South Side Mall Has Underground History | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Eight Forty-Eight

South Side Mall Has Underground History

A mall can be a lot of things—a retail center, a teen hangout, a service center, a smorgasbord. But how often is it part of an old wartime factory? You can find just such a shopping center on Chicago's southwest side, not too far from Midway Airport. In fact, Ford City Mall gets its name from one of the companies that once manufactured airplane engines there. And below the Penney's and Carson's and Old Navy there are vast tunnels where vestiges of the old days remain. John Kudia's novel Kilo-Quad traverses a fictionalized history of Ford City, which by the way still includes a Tootsie Roll factory. And Frank Werner is chief engineer for the complex. They recently led us on a tour of the concrete-walled tunnels.


Music Button: Otis Redding, "I Can't Turn You Loose", from the CD The Very Best of Otis Redding, (Elektra)

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X