Sunday, September 03, 2006

An Unusual Plaza; Northampton, Massachusetts

You can see it right off I-91 on a stretch of retail a.k.a. King Street (US-5) going either direction. Until today, I decided to finally pull off the highway, do a U-turn, and access this pain-in-the-rear plaza and do some investigating.

Big Lots of Northampton caught red handed using red-colored former Ames shopping carts.

Before physically visiting this sorted site, I had known that the plaza was old-looking just by the few split-seconds of gawking off the highway. Today I might’ve confirmed that the oldest Big Y ever to exist is right here, in Northampton, Massachusetts, sharing it’s fate with a dozen other stores in the same lot, a higher than average percentage of dead ones. Not only does the seemingly brand-new Wal-Mart (presumably on the site of a long demolished Caldor) stick out as the newest development here since (maybe) the late 1970’s, sandwiched between a vacant old window-papered shoe store called “Wear it Well” and a Big Lots trapped in the disco-era (or possible fallout disco-era).

A exclamation-less older design of Big Lots of Northampton.

Some bizarre old fashion store, a dead Bickford's neighbor along with some other retro unmarked store.

On the otherside lies more troubledness with some rock-spattered husk most recently used by Big Y, and a empty red and white striped Bickford’s Restaurant. Just before leaving the plaza, I had to secure some shots of the rustic signage for Big Y…

RAINBOW RADAR UPDATE: Big Y was demolished in 2007 for new store now completed, plaza remodeled, "Wear it Well" still vacant. Nearby Walmart was once Massachusetts first Caldor.


Anonymous said...

"(presumably on the site of a long demolished Caldor) "

Yup! With foodmart right next door where big lots now is.

Down the street where stop and shop now stands used to be bradlee's.

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Some of my comrades on the Ames Fan Club have a picture of the now long-gone Caldor store. Thanks for the comfirmation, Nate.

LIbraryPunk said...

I used to go to that Wear it Well with my mom as a kid. The red striped building was an Abdows Bigboy. I lived down the street off of Jackson st. I live in CA now since '87 but oh the memories...

I also remember the A&P market, Caldor, Bradlees, Mountain Farms mall, Holyoke mall, Hampshire mall... Sheesh so much of my life was associated with these massive retail spaces!

Anonymous said...

Do you remember Flavorland? It was what is now a law office on the corner of Bridge st and King, across from D'angelos. I lived in Hadley as a child, and in the early 60's my mother didn't drive yet. We would walk the mile out to route 9 and take a bus to Northampton. I remember the highlight of the trip was going to Flavorland for one of their delicious hamburgers with a giant slice of onion on top of it.