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Old Chicago - Bolingbrook, Illinois


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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2010, 11:54:18 pm »




When it was full there were all sorts of stores in Old Chicago from a Hallmark Cards shop to other various stores.  Most of the stores were specialty shops with a few chain stores like Fayva Shoes.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2010, 11:54:45 pm »




The Old Chicago Shopping Mall was sectioned off into different streets like this area which was the Water Street Market.   
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2010, 11:55:35 pm »



This is the Biergarten Restaurant.  It was a fantastic place to eat and if you got one of the good tables you could look out over the Old Chicago Fairgrounds.

I have many fond memories of eating here.  My family would go every once in a while and one year for our T-Ball end of the season party was held here.

If you ever watched the Brian DePalma movie "The Fury" this is the restaurant where the Paratrooper gets flung through.  To see that bit from the movie check out my Old Chicago Videos page.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2010, 11:56:21 pm »



Old Chicago went at great lengths to give the mall a nice atmosphere including getting replica streetlights of the ones that Chicago had at the turn of the century.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2010, 11:57:22 pm »




Here's a photo of one of the shops that was in Old Chicago.  Yes it's a head shop filled with bong's, hookah's, pipes and other stuff that's supposed to be used for tobacco but let's be real here this stuff was used to smoke weed.  Do you know how I know this?  Well one of the gentlemen kneeling down and looking into the cabinet emailed me.  He was quite into pot back then but he turned out ok as he is now an accountant.

The shopping center part of Old Chicago was nice but looking back I wonder if it was not a huge mistake not to have any anchor stores like a Sears to bring in more people.  It was like they expected the amusement park to bring in the people to keep the mall going instead of visa versa like the wildly successful Mall of America or West Edmonton Malls who took the concept of Old Chicago and corrected this mistake.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2010, 12:00:14 am »

Old Chicago
Bolingbrook, Illinois
The Old Chicago Fairgrounds



The entrance to the Old Chicago Fairgrounds like Old Chicago was grand itself.  After passing through streets of the mall you wound your way around to the back of the building where it all opened up into this majestic vista.  From there you had to walk down Old Chicago's circular ramps down into the Fairgrounds that sat a story below the mall level.

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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2010, 12:01:20 am »



The Chicago Loop was the Old Chicago Fairground's star attraction.  Back in 1975 a rollercoaster indoors was a big thing and no one had ever seen one that looped as well.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2010, 12:02:16 am »



The Chicago Loop was the second "Corkscrew" production model coaster that was made by Arrow Dynamics.  It was seventy feet tall and was 1250 feet long.

An amusing story about the Chicago Loop was that Marriott's wanted to use the name "Chicago Loop" for a coaster that they had in the plans for their under construction Great America park up in Gurnee.  Old Chicago beat them to the punch.  Great America's coaster was eventually named the Turn of the Century and later transformed into the Demon when they added two more loops to the ride.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2010, 12:02:49 am »



The Chicago was the second modern looping rollercoaster and the first one east of the Mississippi.  No one in the area had ever seen anything like it and it really made quite an impression especially since it looped right over the midway.

With Old Chicago's limited space everything was right next to each other and in this later photo you can see the Toboggan coaster to the right.  Toboggans were made by Chance Rides and you used to find them at traveling fairs a lot back in the 1970's.  The lift is straight up in the middle of the tube.  When you got to the top you spiraled down before hitting a few dips at the end. 
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2010, 12:03:26 am »



The sign for this booth reads "New Silver Satellites $1.50" so my guess is that this booth sold Mylar balloons which were kind of new back then.  To the left is the Old Chicago and to the right is the queue for the Old Chicago Log Race.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2010, 12:04:16 am »




The Old Chicago Log Race was the other big attraction at the Old Chicago Fairgrounds.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2010, 12:04:49 am »



The Log Race was a log flume also made by Arrow Dynamics.  It featured a twisty dark tunnel and a thirty five foot lift and drop at the end of the ride.   
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2010, 12:05:33 am »



These days log flumes are pretty commonplace but the Log Race was really something to get excited about back then.  Plus it started out with a dark tunnel which I'm certain quite a few couples used as a "tunnel of love" in order to grab a few kisses.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2010, 12:08:23 am »



Here's the Log Race after splashing down into the lake at the end of the ride.  You really didn't get too wet as in air conditioned Old Chicago it didn't get scorching hot like it can get outside during Chicago summers.
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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2010, 12:09:00 am »



Here's the Log Race after splashing down into the lake at the end of the ride.  You really didn't get too wet as in air conditioned Old Chicago it didn't get scorching hot like it can get outside during Chicago summers.
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