GOLDEN RING MALL
Pulaski Highway / US 40 and Golden Ring Road
Baltimore County (Rosedale), Maryland

In April 1972, a joint venture of Indiana's Melvin Simon & Associates and Missouri's May Centers announced plans for a northeast Baltimore shopping hub. GOLDEN RING MALL, a dual level, fully-enclosed complex, was to be constructed on 42 acres, situated 7.1 miles northeast of Baltimore's Central Business District.

The site, in the unincorporated Baltimore County community of Rosedale, was adjacent to a 36-mile-long section of the Baltimore Beltway, which had been completed in 1962. The entire circumferential highway would be opened to traffic in 1977.

When completed in September 1974, GOLDEN RING MALL joined Baltimore's other Beltway-adjacent retail centers; GLEN BURNIE (1964), EASTPOINT (malled in 1972), SECURITY SQUARE (malled in 1972) and WESTVIEW (which would be malled in 1985).

GOLDEN RING MALL encompassed 718,900 leasable square feet and seventy stores and services. Its anchors were a 2-level (160,000 square foot), Baltimore-based Hecht's, 2-level (168,600 square foot) Montgomery Ward and 3-level (195,900 square foot), Baltimore-based Stewart's; the chain's sixth location and its final new store.

Court areas of the Brutalist-style shopping hub featured bubbling fountains, tropical plantings and sculptures by Rita Blitt and Bogdan Grom. Charter tenants included Orange Bowl, Musicland, Cole's Books, Buddy's, Reflections, Lerner Shops, Casual Corner, Jean Nicole, Baker's Shoes, Kinney Shoes, Thom McAn Shoes, Herman's Bakery, Jeans West and Spencer Gifts. There were also a Roy Rogers Restaurant, Italian Delight Pizzaria, Vittorio's Pizzaria, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, Time Out Video Arcade, Horn & Horn Cafeteria and F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

On June 30, 1976, The Movies At Golden Ring, the mall's first theatrical venue, opened for business on the upper level of the complex. This 3-plex was soon expanded with an additional 2-screen venue...also on the upper level. A lower level 4-plex joined the mall in December 1985. By the demise of the mall's cinemas, in mid-2000, there were 12 individual auditoriums in operation.

The major commercial competitors of GOLDEN RING MALL were EASTPOINT CENTER / MALL (1956) {3 miles southwest, in Baltimore County} and WHITE MARSH MALL (1981) {2.6 miles northeast, also in Baltimore County}.

By the mid-1980s, Greater Baltimore had become substantially over-malled, with GOLDEN RING being one of the casualties. Stewart's departure in January 1983 was soon filled by a Connecticut-based Caldor discount mart. A facelift renovation was done in 1992, but by the turn of the century, GOLDEN RING MALL had run its course. Caldor vacated in the spring of 1998, with its space never being retenanted.

A redevelopment of the mall into a big box-based power plaza was proposed in March 2000. The closing of the mall's common area took place in October of the same year. Hecht's stayed in operation until January 2001. Montgomery Ward, fully committed to participating in a newly-envisaged GOLDEN RING project, was shuttered (along with the entire chain) in March 2001.

The owner of GOLDEN RING MALL, now known as the Simon Property Group, sold the past-its-prime property to a joint venture of Annapolis-based Petrie Ross Ventures and Chagrin Falls, Ohio-based Heritage Development in April 2001. A wrecking ball renovation was soon underway.

Work on new CENTRE AT GOLDEN RING structures was already in progress in the former parking areas of the mall. Phase I consisted of the construction of three big box behemoths; a 1-level (157,500 square foot) WalMart, 1-level (131,500 square foot) Sam's Club and 1-level (138,000 square foot) Home Depot. These opened for business in the summer of 2002.

Phase II of the redevelopment project involved the vacant Montgomery Ward structure, which had been left standing when the mall was razed. It was gutted and its lower level sectioned into sixteen store spaces. Included were Office Depot (16,000 square feet), Petco (15,000 square feet), Factory Card Outlet (12,300 square feet), Dollar Buys (5,500 square feet) and Footlocker (2,400 square feet).

These stores opened for business in late 2003. The fully-realized CENTRE AT GOLDEN RING power center encompassed 480,000 leasable square feet and twenty-seven stores and services.

Sources:

"The Centre At Golden Ring" article on Wikipedia
The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Afro-American
www.petrieross.com
www.cinematreasures.org


FAIR USE OF GOLDEN RING MALL IMAGES:

The photographs from The Baltimore Public Library Legacy Web illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the images does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the images in any way. The images are being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and their use is not believed to detract from the original images in any way.