Johnstown's Richland Mall


The first fully-enclosed shopping hub in Greater Johnstown was officially dedicated in November 1974. This logo was used to promote the original complex. 
Graphic from Richland Mall Associates


A 1-level Sears was one of three department stores anchoring RICHLAND MALL.
Drawing from Sears, Roebuck & Company

Flood City's first mall was built on the site of the Richland Drive-In Theater, which was in operation between 1949 and 1970. The shopping center spanned approximately 650,000 leasable square feet, with a retail roster of eighty-four stores and services. Its parking area accommodated 3,000 autos.


RICHLAND MALL TENANTS 1975:

SEARS (with Coffee House, Optical Department and freestanding Auto Center) / KMART (with snack bar and attached Auto Center) / PENN TRAFFIC (with Post Office and Travel Bureau) / SHOP 'n SAVE supermarket / Bon Ton apparel / Brett's of Altoona ladies' wear / Brooks Fashions / Cam Mele Flower Mart / Children's World Toys / DeRoy Jewelers / Dollar Fare / Duke + Duchess Twin Theatres / Entertainment Center / Encore Restaurant & Lounge / Family Vision Care Center (Doctors Arnold Hecht and J.D. Danielson, Optometrists) / Fanny Farmer Candies / GNC / Gordon's Jewelers / Hanover Shoes / Harts Home Store / Haynes Triangle Sportswear / Ho-Ke Travel Service / Hickory Farms of Ohio / Hot Sam Pretzels / Jane Hunter Fashions / Isaly's Ice Cream & Delicatessen / Jo-Ann's Bridal & Gift Boutique / Jo-Ann Fabrics / Karmelkorn / Kinderfoto, International  (kiosk) / Kinney Shoes / Lafayette Radio Electronics / La Rosa Shops ladies' wear / Lester's Formal Rentals / Matchmaker / Motherhood Maternity / National Record Mart / Ormond's ladies' wear / OUR Furniture Company / Piercing Pagoda (kiosk) / Portside Shoppe imports / Richie's Corner candies / Richland Mall Community Room / Richman Brothers men's wear / Sagebrush, Incoporated men's wear / Scot Ties, Limited / Singer Sewing Center / Somerset Trust Company / Spencer Gifts / Standard Sportswear / Stanyan Street young ladies' wear / Super Chick snack bar / Sweet William Restaurant / Teeks Fine Shoes / The Bottomhalf / The Depot jeans / The Framing Hut / The Hello Shop gifts / The Parsol / The Watch Maker's Shop / Things Remembered / Thom McAn Shoes / Thrift Drug / Time Out Family Fun Center / Waldenbooks / Waldencards 



Our first RICHLAND MALL logo montage features trademarks of 1970s tenants. Several Keystone State businesses are included, such as Isaly's Ice Cream & Delicatessen, Sweet William Restaurant and Shop 'n Save.

The shopping center's official mascot, Richie The Pook.
Graphic from Richland Mall Associates


The Richland Camera Shop operated at the mall for several years.
Photo from "TheBubster6"

Our second montage includes the logo of every store that anchored RICHLAND MALL during its short -29-year- commercial life.


Johnstown-based Penn Traffic occupied this (now-abandoned) building between October 1974 and March 1982. Allentown's Hess's chain set up shop, but closed for good in August 1994. The Bon Ton welcomed its first shoppers in May 1995...and went dark in January 1997.
Photo from "TheBubster6"


Sears presided over the west end of the mall between November 1974 and October 1992. The Hills seen here opened soon after...but did an "anchors away" in March 1999. Ames moved into the building in July 1999 and was in operation until October 2001.
Photo from http://www.hillsstores.com

RICHLAND MALL came up against a formidable rival when GALLERIA JOHNSTOWN opened its doors, in October 1992. The shiny new mega mall snatched the RICHLAND Sears. GALLERIA JOHNSTOWN featured nearly 900,000 square feet of retail and was anchored by four department stores. 
Graphic from Zamias Development Services


As a keeping up with the up-and-coming GALLERIA JOHNSTOWN measure, a face lift renovation was done at RICHLAND MALL during 1992. A new logo was also created.
Graphic from Richland Mall Associates 


A post-renovation site plan of RICHLAND MALL. The snatched Sears has become a Hills discount mart. A splendorous sunken garden Center Court has been filled in and replaced by a mock-up 19th century carousel. The grocery store space was reconfigured as a 8-screen multiplex in 1989.

