Oak Park's Scoville Square

Located at the corner of Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue, this 72,000 square foot former Masonic Temple turned department store is now The Scoville Square Building.  Built between 1906 and 1909 by C. B. Scoville and deisgned by E. E. Roberts, it was intended to be a mixed use space between retail on the first floor and offices on the upper floors.   Although the building went through many changes over the years, it has now been restored and returned to its original intent.  It is a landmark in the Ridgeland- Oak Park Historic District.

Significant because there are few commercial buildings done in the Prairie- style school of architecture, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  Scoville Square’s Iron and glass storefronts are crowned by a strip of limestone before the building continues up in brick.  The fourth story was added in 1914.  Once you enter, there is a lobby with beautiful marble wainscoting, arched plaster ceilings with restored light fixtures, mammoth oak columns and a grand oak staircase with stained glass windows to see.

The Village of Oak Park bought the building in 1970 to save it from demolition and used public money to restore it.  Gilmore’s department store called this building home from 1930 to 1970.  Their addition of a black glass facade was removed in the renovation process.  

While at Scoville Square, you can check out some of the specialty shops and businesses that call it home.  There is, Olive and Well specializing in over 50 different olive oils and balsamic vinegars,  Filoni for artisan inspired clothing and accessories, and Winberrie’s Restaurant and Bar if you are feeling hungry or want that afternoon cocktail.  And that’s just a few. Today the building stands tall as an architectural gem of Oak Park.

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