The Plaza: 50 Years of Retail History
In 1952, real estate developer Arthur Rubloff decided to change the way people went shopping. On parcels of land he acquired at the corner of 95th Street and Western Avenue in south suburban Evergreen Park, Rubloff built a shopping mall -- Evergreen Plaza Shopping Center -- assembling several stores anchored by two groceries. This enterprise would change the face of shopping by enabling consumers to drive up, park their cars and walk from store to store, purchasing everything from food to housewares to clothing for the whole family.
Within a few years the Evergreen Plaza Shopping Center made history again: Owners enclosed it, creating what has been touted as the first indoor shopping mall in Chicago and outlying suburbs. The two-level, 1.2 million square foot mall now features 120 stores anchored by Carson Pirie Scott & Co. and Office Depot.
Although shopping has changed a lot in the past five decades, this popular shopping center, now known as The Plaza, remains a leader in providing quality shopping and services. The owners of The Plaza still believe that innovation is the key component to the property's success. More than $8 million in major improvements have recently been made, updating The Plaza inside and out.
In 2006, the Campbell Avenue Gateway from 95th Street was designed to make it more accessible for shoppers. In 2007, the Gateway at 98th Street from Western Avenue will be renovated, giving this important entry an all-new, more welcoming appearance.
A substantial exterior renovation in 2003 entailed the demolition of the two-level parking deck on the west side of the mall. The deck was replaced with an eleven-acre parking area enhanced aesthetically with almost 300 trees. This fully landscaped and lighted, parking area accommodates about 1,300 cars. New bus stops and traffic lanes have increased customer convenience and safety. Two acres are available for retail and restaurant development.
Extensive remodeling created a handsome new main entrance into the shopping center from the parking lots. Entryways have an updated look as well as enhanced signage for stores. Wider sidewalks, new sitting areas and lovely new landscaping make the mall more welcoming to guests. The Campbell Avenue entrance from 95th Street was widened, landscaped and lighted to improve appearance and traffic.
The shopping center also has a whole new look from the corner of 95th Street and Western Avenue, featuring an Applebee's family restaurant and parking lot improvements that include ornamental metal fencing, lighting and landscaping.
Shoppers can count on the fact that some things won’t change. The Plaza maintains a 50 year tradition of customer “first” service. Savings and selection are always in style at The Plaza. Our customers enjoy choosing quality merchandise for the whole family at the prices they want to pay.
Seasonal promotions include visits with the Easter Bunny and Santa, as well as annual sidewalk sales. Family activities include exhibits at the Bronzeville Children's Museum, located on The Plaza's lower level, live musical entertainment in Center Square, and visits from special guests throughout the year. Dedicated Guest Services are available during all mall hours. Professional security personnel provide omnipresent services to stores and customers. Mobile, foot and bicycle patrols stay constantly connected to customers inside and outside of the mall.
The Plaza, 95th and Western Avenue, Evergreen Park, has upheld the position as a cornerstone of the community for fifty years. Today, The Plaza continues to offer a family-focused selection of merchandise with emphasis on fashion, quality and value.