One of five RICHLAND MALL entrances. This early 2000s-vintage snapshot shows a section of a new stucco facade added during the 1992 redo. The new logo is also prominently displayed.
Photo from "TheBubster6"


The original (circa-'74) Kmart was remodeled into a Big Kmart during 1995. Unfortunately, competition from GALLERIA JOHNSTOWN took its toll. The inline store section of RICHLAND MALL was shuttered in March 1998, leaving Big Kmart, Ames (previously Hills) and the 8-screen cinema still in operation.
Photo from "TheBubster6"


A snapshot of Center Court, in a vacant and decaying RICHLAND MALL. Big Kmart, the final operational store, went dark in May 2003. The mall was bulldozed in June.
Photo from "TheBubster6"


Alas, RICHLAND MALL was replaced with -you guessed it- an open-air power center. Stores in the new & improved RICHLAND TOWN CENTRE began opening in October 2004.
Original photo from Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Graphic from Heritage Development Company
RICHLAND MALL
Elton Road and Theatre Drive
Cambria County, Pennsylvania

Ground was broken for Greater Johnstown's first shopping mall on May 3, 1973. The single-level complex was built on 58.9 acres, located 4.8 miles southeast of downtown Johnstown. The site was situated in an unincorporated section of Cambria County known as Richland Township. The Co-Operative Theater Service Richland Drive-In Theater operated there between 1949 and 1970.

RICHLAND MALL was built by a joint venture of James O'Rourke and James Streeter, of the Michigan-based Unimich Development Corporation, and the local Somerset Trust Company. The fully-enclosed complex encompassed 650,000 leasable square feet and contained over sixty stores and services. There would eventually be eighty-four.
  
Three major stores anchored the mall. A 1-level (84,000 square foot) Kmart was launched on October 9, 1974. A 1-level (70,000 square foot), Johnstown-based Penn Traffic department store opened on October 14. The dedication of a 1-level (86,400 square foot) Sears was held on November 4 of the same year.

A mall-wide grand opening was held at this time, with a ceremonial ribbon being cut at the main mall entrance. In attendance were US Congressman John P. Murtha (D) and several local dignitaries and department store officials.

The main feature of the complex was a sunken garden at the center of the center. Recessed several feet below floor level, it included lush, tropical plantings and a series of waterfalls. Garden areas were also located at the Sears and Kmart mall entries. 

Charter RICHLAND MALL tenants included Jane Hunter Fashions, GNC, Spencer Gifts, Thom McAn Shoes, Thrift Drugs, a Sweet William Restaurant, (35,000 square foot) Shop 'n Save supermarket and County Amusement Company Duke + Duchess Twin Theatres

Anchor store conversions commenced in the early 1980s. Six Penn-Traffic department stores were sold to the Johnstown-based Crown American Corporation, who also owned the Allentown-based Hess's chain. The RICHLAND MALL Penn Traffic was remodeled and re-opened, as a Hess's, on March 20, 1982.

The mall's supermarket was converted to the County Amusement Company Richland Mall Cinemas, an 8-screen venue, in 1989. This new facility operated along with the existing Duke + Duchess Twin for a time. The latter had been shuttered by 1991. 

A formidable retail rival soon entered the picture. GALLERIA JOHNSTOWN {1.1 mile northeast, in Cambria County} was dedicated on October 21, 1992. This new superregional center spanned 895,000 leasable square feet. It snatched the RICHLAND MALL Sears, with the vacant space being filled by a Massachusetts-based Hills discount mart.

As a competitive measure, RICHLAND MALL had been given a face lift during 1992. This project included the removal of the sunken garden in Center Court. This was filled in and replaced by a carousel. New tile flooring was installed throughout the complex and its exterior refinished with stucco surfaces.

