Boston Post Road / US 1 and Interstate 95
Milford, Connecticut

Building began on the Nutmeg State's first shopping mall in November 1957. CONNECTICUT POST CENTER was developed by New York City's Sol Atlas and designed by Jesse James Hamblin. The open-air facility was constructed on a 75 acre parcel, located 6 miles southwest of downtown New Haven, in suburban Milford.

The site was adjacent to a newly-completed segment of the Connecticut Turnpike (Interstate 95). The 500,000 square foot complex, hailed as the largest between New York City and Boston, consisted of a single level of retail with a service basement beneath.

On September 14, 1960, the first stores in the 30 million dollar shopping venue opened for business. The grand opening commenced at 7 pm and extended into the night. It included fireworks, a parade, dancing, fashion shows, concerts and appearances by several dignitaries.

Fifty stores and services would eventually be housed in CONNECTICUT POST CENTER. These included County Hardware, Franklin-Simon, Kennedy's of New England, a W.T. Grant variety store, S.S. Kresge 5 & 10, Bradlees "suburban self-service department store" and Stop & Shop supermarket.

New York City-based Alexander's opened a 3-level (155,000 square foot) anchor store on August 21, 1962. This was the sixth unit in the chain and the first outside the New York City metropolitan area. The General Cinema Corporation Milford Cinema was built as a southwest parking lot outparcel. The original single-screen venue was officially dedicated April 2, 1965.

TRUMBULL SHOPPING PARK {5 miles west, in Trumbull} became the first retail competitor, in 1964. This was followed by CHAPEL SQUARE MALL, New Haven's downtown redevelopment shopping center, which was completed in 1967.

By the early 1970s, several charter tenants at CONNECTICUT POST CENTER had closed. The shopping hub now hosted stores such as Giftique, Lynn's Hallmark, Whelan Drug, Friendly Frost Appliances and a Hill's supermarket. The Post Mini-Mall, a mall within a mall, housed twelve stores and services.

A fire spread through the south end of the retail hub in May 1976. The area was rebuilt as a 2-level (86,000 square foot) Caldor discount mart. The 27th store in the Norwalk, Connecticut-based chain, it opened for business April 27, 1977.

The mallway of the complex was fitted with a SkyShield type of partial enclosure in the late 1970s. This afforded some protection from the elements, but did not provide for heating or air-conditioning of the space.

In 1981, Australia-based Westfield Holdings (now the Westfield Group) acquired the complex and renovated it into a fully-enclosed and climate-controlled structure. It was promoted as CONNECTICUT POST MALL, but the local populace continued to refer to it as "MILFORD MALL"). The facility encompassed approximately 800,000 leasable square feet.

Alexander's became the first of the original anchors to close, in 1988. This store re-opened as a J.C. Penney on August 7, 1991. At the same time, the shopping center was undergoing a third renovation and expansion, to the tune of 75 million dollars. A 2-level (150,000 square foot), Hartford-based G. Fox was built. It opened in 1991 and was rebranded, by Boston-based Filene's, February 1, 1993.

In the following year, the basement at CONNECTICUT POST MALL was refitted as a second retail concourse (Level 1). In addition, the Sky View Food Court was installed on a newly-constructed Level 3. The official name of the complex was changed to WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CONNECTICUT POST in November 1998. More expansions were to come.

The Stop & Shop supermarket moved to a freestanding location. Its store on the north end of the mall was razed, with a 2-level (178,000 square foot) Sears taking its place. It opened for business April 1, 2000.

Caldor had been shuttered May 15, 1999. The vacant store provided the impetus for a major redevelopment of the south end of the shopping center. A groundbreaking was held October 12, 2004. The abandoned Caldor, and some adjacent south end store spaces, were demolished.

In all, 480,000 square feet of new retail and entertainment area was constructed. New stores and services included a 1-level (125,000 square foot) Target, 2-level (84,000 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods, 9-bay Food Court, a state-of-the-art movie multiplex and two parking garages.

Target was dedicated March 1, 2006, with the Showcase Cinemas Cinema de Lux 14 showing its first features March 10th. At the same time, a third level (consisting of 75,000 square feet) was added to Filene's. The store, now encompassing 225,000 square feet, was rebranded by Macy's in September 2006.

Now officially known as WESTFIELD CONNECTICUT POST, the complex encompassed 1,334,000 leasable square feet and housed over one hundred and fifty stores and services. The Cinema de Lux 14 was rebranded as the Rave Motion Pictures Connecticut Post 14 in May 2010. In November of the same year, one of its auditoriums re-opened as an IMAX theater. In June 2013, the venue was rebranded under the Cinemark banner.

A consortium of San Antonio's USAA Real Estate, Dallas' Centennial Real Estate and San Francisco's Montgomery Street Partners bought the shopping center in December 2015. Its official name soon reverted back to CONNECTICUT POST MALL.

J.C. Penney announced the shuttering of one hundred and twenty mall-based stores in March 2017. The CONNECTICUT POST location, in business as a Penney's for over 25 years, would begin closing with a liquidation sale, starting April 17. The store went dark in June.


The Bridgeport Sunday Post
The Bridgeport Sunday Herald
The New Haven Register / "Keys To The Highway" / Melissa Nicefaro / July 8, 2002 (Fusco Construction)
Assessor's Online Database For Milford County
"Westfield Connecticut Post" article on Wikipedia
"Filene's" article on Wikipedia
"Wavz 13" Flickr Photostram / "Cinema de Lux Key Feature In New Mall Addition" / Posted by Corey Sipe / August 15, 2006 (The Westfield Group) (Centennial Real Estate)


The graphic from The Bridgeport Sunday Herald illustrates a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The image is of lower resolution than the original (copies made would be of inferior quality). The image is not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the image does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the image in any way. The image is being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and its use is not believed to detract from the original image in any way.