In the beginning:
The earliest place to shop was Chicago’s downtown in the 1830’s. Our farmers brought their products by wagon downtown and purchased supplies for their farms.
About the same time small businesses began forming the centers of tiny communities. As the farm towns grew developers began to tear down the ramshackle wooden buildings and build “business blocks”.
The first planned “drive-in” shopping center in the midwest was built by Smith & Dawson at Elmhurst Road and Camp McDonald Road in 1937 according to The Encyclopedia of Chicago.
223-333 East Northwest Highway
In 1955 Comet Construction proposed the Palatine Plaza on Northwest Highway. The area was unincorporated at the time and therefore under the jurisdiction of Cook County. The proposal faced major opposition from neighbors, downtown merchants and the village board. But Cook County gave the go-ahead, the village annexed it and construction began late in 1960. There is a rumor never verified that a bulldozer sank in the mud in the parking lot and was never recovered. The Plaza opened in 1961 to great excitement.
Original occupants included Andies Candies, Byhring Jewelry which is still there, Clean City, J & S Men’s & Boys’ Wear, Jupiter Cleaners, S. S. Kresge where Ace Hardware is now, Kroger Foods, Mode O’Day Frocks, National Food Store, Palatine Currency Exchange, Pankau Drugs, Powder Puff Salon, R & S Shoes, Sherwin-Williams which is still there, Montgomery Ward Catalog Store and Western Tire Auto Store.
A 1962 promotion had a helicopter dropping 2,000 ping pong balls on the crowd. Palatine Ace Hardware opened in 1972. Hobby Lobby opened in 1999. There were many traffic accidents as vehicles tried to exit the plaza until a traffic light was installed at First Bank Drive in the 1980’s.
Winston Park Plaza
Northeast corner Rohlwing Road and Northwest Highway
This project was announced in 1958.
Pinehurst Shopping Center
1700-1711 North Rand Road
This shopping center was under construction in 1963.
Fleetwood Shopping Center
325-407 North Northwest Highway
This business-apartment project was proposed by Fleetwood Builders in 1963.
In 1965 village officials began studying the possibility of building a huge mall between Brockway and Bothwell Streets along the lines of a similar one in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The idea was abandoned five years later.
Northeast corner Northwest Highway and Rohlwing Road
Winston Park-Northwest Corp. planned this plaza in 1966.
40-48 East Palatine Road
Peter and Leo Herbst received approval to build this plaza in 1968.
The Gates of Deer Grove
Southeast corner Dundee Road and Smith Street
Salvatore DiMucci proposed this shopping center in 1968. It was approved by Cook County over the objections of the Village of Palatine. The original name was English Valley.
40-60 West Palatine Road
Kenroy Realtors and Aribert Wild proposed this shopping center in 1967 and it opened in 1968.
Countryside Mall Shopping Center
1200 West Northwest Highway
Palatine developer Lou Draper Jr. proposed this shopping center and apartment complex in 1969. Cook County approved it in 1970. First occupant was Treasure Island food store.
Palatine Commuter Plaza
217-249 West Colfax Street
This plaza was proposed by Carl L. Gardner & Associates in 1958. It was originally known as Palatine Transportation Center. Downtown merchants fought the proposal which involved tearing down the railroad station at Brockway Street. After nine years of discussion Lou Draper Jr. submitted new plans. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad agreed to the plans, federal funds were secured and construction began in 1970. Collectors found hundreds of old bottles at the construction site. Early tenants included All Continents Imports, Haskana Institute of Hair Design, Palatine House and RadioShack. The plaza was torn down in 2000 and Durty Nellie’s built their new venue on the site in 2003.
315-345 West Northwest Highway
Toga Corporation opened this shopping center in the fall of 1970.
Eurofresh Plaza Shopping Center
Northwest corner Northwest Highway and Smith Street
This shopping center was originally known as Eagle Plaza. It was proposed by Eagle Food Stores and Robert Fitzpatrick in 1970.
537-615 North Hicks Road
W. L. Lee & Company sought to annex the land for commercial and residential development in 1962. Neighbors objected at first but soon warmed up to the idea. The proposal languished for years until Chicago developer Jack Jacobs & Company built it in 1972. The first tenants included Kmart, National Food Store and Walgreen Drug Store. National Food Store was succeeded by Sunshine Foods which lasted but a short time. Sears Essentials took over from Kmart in 2005. The mall was demolished in 2010 and replaced by the Palatine Police Department.
1-47 East Northwest Highway and 500 North Benton Street
This was originally known as Bank of Palatine Plaza. The Quest Academy building formerly housed the Palatine Public Library. Construction began in 1973.
Prairie Brook Center
Rand Road and Williams Drive
This shopping center was built in 1978.
Rand and Dundee Shopping Center
1590 North Rand Road
This shopping center was open in 1980 or earlier.
Northwest Shopping Center
Southeast corner Hicks Road and Dundee Road
This shopping center was open in 1981 or earlier. In 1980 the Rose Show Lounge featured male strippers attracting a female audience and notoriety for a short period of time.
Slade Street Station
117 West Slade Street
The old Slade Street Fire Station was built in 1942 on the site of an old village hall. The fire department moved out in 1981 and the building became a mini-shopping mall in 1984.
Willow Creek Commons
Rohlwing Road north of Northwest Highway
This shopping center was open in 1984 or earlier.
Northwest corner Northwest Highway and Smith Street
The Village of Palatine discussed Kimball Hill Development’s proposal to build a shopping center with townhouses and apartments in 1985.
Northwest corner Dundee Road and Baldwin Road
This plaza was open in 1986 or earlier.
Northeast corner Northwest Highway and Quentin Road
This shopping center was open in 1987 or earlier. Radio Club Farm restaurant, built in 1946, became Uncle Andy’s Cow Palace in 1964.
Park Place Shopping Center
Southwest corner Dundee Road and Rand Road
This shopping center was built in 1987 or earlier.
1512 Algonquin Road
This plaza was open in 1992 or earlier.
1286 East Dundee Road
This plaza was built in 1995 or earlier.
Deer Grove Centre
605-825 East Dundee Road
This shopping center was proposed in 1995. An early occupant was Factory Card Outlet.