Twenty stores in the Hess's chain, including the RICHLAND MALL unit, were sold to York-based The Bon Ton in August 1994. The Bon Ton opened for business at the mall in May 1995. Hills was shuttered in March 1999. It re-opened, as a Connecticut-based Ames, in July of the same year.

By this time, GALLERIA JOHNSTOWN was firmly established as the region's preeminent shopping center. RICHLAND MALL was in a downward spiral. The Bon Ton closed in January 1997.

On March 1, 1998, mall corridors were closed off, leaving only the hallway stretching between the Big Kmart mall entry and adjacent northeast mall entrance open. The exterior-entranced Ames and multiplex cinema also remained in business.

Ames closed its doors for good in October 2001. Soon after, Ohio's Heritage Development acquired the past-its-prime property.  Big Kmart rang up its final sale on May 23, 2003. The bulk of RICHLAND MALL was then demolished. Its cinema and outparcel Michaels (in the old Sears Auto Center structure) were temporarily left standing.

A 490,000 square foot power plaza, known as RICHLAND TOWN CENTRE, was built. Its 1-level (203,600 square foot) Wal-Mart SuperCenter welcomed its first shoppers on October 27, 2004.

Original stores and services at RICHLAND TOWN CENTRE included a (21,600 square foot) Michael's, (23,600 square foot) Ross Dress For Less, (25,200 square foot) T.J. Maxx & More and County Amusement Company Richland Cinemas (a 10-screen venue). 

Sources:

http://www.therichlandmall.com (defunct website)
The Tribune Democrat (Johnstown, Pennsylvania)
The Daily American (Somerset, Pennsylvania)
The Indiana Cazette (Indiana, Pennsylvania)
Comment post by "Eric"
Cambria County, Pennsylvania property tax assessor website
http://www.mcgillpropertygroup.com

Harrisburg's Capital City Mall


A contemporary snapshot of the Main Entrance of the CAPITAL CITY complex. The original stores in the 14 million dollar mall opened for business between July and August of 1974.
Photo from www.preit.com (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)

This Keystone State shopopolis was located near the western shore of the Susquehanna, in the outlying reaches of Harrisburg. In 1974, it encompassed approximately 632,000 leasable square feet and contained fifty-four stores and services (out of an eventual seventy-five). Parking was provided for 3,000 autos.


CAPITAL CITY MALL TENANTS 1974:

SEARS (with Coffee House, Garden Center and attached Auto Center) / H.H. BOWMAN / MURPHY'S MART (with Family Cafeteria, Garden Center and attached Auto Center) / ACME MARKETS supermarket (outparcel) / Anderson-Little apparel / Barber's Hairstyling for Men / Bavarian Soft Pretzels / Bernard's Wigs / Carrol's Cinemette Theatres (six-screens) / Charming Shoppes ladies' wear / Chess King men's wear / Commercial Credit Corporation / Cumberland National Bank & Trust / Der Dog Haus / Endicott-Johnson Shoes / Fabri-Centers of America / Fanny Farmer Candies / Feel Fine ladies' wear / Bresler's 33 Flavors ice cream / Foxmoor Casuals ladies' wear / GNC / Hamilton Luggage / Harrisburg East Electronics / Harris Savings Association / Hickory Farms of Ohio / House of Cards / Isaly's Ice Cream & Delicatessen / Jean Jack / Jo-Ann Fabrics / Just Pants / Karmelkorn / Kay Bar Automatic Sales Company /  Kinney Shoes / Lippman's Jewelers / Luca's Pizza / Merry-Go-Round ladies' wear / Orange Julius / Ormond's ladies' wear / Paperback Booksmith / Petrie Stores / Rea & Derick Drugs / Roy Rogers Restaurant / Sheppard & Meyers Shoes / Sight & Sound / Spencer Gifts / Stevenson's Flower Shop / Sweet William Restaurant / The Parasol ladies' wear / The Shirt Store / The Photo Corral / Tim Doutrich's Men's & Boy's Wear / Thom McAn Shoes / Viewmont Mall Record Shop / Waldenbooks / Walden Card Shop / Walowitz, Incorporated children's wear / Yum Yum Tree hobby, party favors & gifts / Zales Jewelers 

CAPITAL CITY MALL, following its mid-'80s renovation. This was done as a competitive measure against CAMP HILL CENTER. This strip complex had been re-dedicated as CAMP HILL MALL in September 1986. For a time, it put the hurt on CAPITAL CITY. However, by the mid-2000s, CAPITAL CITY had emerged victorious, leaving CAMP HILL demalled in the dust.

