Wednesday, September 20, 2006

History of Westfarms Mall

In lieu of the recent Macy’s changeover at my local hometown mall, The Westfarms Mall, I began thinking about the history of the many eras the mall and I have gone through. I began thinking about stores that used to be in the there within childhood memories and the expansion wing which never made the mall feel completely the same as the removal of the center court fountain in 2001. After doing some brief searching on anything I could find about the mall, I came across a page I must've missed upon recent browsing on fellow Blogger and mall enthusiast Keith Milford and his Malls of America website and found an incredible photo of the Westfarms Mall around it’s conception in the mid-1970’s. Has much changed? I surely remember that black "information" tower and the now hidden "Westfarms" emblem on it still at the mal albeit scattered all throughout inside and out.

If you'll note, see the angle this picture was taken (on the former second level, in front of the former Sage-Allen now Macy's Men's/Furniture) and spot the differences from then and now. See the beloved fountain behind where the old stage was; now a seating area. Thom McAnn (shoe store) where Build-a-Bear is now. A store named Vanguard is where one of the billion jewelry stores is at the mall. Two unknown stores are now filled by the double-sized Abercrombie & Fitch, while Susan Terry is now Bebe. The Lord & Taylor wing is completely nonexistant as it was built in the early 80's and the information tower has relocated to the Macy's side of the mall instead of inside the center court. While I remember those wooden-handle bars and red carpeting, the green floor tiles I do not, while the center court's I do, as they were replaced not too long ago. What you can't see in this photo is the movie theater this mall once had across from Hakky Shoe Repair, one of the mall's longest running active tenants today.

Update: You can see how Westfarms looks today compared to how it looked then by a postcard we received from dating back to the mid-1970s.

Page updated, links added: July 17, 2007.