BROOKFIELD SQUARE
West Bluemound Road / US 18 and South Moorland Road
Brookfield, Wisconsin

Planning for Milwaukee's first interior mall got underway in 1963, under the auspices of Cleveland's Jacobs, Visconsi & Jacobs firm (the predecessor of today's Richard E. Jacobs Group). They acquired a 141 acre plot, located 9.3 miles west of center city Milwaukee, and hired three architectural firms to design the prospective shopping facility; Cleveland's Peter S. Thomas & Associates, Chicago's Neil & Wennland, and the firm of Baxter, Hadnell, Donnely & Preston, of Cincinnati.

Ground was broken in June 1966. A single-level, fully-enclosed complex of fifty-six stores and services was built. There were three anchors; a 2-level (189,400 square foot), Milwaukee-based Boston Store, 2-level (201,400 square foot) J.C. Penney and 2-level (224,100 square foot) Sears.

Governor Warren P. Knowles (R) officiated at the grand opening of the mall's first operational tenant, The Boston Store, on August 17, 1967. Thirty-three inline stores were dedicated October 23. Sears followed, on October 25. J.C. Penney was among the last stores to open, with its formal dedication taking place January 18, 1968.

BROOKFIELD SQUARE, which encompassed over 1,000,000 leasable square feet, featured a 1-level (48,000 square foot), Milwaukee-based T.A. Chapman, 1-level (71,600 square foot) F.W. Woolworth and stores and services such as Walgreen Drug, Spencer Gifts and a Kohl's Foods supermarket. The General Cinema Corporation Brookfield Square Cinema showed its first feature November 15, 1967.

BROOKFIELD SQUARE mallways were landscaped with 100,000 dollars worth of tropical plants and trees. The Boston Store Court, on the north end of the complex, featured an upper level terrace restaurant. The Penney's Court, at the center of the center, had a falling glycerine ("Wonderfall") fountain. On the south end of the mallway, a huge, suspended impressionist sculpture hung over the Sears Court.

Commercial competitors of BROOKFIELD SQUARE included CAPITOL COURT (1956) {7.3 miles northeast, in Milwaukee}, MAYFAIR CENTER (1959) {3.6 miles northeast, in Wauwatosa} and SOUTHRIDGE MALL (1970) {7.5 miles southeast, in Greendale and Greenfield}.

The first physical expansion of BROOKFIELD SQUARE was completed in September 1992, when the Boston Store was enlarged into a 208,000 square foot operation. The closings of T.A. Chapman (1986), Brookfield Square Cinemas I & II (1989) and F.W. Woolworth (1994) provided spaces for several new inline stores.

Woolworth's area was rebuilt into a 15-bay Food Court. Work on the project commenced in June 1995 and was completed in September 1996. At the same time, the mall's interior was given a facelift.

In January 2001, BROOKFIELD SQUARE was sold to Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties. They announced a major renovation in 2003. In the plan, 248,000 square feet would be added in a new Southwest Wing. A 150,000 square foot, Davenport, Iowa-based Von Maur was mentioned as a possible anchor, with twenty-two inline stores, and a 3-level parking deck, included in the project. None of this came to fruition.

However, CBL did embark on a multi-phase remodeling in 2004. A 2-level (35,600 square foot) Barnes & Noble opened April 13, 2005. This was joined by Bravo! Cucina Italiana (in a portion of the old Chapman's spot) in June. Mallways and courts were updated and a new Main Entrance built. Moreover, the Food Court was redecorated, with a circular fireplace installed.

Five freestanding structures were built in the periphery of the mall. The first of these, a (22,500 square foot) The Fresh Market Gourmet Grocery, welcomed its first shoppers in March 2007. Next came Mitchell's Fish Market and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, which opened in the spring of 2007. A Claim Jumper restaurant served its first meal June 2, 2008 (it would eventually morph into Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant).

Two other stores were built in the northwest corner of the site. Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill and an Ethan Allen Design Center opened for business in September and December of 2008, respectively. The mall renovation was completed with the grand opening of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, in November 2010.

This was built in part of the old Kohl's Foods space and joined the mall's new east-facing Streetscape of upscale restaurants. The revitalized BROOKFIELD SQUARE now encompassed 1,135,400 leasable square feet and housed over one hundred and ten stores and services.

News of a future competitor surfaced in May 2011, causing CBL & Associates to plan further renovations at BROOKFIELD SQUARE. A lifestyle center, known as THE CORNERS OF BROOKFIELD, was envisaged for a site located 2.5 miles west of the mall (the first phase of THE CORNERS mixed-use project would open in April 2017).

The latest renovations at BROOKFIELD SQUARE would be completed in two phases. The first reconfigured the east-facing facade of Sears. 20,000 square feet of the anchor store was sectioned off and worked into a 39,000 square foot Streetscape addition, which contained five tenant spaces. The first stores opened in late 2015.

A second remodeling phase is adding 53,400 square feet of Streetscape retail to the east and north sides of the Boston Store. A multilevel parking garage is also being built on its west side. With the dedication of the project, possibly in late 2017, BROOKFIELD SQUARE will encompass approximately 1,223,000 leasable square feet and house over one hundred and twenty stores and services.

Sources:

The Milwaukee Journal
http://www.cblproperties.com (CBL & Associates Properties)
http://www.kainc.com (k a Architecture)
http://www.jsonline.com
http://www.allbusiness.com
www.bizjournals.com
www.elmgroupnow.com
"Brookfield Square" article on Wikipedia


FAIR USE OF BROOKFIELD SQUARE GRAPHICS AND IMAGES:

The graphics and renderings from The Milwaukee Journal illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are of lower resolution than the originals (copies made would be of inferior quality). The images are not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the images does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the images in any way. The images are being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and their use is not believed to detract from the original images in any way.