NORTHSHORE CENTER
Andover and Cross Streets
Peabody, Massachusetts

Plans for Greater Boston's second shopping mall were formally announced in December 1954. A 10 million dollar retail complex was to be built on 100 acres, located 18 miles northeast of the center city, in suburban Peabody ["pee-bud-ee"]. The site had previously been a country estate. Later it contained St. Joseph's Juniorate, a parochial school, and a dairy farm and gardens.

NORTHSHORE CENTER was developed by New York City-based Allied Stores and designed by Seattle's John Graham, Junior. The open-air complex was configured with a main level of retail and service basement, which included a small concourse of stores.

A 3-level (112,000 square foot) Boston-based Filene's ["fiy-leenz"] became the first operational store, on September 23, 1957. A 4-level (243,700 square foot) Boston-based Jordan Marsh welcomed its first shoppers on August 1, 1958.

Inline stores began opening in mid-1958. A Stop & Shop supermarket was dedicated in June, followed by an S.S. Kresge 5 & 10, in July. Thom McAn Shoes and Liggett Rexall Drug debuted in August.  

The mall was officially dedicated September 12, 1958. Foster Furcolo (D), Governor of Massachusetts, cut the ceremonial ribbon. Stores opening as part of the inaugural festivities included Kennedy's of New England, Lerner Shops and Howard Clothes. Breck's Home & Garden Center, Paine Furniture Company and S.S. Pierce joined the tenant list in October and November of 1958.

When fully operational, NORTHSHORE CENTER spanned over 600,000 leasable square feet and housed sixty-two stores and services. It was heralded, by The Boston Globe, as the largest shopping center in New England.

An outparcel was built in the southwest parking area which housed the General Cinema Corporation Cinema I & II, Holiday Lanes bowling alley and Yankee Beefeater Restaurant. The new movie house was the nation's first at-mall cinema duplex. It opened for business May 28, 1963, in a grand opening event hosted by Jerry Lewis.

The shopping hub was expanded twice during the 1960s. Sears added a 2-level store, with attached Auto Center, to the southwest corner. It opened September 23, 1964. A new northeast store block had been completed by 1967. Boston-based R.H. Stearns dedicated a NORTHSHORE location, in space previously occupied by J.J. Newberry, on February 19, 1968.

Regional-class competitors of NORTHSHORE CENTER were BURLINGTON MALL (1968) {14 miles southwest, in Burlington}, LIBERTY TREE MALL (1972) {.68 mile north, in Danvers}, and SQUARE ONE MALL (a 1994 rebuild of NEW ENGLAND CENTER) {6.7 miles southwest, in Saugus}.

NORTHSHORE CENTER underwent a roofing renovation in 1977-1978. The project included construction of a 2-level (240,200 square foot) Sears, which replaced the smaller, circa-1964 store. R.H. Stearns, shuttered July 16, 1977, was divided into inline retail spaces.

Stephen R. Karp, under the auspices of Newton-based New England Development, acquired NORTHSHORE CENTER in June 1992. The name of the venue was changed to NORTHSHORE MALL and a 50 million dollar renovation began.

The interior was given a face lift, with a 12-bay Food Court installed in a gutted and reconfigured northeast corner. A (60,000 square foot) "Limited-Express Superplex" was also added to center of the complex. Wellesley-based Filene's Basement moved from LIBERTY TREE MALL into new quarters beneath the NORTHSHORE Food Court. This store opened in November 1992.

Filene's relocated into 2-level (206,500) structure on the mall's west end, which was dedicated November 3, 1993. The original store was expanded to 132,500 square feet and opened, as a J.C. Penney, on November 2, 1994.

Lord & Taylor also built a 2-level (120,000 square foot) NORTHSHORE store. With the completion of all renovations, NORTHSHORE MALL spanned 1,550,000 leasable square feet and reclaimed the title of largest shopping mall in the Bay State.

Jordan Marsh was rebranded with a Macy's masthead on March 31, 1996. In September 1998, New York City's Corporate Property Investors sold a majority share in the center to the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group.

Filene's was rebranded as a Macy's on September 9, 2006. This left the old  Macy's (or former Jordan Marsh) vacant. Lord & Taylor had been shuttered in August 2006. The building was converted to a Macy's Men's & Home Store, with the Macy's (or former Filene's) becoming a Women's Store.

By this time, NORTHSHORE MALL was in need of another renovation in order to remain competitive. A three phase, 80 million dollar remodeling project was announced. Phase One involved an expansion of Filene's Basement into adjacent area on the Lower Level. A new Food Court Entrance and freestanding Cheesecake Factory were completed in the fall of 2007.

Phase Two saw the vacant Jordan Marsh / Macy's gutted and rebuilt into a 2-level "Luxury Wing", which was dedicated November 4, 2008. Tenants included Bare Escentials, Zara, Metropark and a new Express. An outparcel P.F. Chang's China Bistro had opened during the summer. Mall common areas were also given another face lift.

Topping off the mall makeover was a 2-level (135,000 square foot) Nordstrom, built at the south end of the Luxury Wing. This store was dedicated April 17, 2009, in conjunction with new XXI Forever and H & M stores. These had been installed in the old Limited-Express Superplex.

With all work completed, NORTHSHORE MALL housed 1,685,000 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and forty-four stores and services. It was now Massachusetts' second-largest shopping facility; following NATICK COLLECTION (NATICK MALL).

Sources:

preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
http://www.cinematreasures.org
http://www.peabody-ma.gov/ (City of Peabody)
https://prezi.com / "A History of Northshore Mall In Pictures"
http://www.carmelitechapel.com
The Boston Globe
http://www.kiddietowne.org / Charles Dolan webmaster / Comment posts by Johnny Wowk, Tom Zalewsky and Mary (Parsons) Sulzer
www.simon.com


BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS:

From the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection / Repository: United States Library Of Congress Prints and Photograph Division, Washington, D.C. / Taken by Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc. / Gottscho-Schleinser, October 1957 / Raymond Loewy Associates - Client / Photographs are in the public domain: no known restrictions on publication / www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html