Dixie Square Mall
In late 1964, the city of Harvey incorporated 58 acres of land that made up the "Dixie Hi" golf course. By early 1965 ground was broken for Montgomery Wards, the first store at the Dixie Square Mall.

Dixie Square Mall was designed and built by William H. Metz & Associates, Inc..Total square footage was 780,567 feet and cost $25 million dollars.

Montgomery Wards was the first store to open in 1965. The rest of the mall opened in April of 1966 but many areas were still under construction, November 1966 was the "Official" grand opening.

Montgomery Wards and J.C. Penny's were the main anchors for the mall. Other well known stores included Jewel, Walgreen's, Fannie May, Baskin Robbins, Hallmark Cards, Hickory Farms, Singer Sewing Center, Wurlitzer, and Woolworth’s.

Turn-Style opened as a third anchor in 1970. This addition, started in 1969, added over 100,000 square feet to the mall.

The mall had it's fair share of misfortunes that lead to a downward spiral just several years after it opened. An elderly woman was killed by a hit and run driver in the parking lot. A security guard accidentally killed himself. Four male youths shot a woman to death in a failed robbery attempt. Another robbery, this time successful, left a man dead next to his truck. A 13 year old girl was lured from the mall by other young girls and killed. A world famous flag pole sitter fell to his death in the parking lot just shy of his world record.

There were also some odd happenings at the mall. Two men were busted in the parking lot for selling pornographic movies. There were also a few UFO sightings over the mall.

By summer 1978 the mall was down to just 20 tenants. The newest anchor, Turn-Style, a chain of stores owned by Jewel-Osco, closed it's doors. Jewel-Osco sold the chain, and most of the stores became Venture stores, however, the Dixie location never reopened. Also that year, J.C. Penney's closed it’s doors as well. For some reason the store was left stocked for a year until 1979 when it reopened for the "Dixie's Last Gasp" sale where everything was sold down to the fixtures.

Management decided to shut down the entire mall in November of 1978. After spending nearly 1 million dollars on mall security in 1977-1978, management could no longer protect shoppers from crime or tenants from theft. Jewel and Walgreens still operated their stores until the spring of 1979 because they had exterior entrances to their stores.

In July 1979, Hollywood set up shop inside the Dixie. Film director John Landis brought his "Blues Brothers" crew into the mall for filming. Stores were set up with false fronts and the Blues Mobile, being chased by several State Trooper squad cars, literally destroyed the mall. This by far made it one of the most famous car chases ever brought to the big screen.

In late 1979 the mall was donated to the Harvey-Dixmoor School District with the understanding that they pay the $800,000 in back taxes. It was used for two years while a new school was being built. After the new school was built, the mall was never used again.

Many developers and planners have come to the City of Harvey with plans to revive the mall. They range from the obvious to the absurd. Some of these ideas included a baseball stadium for the White Sox, an airport, a school, government offices, a transportation hub, a mausoleum and yes, even a shopping mall.

Over the last 30 years, Dixie Square has sat vacant, rapidly deteriorating due to vandalism and neglect. The mall has never been adequately secured, making it a popular destination for Urban Explorers.

Late in 2005, John Deneen, of a company called The Emerald Property Group, struck a deal to purchase the mall from it's long-time owner, the City of Harvey. Deneen repeatedly assured the residents of Harvey that the mall would be gone soon, and he was going to open a new "lifestyle center" in it's place.

In between lawsutis by the Illinois Attorney General's office for illegal asbestos removal at the mall, Deneen hired United Demolition to begin tearing down the mall in the spring of 2006.

United Demolition tore down the Montgomery Ward anchor store, as well as the former Woolworth's store before all work at the site came to a halt late in the summer of 2006. It turns out that Deneen owed United Demolition over $400,000 for work performed at the site. Then, United Demolition placed a mechanic's lien on the site.

In April of 2007, Deneen was arrested by Chicago Police for threatening the owner of United Demolition with multiple weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun, and a .22 caliber pistol. As of September 2007, those charges are still pending, and it appears that Deneen's involvement with Dixie Square is over. As a result, 80% of the mall still stands.

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