This was the third restaurant in the old English-themed chain that featured pickles and peanuts at every table.

The shopping center eventually included the Hanover Park branch of the Schaumburg Township District Library, Ames and later Value City Furniture that took over the Zayre space, Rahl Jewelers, Hallmark and Radio Shack.

Unfortunately, during the first decade of the 2000’s the shopping center began to decline.  Dominick’s pulled out sometime between 2002 and 2005.  The theaters also closed during this time period.  Then, in a double whammy in 2006, the library moved to its new branch on Irving Park Road and Menards purchased the entire shopping center property for about $9 million in preparation for their new store that stands there today.

This perpetually busy corner, with the Tradewinds Shopping Center as its anchor, was a go-to spot for anyone living in Hanover Park for many years.  Many stores came and went over the years besides those listed above.  Can you help complete the list?  Send in your comments or email me at the address below and I’ll add them as they come in.  Thanking you in advance for your inclusions!

Businesses in the Tradewinds Shopping Center:

  • Allied Electronics
  • Ames
  • Blockbuster Video in the outlot on the corner
  • B. Dalton bookstore in the Library location before the library
  • Collin’s Fireplace and Patio
  • Corky’s lunch counter in the Walgreens
  • Dominick’s
  • First State Bank & Trust Company of Hanover Park
  • Full House (formerly St. George and The Dragon)
  • Hair Cuttery
  • Hallmark
  • Hanover Fabrics
  • Hanover Park Interior Lighting
  • Hit or Miss
  • Just Jeans
  • Leslie’s Pool Supplies
  • Lincoln Realty
  • Peter Pan Cleaners
  • Rahl Jewelers
  • Rent-A-Center
  • St. George and The Dragon
  • Star Cleaners
  • Swanson’s Crafts and Hobbies (Jack Swanson, proprietor)
  • Three Flags Restaurant
  • Toni’s Conversation Clothes
  • Tri-Village Realty
  • Value City Furniture
  • Walgreens
  • Zayre

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

[The photos were taken by the library prior to the Hanover Park branch moving into the shopping center in 1993.]

SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY OPEN HOUSE

April 2, 2017

Schaumburg Center schoolThe Schaumburg Township Historical Society will sponsor an open house of the Schaumburg Center School on Sunday, April 9, 2017.  The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The schoolhouse is located on the St. Peter Lutheran Church property.

Constructed in 1872–and first called Sarah’s Grove School, it is believed to have been the first of five public schools in Schaumburg Township. It was later renamed Schween’s Grove School and called Schaumburg Centre Public School until 1954. For 82 years, the building served as a one-room schoolhouse, and was the last active one room schoolhouse in District 54.

With the widening of Schaumburg Road, the building was saved from demolition and temporarily placed on the grounds of the Town Square Shopping Center in 1979. It was permanently relocated to the St. Peter Lutheran Church property in September, 1981. It has been fully restored as a museum and is under the auspices of the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.

THE FIRST HOFFMAN ESTATES VILLAGE HALL

April 2, 2017

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The Gieseke/Hammerstein Farmhouse, now the Children’s Advocacy Center on Illinois Blvd., built circa 1860, is perhaps the most historic building in our village.

The 165 acre farm had been purchased from the Giesekes in 1944, by Arthur Hammerstein and wife Dorothy Dolton [in the photos below.]  They chose architect Thomas McCaughey to remodel and add on to the existing farmhouse.  It became a luxurious 11 room country home and several barns and out buildings were added for the Black Angus cattle that Mrs. Hammerstein raised along with pigs and chickens. 

F & S Construction purchased the Hammerstein farm in the mid 50s for development of the village with the promise that the house and barns on the remaining 8 acres would be turned over to the village.  Ownership of the farmhouse began in November of 1959 when F & S Construction Company turned over the keys to the newly formed government of Hoffman Estates.

