A local friend and blogger wrote a really nice history of one of the local malls. Worth reading even if you’re not from Peoria. I’d recommend his blog (he got busy and doesn’t write as much as he used to but what he does write is always worth reading) to anyone interested in Peoria life and politics. A snippet:
It opened on August 16, 1973 — 40 years ago next month.
Northwoods Mall was Peoria’s first indoor shopping center, and it was a long time in the making. It was conceived by Carson, Pirie, Scott, & Co., longtime downtown department store anchor and successor to Block & Kuhl. In 1961, they acquired the land bounded by I-74, US-150 (War Memorial Dr.), and Sterling Avenue. Back then, this was the very northwest edge of town. There was no Westlake Shopping Center (that would come shortly after Northwoods was built), let alone Glen Hollow. The land and roads were rural.
Soon, Carson’s partnered with two other downtown stores to become equal partners in the venture: Montgomery Ward and JC Penney. In 1965, a coalition of downtown merchants and some merchants from Sheridan Village raised objections to the rezoning and filed suit against Carson’s. By 1970, the lawsuits were settled out of court, and in February 1970, the Peoria City Council gave final zoning approval.
Read the rest here.