Located in metropolitan Chicago in the northern suburb of Skokie, Illinois, Westfield Old Orchard, formerly Old Orchard Shopping Center, is the third largest mall in Illinois.
Old Orchard Shopping Center first opened in 1956, with Marshall Field's and The Fair Department Store. The mall was a response to post-World War II suburban expansion. Developer Philip Morris Klutznick commissioned Loebl Schlossman and Bennett to design Old Orchard Shopping Center with easy access to the new Edens Expressway.
The architect's original design treated created Old Orchard Shopping Center as a community with a series of walkways that turned storefronts inward rather than facing the parking areas. The plan encouraged shoppers to stroll along a path and treat shopping as a social event. Many merchants wanted to be near Marshall Field's, so the anchor was placed in the center of the site.
Anchored by: Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom, Westfield Old Orchard recently underwent a $50 million expansion and reconfiguring, reopening in late 2007.
Saks Fifth Avenue opened a store at Westfield Old Orchard in 1959. Montgomery Ward opened a store at the center as an anchor in 1964.
Saks Fifth Avenue expanded its store in 1978. Lord & Taylor opened a store at Old Orchard in 1979. In 1991 Nordstrom announced plans to open at Old Orchard. This was its second Chicago location.
In addition to the 200,000 square foot Nordstrom, Old Orchard also expanded the mall by 100,000 square feet as part of a $200 million expansion, adding 62 stores more stores. Old Orchard also announced plans to bring in a fifth tenant: Bloomingdales. In 1993, other tenants also underwent renovations. This included: Crate & Barrel and The Limited. Lord & Taylor relocated and expanded its store.
The expansion, redevelopment was completed in 1995. Old Orchard Shopping Center was completely transformed. A major portion of the remerchandising was the addition of a Nordstrom department store in 1994 and Bloomingdale's in September 1995. A four-storey parking ramp. A movie theatre was built. I
Old Orchard Shopping Center did not follow the trend of the time to become enclosed shopping. The mall remained open-air. The expansion brought the total square footage to 1.8 million from the previous 1.1 million.
In 2002, The Westfield Group acquired Old Orchard Shopping Center and renamed it Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard, dropping the Shoppingtown name in June 2005. In July 2005, Saks Fifth Avenue closed its store. Instead of a massive expansion and reconfiguration, Westfield began a more scaled-down $60 million project in July 2006. The former Saks store was demolished. The addition opened late in 2007.
In 2009, the Chicago Transit Authority publicly announced the possibility of extending the Yellow Line (CTA) to include a stop at Old Orchard. No announcements have been made
regarding the proposed Old Orchard station plans.
Today, Old Orchard is has more than 170 stores and restaurants.