Upon its completion in 1962, Randhurst was billed as the “largest shopping center under one roof in the world” and was the first fully enclosed shopping center in Chicagoland.
Commissioned by Victor Gruen, architect of the Randhurst Shopping Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois. The Arthur Kraft sculptures were installed in 1962 and dedicated on August 16, 1962.
Kraft was commissioned to create two sets of sculptures. A trio of penguins and a trio of walruses. The sculptures portray three stylized penguins with their flippers spread standing around facing inwards. The three stylized walruses were created in a fun circular pattern.
In the 1980’s the shopping center was remodeled, a huge food court installed, and many of the Gruen-era features removed.
In 2011, after a long period of decline, Randhurst underwent a $190 million overhaul that involved demolishing most of the original center and replacing it with an open-air street of shops and additional anchor tenants.
The penguin sculptures are very similar to Arthur Kraft’s other penguin sculptures that was originally created in 1960 for the Glendale Shopping Center in Indianapolis, Indiana and is still on display at the Glendale Town Center Library entrance. And they are also similar to Kansas City’s “Court of the Penguins” Fountain at the Country Club Plaza that were cast posthumously in 1979 and dedicated on October 10, 1979.
Today, two out of the three of Arthur Kraft’s Randhurst Shopping Center bronze penguins have been located in Skokie, Illinois. The sculptures are being used as lawn ornaments for a condominium.