The Des Plaines oasis pavilion on the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) is slowly becoming a mirage.
Illinois tollway crews recently started removing the roof of the structure, which must be cleared to make way for two expansion projects.
The 7-Eleven convenience stores and gas stations will remain open during construction.
The most intricate part of the project involves taking down the pavilion's glass walls and support beams over I-90.
The windows are expected to come down in August, tollway spokesman Dan Rozek said. The pavilion will be shrouded in a thick, mesh curtain wall intended to catch debris from landing on the Jane Addams.
The glass will be removed from the inside of the structure. On I-90, temporary overnight lane closures will be needed for the removal of the pavilion windows, Rozek added.
Parking lots at the oasis will stay open during the project, but capacity will be somewhat reduced. The demolition is scheduled to finish up this fall.
The last part of the project involves parking lot improvements and landscaping and should be complete by the end of the year.
The entire project will cost $4.1 million.
The demolition is necessary to make room for widening I-90 from three to four lanes in each direction as well as building a western access road around O'Hare International Airport.
The gas stations and 7-Eleven shops will remain until the western bypass' north section is finished in 11 years or so.
The oasis pavilion was a destination point for suburbanites in its heyday. It opened in 1959 and featured a popular, white-linen Fred Harvey restaurant.