A fire had burned the north end of the 11 room residence in 1959.  Converting the farmhouse would be a daunting task for the newly formed municipal building and grounds committee.  Mayor Ed Pinger chose trustees Roy Jenkins and Jim Gannon for his newly formed committee.  They would have an insurance settlement of $34,000 to get them started with their work.

The 11 room Hammerstein farmhouse would have to be redesigned to accommodate offices for clerk, police magistrate and council rooms on the first floor. Builiding, zoning and utilities offices would be on the second floor.  There was solid oak flooring throughout the house and two fireplaces in the living area and upstairs bedroom.  The fireplace on the first floor would remain in place. So much needed to be torn out and reconfigured for the newly formed government.

The north end of the farmhouse that had been damaged by fire was remodeled to become the police department.   Lack of a jail required prisoners be taken to other nearby towns and villages which took time and money.  A new lock up facility would be welcome.  It was planned for the basement area under the police department. The basement would also be used for storage

Reglazing windows, replacing a window with a door, tearing down walls, plastering and painting, replacement of much of the electric wiring were on the list of the work to be done.

The farmhouse and barns had been used as sale offices for F & S Construction, Hoffman Estates Homeowners Association’s site for meetings, dances and kindergarten classes and the volunteer fire department headquarters.  After having been remodeled and renovated for the new Village of Hoffman Estates, it continued to serve as our village hall, police department and public works garage.

Everything important to our village began in this now 156 year old farmhouse.

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

SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS: DISTRICT 52

March 26, 2017

The District 52 School was located on the west side of Plum Grove  Road and south of the Jane Addams toll road.  This school was referred to as the Maple Hill School or the Kublank School.  It was located on farmland once owned by H. P. Williams and later by Henry Freise.

[In this USGS topographical map from 1935, you can see School No. 52 to the left, in the middle.  It is just north of Golf Road.] 

Since the Kublank farm was nearby, Rose Kublank taught at this school for nine years.  Was she the first person from Schaumburg Township to teach in a Schaumburg school?  [This photo of Rose is courtesy of  the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.]

Norman Freise [who was part of the German farming contingent] recounted his mother’s concern about his weakness in speaking and understanding English.  When he was five years old, she sent him off through the field to the English school (Maple Hill.)  He spent the year learning English with several of his cousins.  Was his mother’s concern influenced by World War I?

The next school year when he was six years old, Norman attended St. Peter East District School where they did their morning lessons in German and afternoon lessons in English.  Norman’s mother was pleased that he had a solid foundation of the English language.

Since this school was surrounded by German Lutheran families, it struggled to keep the attendance numbers high enough to warrant keeping the school open.  When the school was closed around the mid-1930s, the children in the attendance area were sent to the District 54 Schaumburg Center School.  The District 52 school deteriorated from lack of maintenance when the school was closed.

[It was still usable in 1952 though, when a legal notice was published in the May 30 issue of the Daily Herald, notifying the locals that an election would be held “in the Maple Hill School located on old Plum Grove Road, north of its intersection with Golf Road in Schaumburg Township, Cook County, Illinois, for the purpose of electing three school directors for the newly reestablished district known as Common School District Number 52, Cook County, Illinois.”  This was in preparation for the future consolidation that occurred later in the year.]

Given that it was located on Plum Grove Road which ended at Wiley Road, it was vulnerable to vandalism.  In 1962 the school was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin.  This is the only Schaumburg Township one-room school that was razed by fire.  It is unknown if the school equipment burned in the fire or if desks, books and piano were removed after the school closed its doors.

The text for this blog posting is an excerpt from Schaumburg of My Ancestors by LaVonne Thies Presley, published in 2012.  The book is an in-depth look at Schaumburg Township around the turn of the nineteenth century.  

Her particular focus was the farm off of Meacham Road where her father grew up.  However, LaVonne also took the opportunity in the text to create a detailed examination of the formation of the public one-room schools of Schaumburg Township.  In the upcoming months a posting will be shared on each of those five schools.  But, first, an introduction to the formation of Schaumburg Township public schools

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org