|Address notes: South Bolingbrook Drive is Route 53. Bolingbrook was given its own ZIP code since the park existed. 60439 is the ZIP code previously associated with the area.|
|Old Chicago was a 500,000 square foot shopping complex and amusement park located on the southwest corner of Illinois Highway 53 and Interstate 55. The original developer was Robert Brindle and Old Chicago was later owned by IC Industries.
While the opening showed promise, Old Chicago's failure set in quickly. Intentionally, the mall lacked anchor stores to prevent Old Chicago from loosing control over their mall. This proved to keep many shoppers away.
The building itself became a cost burden as the concrete started to crack and problems with the fire sprinkler system led to large cost overruns.
Attendance was also crippled by several accidents and competition from Marriott's Great America opening in 1976.
In 1980 Old Chicago closed. For several years the owners, the city and new potential investors unsuccessfully debated over what to do with the facility. No solution could be found and the $20 million facility was torn down in 1986. Today the Arena Auto Auction occupies the area where Old Chicago once stood. "Old Chicago Drive" is all that remains as a reminder that the park was once there.
|In a March 17, 1980|