The Garden Grove Food Court at CAPITAL CITY was the first culinary complex to operate in the mall. The facility, dedicated in November 1986, was relocated during a 2005 remodeling. 
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Caldor"

A second renovation of CAPITAL CITY MALL concluded in late 1995. Hess's was shuttered, expanded and re-opened -as a Hecht's- in October. Ames also closed. The building was renovated by J.C. Penney, which welcomed its first shoppers in November.

Logos which have been used to promote CAPITAL CITY MALL in the 21st century.
Graphics 1 and 2 from www.shopcapitalcity.com (website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine) 
Graphic 3 from www.shopcapitalcitymall.com

Above and below are two views of the center CAPITAL CITY MALL anchor store. This snapshot was taken during its 11-year tenure as a Hecht's.
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Caldor"


This image includes the present-day nameplate, which debuted in February 2006. The terrazzo star, in front of the store's mall entry, was installed during a mid-2000s face lift.
Photo from www.preit.com (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)

The 2005-2006 renovation replaced the Garden Grove Food Court, at the main mall entrance. A larger food facility was created in the northwest store block, where there had been a 6-screen cinema and three adjoining stores. With this modification completed, the old Garden Grove was gutted and reconfigured as a six-store Specialty Wing.


An early 2000s-vintage snapshot of the CAPITAL CITY concourse. Back in the day, you would have been looking at a Murphy's Mart entrance and Rae & Derrick Drugs.
Photo from www.preit.com (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)


The second Food Court at CAPITAL CITY MALL features twelve vendors. These include Boardwalk Fries, Sbarro Italian Eatery, Taco Bell-KFC and Panda Express.
Photo from www.preit.com (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)

After Sears shuttered their CAPITAL CITY MALL store in early 2017, the building was bulldozed. It was replaced by Dick's Sporting Goods, Sears Appliance & Mattress and four other stores. By the time of this circa-2018 layout, DSW and Dave & Buster's Grand Sports Cafe had also moved into existing mall space.
CAPITAL CITY MALL
Hartzdale and Zimmerman (Lower Allen) Drives
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

Plans for a Greater Harrisburg shopping mall were formally announced in November 1972. Developing the project was Johnstown, Pennsylvania's Crown Construction Company, which had just changed its name to the Crown American Corporation.

CAPITAL CITY MALL would be the eleventh shopping facility built by the firm. It would occupy a 54.9-acre plot, located 3.6 miles southwest of the Pennsylvania State House. The mall site was within the Camp Hill Borough of Cumberland County. Construction was underway by February 1973.

Consisting of a single level of retail, CAPITAL CITY MALL was anchored by a 1-level (101,500 square foot) Sears, 1-level (100,000 square foot), Harrisburg-based H.H. Bowman and 1-level (102,800 square foot), Mckeesport-based Murphy's Mart.

Sixteen stores, including Sears, opened their doors on July 29, 1974. Thirty-nine were launched during a mall-wide dedication, held on August 15th. Bowman's and Murphy's Mart were launched at this time. The fully-enclosed shopping hub now encompassed approximately 632,000 leasable square feet and contained fifty-four stores and services (there would eventually be seventy-five).

Charter tenants included Chess King, Foxmoor Casuals, Spencer Gifts, a (21,000 square foot) Rea & Derricks Drugs and freestanding (45,300 square foot) Acme Markets. The Carrol's Development Corporation Capital City Mall Cinemettes featured six-screens. It had an exterior entrance and was not connected with the mall's interior concourse.

