Meadowdale Shopping Center


Welcome to the Carpentersville Memories Meadowdale Shopping Center Page.  Our goal is to bring back some fun memories of growing up in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.  Please take your time and check out all of the Meadowdale Shopping Center images and files, they are sure to bring back many memories.


We bring back Memories you didn’t know you had

Did you spend any time at the Meadowdale Shopping Center?

Where did you buy your first pair of jeans or your first record album?  If you lived in the Carpentersville area it was probably a store in the Meadowdale Shopping Center like Wieboldt’s or Skippers.   

If you have any images of the shopping center to share please contact us.

The History of Meadowdale Shopping Center

On November 1, 1954, Leonard W. Besinger started construction on one of the largest shopping center developments in the entire United States at that time.

In December 1955 ground was broken for the 10 million dollar Meadowdale Shopping Center development. The grand opening of the first 14 stores in the shopping center was held on May 18, 1957. In October 1957 construction was underway for 40 additional stores. The first of these stores to open was Grant’s department store on October 17, 1957.

On November 1, 1958, a gala grand opening was held for the Wintergarden Arcade. This was a fabulous enclosed arcade that featured the Block & Kuhl department store, which later became the Carson Pirie Scott department store (through acquisition). Also enclosed in the arcade mall was an indoor ice skating rink, restaurant, snack bar and other stores.

In 1959 Wieboldt’s held their grand opening and the Meadowdale Shopping Center continued to grow and prosper. On November 19, 1963 a fire destroyed the mall area causing 3 million dollars in damage, destroyed 25 shops and the ice rink in the Wintergarden Arcade.

Rebuilding began immediately and one year later the mall re-opened on November 5, 1964. The ice rink did not return and Carson’s was replaced by Clark’s department store.

I remember so many things about the way the shopping center was in the 60’s and 70’s. Santa Claus in the little buildings in front of Wieboldt’s, shopping for school clothes at Clark’s and Cook’s, buying LPs at Skipper’s Music and 45s at Woolworth’s. Remember the hot dogs from Woolworth’s, Charlie the talking parrot at Grant’s, and walking through Wieboldt’s to get to Thresher Pool? The huge neon “Wieboldt’s of Meadowdale” sign on top of the water tower that was so bright, and let everyone know they were home after a long trip. What great times we had at the shopping center, the memories go on and on ….

With the addition of the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and the Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee, the competition became to much for the Meadowdale Shopping Center to compete with. The center is now less than half the size it was when constructed in the late 50’s.

Portions of the above taken from the book, The Master Builder Leonard W. Besinger, by Philip A. Aleo.

Please check out all of the great Meadowdale Shopping Center images and files from the past.

Click on the links below to view the articles and other files

Meadowdale Aerial View 1955

Meadowdale Merchants 1959

Meadowdale Executives 1959

Clark’s Fashion Show August 1968

Johnny Morris Signs Autographs at Clark’s

Easter Bunny at Clark’s April 1969

1969 Wieboldt’s Santa

Clark’s Monkee’s Album January 1967

Cook’s Grand Opening May 1971

1977 Meadowdale Store Directory

JFK Speech October 1960

1952 Meadowdale Shopping Center Proposal Brochure 32 pages.

1959 Back to School Ad

1967 Christmas Ad

Christmas Time 1968

December 1967 Mrs. Claus

December 1969 Wieboldt’s Santa and Window

1967 Joe Irwin Article

1969 Store Directory

Meadowdale 15 Years Later (1972)

1977 Store Directory

1979 Store Directory

Click on the link below to visit the Meadowdale Video Page

Meadowdale and Area Videos

Images and Articles from the Meadowdale Shopping Center

Pamala Pedersen

My cousin Karen L. Nelson and I grew up next door to each other on Tyler Drive in Meadowdale/C’ville from early 1960’s until the 1980’s.
Yesterday she gave me a bunch of old family letters and some very yellowed 1960’s newspaper clippings from a local paper which I have never seen before.
In this one my mom, Marie Pederson, and sister-in-law Madelyn Nelson were models for a Weiboldt’s summer fashion show at the Meadowdale shopping center,
May of 1965. All of our parents have passed already but gosh how I wish they were still around to reminisce about those days.

New Images and Articles from the Meadowdale Shopping Center 2021

1952 Shopping Center Proposal Brochure

Joe Irwin

Ads and Articles



Jeff Neis Photos

Gary Wells’ Motorcycle Jump

Lists of Stores Through the Years

Images of Some Shopping Center Stores


Wieboldt’s Christmas

Bozo and Friends at Meadowdale

Phil Aleo’s Books and the Meadowdale Shopping Center

Visit Phil Aleo’s Website to Order His Books


What People are Saying

“I love this place !”

Lets me relive some of my childhood every chance I get

Cathy D.

“Fabulous memories came flooding back”

So much to see and so many memories, this is an amazing web site “

Dan K.

“Another amazing experience”

Always something new every time I visit the site

Clyde L.

“Speechless, worth every penny”

Couldn’t believe all there was to see for such a small yearly subscription, and complete Yearbooks too !!”

Bob M.