bluesbrothers

Pay your final respects to Dixie Square Mall:

Bulldozers soon may finish what Jake and Elwood started more than 30 years ago: the destruction of the Dixie Square Mall.

The mall has been vacant since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd raced through it with police cars in hot pursuit, scattering extras and laying waste to much of the 600,000 square feet of retail space in an iconic chase scene from the 1980 film "The Blues Brothers."

In the decades since, vandals and the elements nearly finished the job, while officials in south suburban Harvey have tried -- at least a dozen times -- to find someone to redevelop a site that has become both the city's bleakest eyesore and most famous landmark.

The zombified property slouches in the middle of nearly 60 acres of craggy asphalt near the intersection of 153rd Street and Dixie Highway, with trees two stories high poking through holes in the roof.

This month, funded by federal money promised more than a year ago during a campaign stop by Gov. Pat Quinn, a demolition contractor has permits in hand and Dixie Square Mall is at long last coming down, city spokeswoman Sandra Alvarado said.

Demolition contractors pulled permits to begin work Wednesday, said Alvarado. The work will be unspectacular at first, with crews working inside for several months to pull out asbestos and other hazardous materials before the remaining structures come down. What comes next for the land remains to be seen, Alvarado said.

"Right now our primary focus is to get Dixie Square Mall down," she said. "We'll look at redevelopment of the site (afterward)." [Chicago Tribune]

Thankfully they can't take away Lower Wacker Drive, where the chase eventually ends up. A clip of the scene can be found below..

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The Blues Brothers - Dixie Square Mall chase scene

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