Marshall Field building on the corner of Lake and Harlem. | File

It is one of the most striking additions to the landscape of downtown Oak Park this year. The iconic former Marshall Field’s building at Lake and Harlem is fully sheathed in blue cloth attached to sidewalk to roof scaffolding.

What’s going on back there? Will there be a grand unveiling?

Not so much. The building — which younger residents may refer to as Chernin’s Shoe Express or Borders or that really empty storefront – is getting routine exterior maintenance, said John Lynch,  executive director of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.

Lynch confirmed that maintenance work was happening at the historic building, but only externally.

“To my knowledge the maintenance work does not include any build out activity for new ground floor or lower-level tenants,” he told Wednesday Journal.

As for whether any new tenants will occupy the open spaces on the ground floor, Lynch had no major updates.

“The building remains well leased above the ground floor and we continue to work with ownership to identify uses for the ground and lower levels but there’s nothing new to report on that at this time.”

Join the discussion on social media!