Chicago Mall Cracks Down As Teen Curfew Begins On Friday

Chicago will begin cracking down on unsupervised teens hanging out at the city's Water Tower Place - the city's original "vertical mall" according to the Chicago Sun Times

A so-called "parental guidance required" policy will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, as trained public safety officers will ensure that anyone without a valid photo ID confirming they are at least 18 years old won't be allowed into the mall without a parent or other adult who is at least 21 years old, according to mall owner Brookfield Properties in a Thursday press release. 

"The program is intended to help provide a safe, peaceful experience at our shopping center. All are welcome at Water Tower Place and at any time," said Mitch Feldman, senior general manager of Water Tower Place. "We simply require that during certain weekend hours, families shop together and guests under 18 are accompanied by an adult."

The curfew was announced by the mall's general manager days after the latest in a series of violent incidents involving out-of-control young people committing acts of violence, theft and harassment on shoppers. 

After 4 p.m., trained public safety officers will be stationed at all Water Tower Place entrances to check IDs of anyone who appears to be “17 years old or younger” and distribute “optional” wristbands to those who present valid ID’s.

Security guards inside the mall will also card those who appear to be underage and are not wearing wristbands.

Valid ID’s will include: a state issued driver’s license or ID card, a military ID, a school ID card, or a passport. The identification must be tamper-proof and include a photograph and date of birth. -Chicago Sun Times

"For over 40 years, Water Tower Place has been a Michigan Avenue staple for Chicagoans and our millions of tourists," said Ald. Brian Hopkins on Thursday. "We are fully supportive of our community partner and commend their decision to enforce a (parental guidance required) Program. We believe this will help benefit the entire community."