The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Haunting Photos Of A Mega Mall's Final Days

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 22, 2016 3:24PM

Developers plan to demolish the Logan Square Mega Mall in mid-June, and as someone who walks by this building at least twice a day, I'm sad to see it go. Covered in a skin of ever-evolving graffiti and teeming with bunnies, for some reason, it's one of the few remaining buildings keeping Logan Square approachable as upscale mezcal bars and burger joints that make their own salt crop up (deliciously) on every corner.

Located just north of the elevated Blue Line tracks, between Logan Square and California, the Mega Mall was once a flea market-slash-used goods emporium. Its Yelp page, which is still up, is brimming with extremely evocative comments. "I actually think it's awesome that I can buy Hanes undershirts, socks and undies here for WAY less than Target or Wal-Mart," wrote one user. "This place is so bad it's good. Or, is it so good it's bad??" wrote another.

The building's outlook turned bleak in 2014, when it was put up for sale and bought by development company Terraco. (They're the ones who plan to demolish it, and replace it with a multi-use complex called Logan's Crossing.) In spring of 2015, my friend went in the Mega Mall and texted me that it was "so creepy omg." There were only two shops, he said, in the entire cavernous space. Both of them sold jewelry, he reported.

Sometime within the past year, the Mega Mall closed for good. The decision came after a nighttime break-in, a spokesperson for Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) told me Thursday. It remains a community hub, though. On weekends, trucks pull up and sell (very good) Mexican food from tents in the southeast side parking lot. Sometimes, I see graffiti artists repainting the exterior walls, blasting music from boomboxes.

We sent photographer Matt Tuteur to capture the building in all its graffitied, haunted, glory before it's gone for good. Check out his gallery above.