Monday, June 23, 2008


I grew up in Racine , when i was a kid we had to go to Milwaukee or Ill. ti shop. then in 1981 the mall as locals call it opened I was in high school and Finley had a mall. i will do a sort of time line of this mall to give you a idea how things went the mall is still alive and Farlay well today though there has been a lot of changes and one anchor spot has had seven different signs on it through the years this is the story.
1. talk of mall first happened in 1970
2. Boston Store signs on as anchor
3. Economy tanks no mall for now
4. Mall is put back on table in late 70's
5. Ground broke in 1979
6. Mall to be named Racine Mall.
7. Surrounding towns object to name developer changes name to Regency Mall
8. Regency opens Aug 5 th 1981 with most inline stores plus Boston Store Bergner-Wise and Target
9. J.C.penney openes in sept. 1981 replacing downtown and Elmwood Plaza store in Racine as well as downtown Kenosha store
10. Sears opens in 1982
11. Bergner drops Wise name
12. P.A.Bergner co. buys Boston Store in 1985 sells Bergners to H.C.Prange Co.
13. 1992. Pranges is sold to Younkers - Boston Store is now part of carson pire scott
14. carsons buys Younkers and converts Younkers store to a Boston Store for Home
15. CLB buys regency Boston Store for home is closed
16 Talbets and Jos. A Bank open with outside doors a first for mall
17. Steve and Barrys opens in old bergner building mall remodled
18. space is created for new Linens and things store
19. Steve and Barrys moves to smaller spot in mall and repens spring 2008
20. Burlington Coat Factory will open in fall 2008 in ols Steve and Berrys space will use whole building
21. Linens and Things files bankruptcy and will close Regency store
this is
a quick history of the Mall as i remember it. hope that linens gets new filled fast will keep you all posted.


Steven Swain said...

I really like the Bergner-Weise store. Great design.

Matt said...

Any sites that focus on my homestate's retail history automatically get a bookmark on my favorites menu. Nice images you got here.

I post at several other retail boards as well, usually Labelscar (Matt from WI)

Just seeing the names of former chains brings back lots of memories of my childhood when my parents made their once-a-month or so trek to the malls around me (I'm from the Fond Du Lac area...been here my whole life so far). While I never got down to Regency Mall itself until 2005, and post-renovation, it didn't take much guesswork to envision in my mind, how the mall used to look. Amazingly enough, those color schemes are back in full force. The mall's old look, or at least it's color palette, are real close to that of the remodeled (circa 2003) East Towne Mall in Madison WI, which I always make a visit to when I'm in that area. If for no other reason, to take in that sort of environment.

Didn't know Bergner's attempted to stab into the WI market. Unfortunately Boston Store and Prange's had a stranglehold on the market....both VERY popluar stores, that they were, along with the famed Milwaukee division of Gimbel's (sp?). In saying that, I don't think corporate buyouts of the time would have mattered. They would have been gone anyhow sooner or later.

Left a comment on your Westgate Mall entry as well. Look for it.

RcktMan Rick said...

This is really awesome. Regency was THE place for my friends, my sister and my family and I while growing up in Kenosha. I've never seen so many great pictures of the CONSTRUCTION of the mall... and the changes that were made over the years. Overall it looks like the mall is relatively healthy-- which isn't saying much, especially the way malls are dying with such regularity these days. I'm glad to hear it's doing well-- just wish they could do something more useful with the old Bergner's store. I always loved that store- it had my favorite elevator and escalator layout. I'm sure that's been completely changed by now.

Thanks for the memories!!!

dumpstermcnuggets said...

Very fascinating entry and pics on Regency Mall! Weird I discovered your entry on Regency 6 months late, but better late than never to finally see one on this mall. (and partially since I'd kept hoping for some time to see Labelscar do one on Regency, but still hasn't) And I especially love the construction pics from its opening in the early 80s!

This mall interestingly reminds me of the small fact that both Harlem-Irving Plaza and Evergreen Plaza(in the Chicago area) both once had Walgreens attached inside their malls, and the interior and exterior design remind me of the design of certain past and current malls, such as(exterior) Saint Charles Mall in the western suburbs, and(interior, albeit this one lacks a 2nd floor in any of its dept. stores) Richmond Square Mall in Richmond, Indiana.

Looking forward to reading more mall entries on your blog! And btw, I post as Allan(and did occasionally in the past as Allan M.) on the Labelscar blog.

blueyesforash said...

My Aunt used to work at Prange's back in the 90's, and I have this memory of a puppet like anamatronic children's area in the store...does anyone else have a memory of this and or pictures? That would be awesome! I love your pictures <3

Jeffrey Barke said...

Hello John,

Do you remember the name of the software store that was in Regency Mall? It would have been there in the late-80s/early-90s and on one of the ends.


Jeffrey Barke said...

I may have answered my own question, but can anyone confirm that the software store in Regency Mall in the late-80s/early-90s was Software, Etc.?


Chef Ron Lock said...

You left a great legacy and memory of Racine history with your pics and knowledge of retail stores!

I wished you could have lived long enough to see the great things they are doing with the expansion of Racine retail and talk of bring big stores back to downtown.

Thank you again for leaving this with us before you left us in 2009!

Tim said...

I heard from a friend a couple of years back that Kenosha originally got offered the bid for Regency Mall but turned it down when Southport Plaza opened. Does anyone know if this is true? Has anyone ever heard this story?

Unknown said...

Does anyone remember the name and location of the steakhouse that was in regency mall in he early 1980's?

Joan Watson said...

Does anyone remember the name and location of the steakhouse that was in regency mall in he early 1980's?

Dennis Viau said...

The name of the steakhouse was York Steak House.... I'm a little fuzzy on the location but I think the front part of the mall and on the end where Boston Store was.

As for the software store, there was a Software Etc. and located at the end by Boston Store.

Hoping to find pics of the video arcade Aladdin's Castle that was in the mall. Or Camelot Music.

NAP said...

There was a Buddy Squirrel, a Fanny Farmer candy store, and another store that sold nuts and nut rolls. I can't remember the name of it for the life of me. Anybody remember?

Jacob Ayotte said...

Jeffrey Barke, You're correct, it was Software, etc.