Ford City Mall is a shopping mall located on the southwest side of Chicago in the West Lawn neighborhood on 76rd Street and Cicero Avenue.
Construction started in 1942. The purpose for construction was to build a defense plant. Approximately 17,000 construction workers were employed. This cause the southwest side of the city to become more populated as more people were moving there for work. By October, Building No. 1 was finished. Testing of aircraft engines to be used for the B29 bomber began. Throughout the winter, they continued building. By the spring of 1943, 10 buildings, made of steel, concrete and wood, had been constructed. The building covered approximately 6 million square feet. The largest building was Building No. 4. It covered 62 acres, and it was built out of reinforced concrete. The plant consisted of 7,000 miles of underground piping and 15 miles of cables and wires for water and power.
Originally, the building was a factory that manufactured bomber engines during World War II. It was later retrofitted for automobile production for Tucker Corporation and then Ford Motor Company. Once abandoned, developers cut into the building to separate a portion for a mall. The mall opened in 1965 as Ford City. The mall consists of two halves - a strip mall and enclosed mall. Sears anchors the strip-mall portion, which is connected to the main building by a tunnel called "The Connection". It utilizes the basement between the severed halves of the buildings directly below the parking lot. The Connection was originally called Peacock Alley from the late 60s through some time in the 1980s. Wieboldt's occupied the western-facing space until 1987 when Carson Pirie Scott moved in. The southern-facing space was last occupied by Montgomery Ward until that chain's bankruptcy. JCPenney occupies the eastern facing space.
Until February 2008, the mall was managed by General Growth Properties Inc. for a private investment company. The Mall is now managed by CBL & Associates and is planning to redevelop the mall, including the former Montgomery Ward.
Carson Pirie Scott (156,349 sq ft.)
JCPenney (182,624 sq ft.)
Marshalls (38,959 sq ft.)
Office Depot (20,796 sq ft.)
Sears (148,460 sq ft.)
#54B South Cicero
#379 Midway-Orland Square
#383 South Cicero
Orange Line Extension
Original plans for the Orange Line called for the terminus to be at Ford City. Due to lack of funding the line was truncated at Midway with a layout allowing for future expansion.The CTA recently undertook an Alternatives Analysis for the Orange Line extension to Ford City and determined that the project currently stands at an estimated $200 million. On August 12, 2009, the CTA approved the extension plans.