Landmark Mall to Become Mixed-Use Village

Randhurst Mall was the first enclosed mall in the Chicago Area. Today, developers are replacing the mall with an open-air, mixed-use project with a traditional Main Street-style design.
August 29, 2010, 7am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Blair Kamin explains that this is in some ways an ironic turn of events, because the original architect of the Randhurst Mall was Victor Gruen, whose intention was to create a gathering place not unlike a traditional Main Street:

"Amid the burgeoning postwar sprawl of modest ranch houses and Cape Cods, Gruen reasoned that indoor malls could offer all the features of a traditional downtown, but in a way that better accommodated automobiles and let visitors shop in 72-degree comfort no matter what the weather."

The new design is an "urban-suburban hybrid that combines elements of so-called lifestyle centers, which cluster upscale stores in pedestrian-friendly settings, and so-called power centers, which feature big-box stores fronted by acres of parking lots."

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