Commercial competitors of CAPITAL CITY MALL included COLONIAL PARK CENTER (1960) {7.8 miles northeast, in Dauphin County}, HARRISBURG EAST MALL (1969) {5.5 miles northeast, also in Dauphin County} and CAMP HILL MALL {.6 miles north, in Cumberland County}, which was a circa-1959 strip center renovated into an enclosed mall in 1986.

The first anchor rebranding at CAPITAL CITY MALL involved the Bowman's store, which had closed in mid-1976. It re-opened, as an Allentown-based Hess's, on August 16, 1976.

Connecticut-based Ames had completed a hostile takeover of the G.C. Murphy Company in April 1985. Murphy's Mart stores continued to operate under their original name, but were eventually shuttered. The CAPITAL CITY MALL store re-opened, under an Ames nameplate, on August 15, 1987.

Meanwhile, the mall had been expanded. The 9-bay, Garden Grove Food Court, adding 30,000 square feet to the front entrance area, was dedicated on November 14, 1986.

The second enlargement of the shopping venue consisted of the addition of 20,000 square feet to Hess's. This store had closed in anticipation of its renovation. It re-opened, as 1-level (120,000 square foot) Hecht's, on October 2, 1995. Ames, shuttered months before, was also renovated. J.C. Penney held a grand opening on November 8, 1995.

The Crown American Corporation had been split into two entities during 1993. The first, dubbed the Crown American Realty Trust, managed the corporate portfolio of twenty-eight shopping malls. Crown American Hotels was involved in the hospitality industry.

In November 2003, the realty division was sold to the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT). They announced a mall makeover for their CAPITAL CITY property in November 2004.

The cinema, shuttered on December 19, 2004, would be reconfigured as a 12 -bay Food Court. A sit-down bistro, Garfield's Pub & Restaurant, would be included in the new culinary complex. Moreover, existing mall space would be thoroughly updated.

Inline tenants, such as Spencer Gifts and FYE, would be relocated, with new Lady Foot Locker and Victoria's Secret stores brought into the mall. The relocated Food Court was dedicated in November 2005. The original facility, at the mall's Main Entrance, was gutted and rebuilt as a new Specialty Wing.

Tenants, such as Hollister Company, Wet Seal, Body Central and Forever 21, were joined by the mall's second sit-down restaurant, Davenport's Italian Oven. These businesses opened in the spring of 2006. This happened in conjunction with the conversion of Hecht's into a Macy's, which was finalized February 1 of the same year.

At the turn of the century, CAPITAL CITY MALL encompassed 682,300 leasable square feet and housed eighty-six store spaces, with nineteen kiosks. A freestanding (46,100 square foot) Toys R Us was shuttered in 2012. It was gutted and expanded, with a (50,000 square foot) Field & Stream retail store opening on October 16, 2015.

In February 2017, Sears pulled up stakes. The vacant building was demolished in March and replaced by a multi-tenant structure. This housed a 1-level (61,200 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods, (15,000 square foot) Sears Appliance & Mattress and four other retail spaces.

The Dick's unit opened for business on September 28, 2017. Dave & Buster's Grand Sports Cafe renovated a vacant drug store-Old Navy space and welcomed its first patrons on October 22, 2019.

Sources:

The York Daily Record (York, Pennsylvania)
The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pennsylvania)
http://www.shopcapitalcity.com
Comment post by Aaron
www.preit.com (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)
www.cinematreasures.org
http://www.pennlive.com
"Capital City Mall" article on Wikipedia
Erie's Millcreek Mall


The original "MM" trademark. The umbrella motif, first devised in the early '60s, was often used by fully-enclosed malls to promote them as a haven from inclement weather.

MILLCREEK MALL as it was configured at the time of its completion, in 1976. It encompassed roughly 1,095,700 leasable square feet with five anchors and 110 inline stores. An urban legend has circulated for years making light of the fact that the mall structure resembles a pistol pointed toward Downtown Erie.

Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann's opened their second shopping mall branch at MILLCREEK. Kaufmann's-Erie spanned 160,000 square feet and was officially dedicated in September 1975.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania


Originally a Cleveland-based Halle Brothers Company (a.k.a. Halle's), this store had a stint as an Erie-based Dahlkemper's Catalog Showroom before re-opening as the Burlington Coat Factory seen here, in 1997.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania 

J.C. Penney, which anchors the north end of MILLCREEK MALL, opened in October 1975. The building encompasses 148,200 square feet.
Photo Erie County, Pennsylvania


Originally a "Penneys" Auto Center, the outparcel structure seen here was rebranded by Firestone when the J.C. Penney chain sold off its auto repair division, in 1983.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania


The mall's southeast anchor opened, as a Sears, in 1974. It operated under that nameplate for 42 years.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania 

By 1986, MILLCREEK MALL proper has been joined by several peripheral structures. A Children's Palace opened in 1983, followed by a 6-plex cinema in 1986. Inside the mall, two anchor stores have been rebranded.

The Children's Palace building became a Warren, Pennsylvania-based Blair Outlet for a time before re-opening as the Erie Institute of Technology seen here.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania 


The General Cinema Corporation Millcreek Mall 6 was a freestanding venue. It was acquired, and rebranded, by Cinemark in the mid-1990s (and would be shuttered in October 2012).
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania 

MILLCREEK MALL in 1999. By this time, the south and southwest anchors have been rebranded a total of five times. The first stores in a new strip plaza, the MILLCREEK MALL PAVILION, have just opened on a pad west of the mall proper.

The new PAVILION was anchored by a freestanding Hills, which was rebranded by Ames soon after its completion. Ames shut down in 2002, with the store structure eventually re-opening as the All Seasons Marketplace flea market.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania 


To keep from having to pay exorbitant "common area maintence" fees, McDonald's bolted from an in-mall location. The freestanding store seen here served its first Happy Meal in 2007.
Photo from Erie County, Pennsylvania

The mall and its many outparcels as they stood in 2009. The big news at this time was THE PROMENADE AT MILLCREEK MALL, a lifestyle-like rebuild of the old Bazaar Court on the northwest corner of the mall proper.


A renovation done between March and November 2008 rebuilt much of the mall's interior and exterior. An area on the south side of Macy's became a Food Court. A dramatic entrance now provided access to the culinary complex from the northeast parking area.
Photo from http://www.cafarocompany.com (The Cafaro Company)  


In this interior view, we see said Food Court. The 6-bay facility included Fuddruckers, Little Tokyo, China Max, Dairy Queen-Orange Julius, Dunkin' Donuts-Baskin Robbins and Subway.
Photo from http://www.cafarocompany.com (The Cafaro Company)  

 A snapshot of the Southeast Court area at MILLCREEK MALL. This photo is now dated, as Sears has pulled up stakes and left the shopping hub. Today, one would see a Boscov's nameplate on the anchor store.
Photo from http://www.cafarocompany.com (The Cafaro Company)  


Here, we see the PROMENADE AT MILLCREEK MALL and its Kirkland's home decor store. The placement of the Macy's nameplate might seem a bit perplexing. The store is actually located on the opposite side of the mall. The doorways seen here comprise a northwest mallway entrance.
Photo from http://www.cafarocompany.com (The Cafaro Company)  


By 2013, the mall and many of its peripheral structures were being collectively promoted as the MILLCREEK MALL COMPLEX.
Graphic from http://www.millcreekmall.net


We see the latest MILLCREEK modifications in a circa-2018 plan. After Burlington Coat Factory's 2012 departure, its space was rebuilt into a new wing. It housed nine tenants, including a Mad Mex restaurant, Primanti Brothers restaurant and Round 1 Bowling & Amusement Center. Following Sears' 2016 shuttering, its space was expanded and retenanted by Boscov's. 
MILLCREEK MALL
Peach Street / US 19 and Interchange Road
Erie County, Pennsylvania

The first (and only) major shopping mall in Erie County, Pennsylvania was built on an 87.5-acre parcel, located 3.4 miles southwest of center city Erie. The site, formerly the Spires Farm and temporary Kearsarge Airfield, was in an unincorporated section of Erie County known as Millcreek Township.

MILLCREEK MALL was developed by Youngstown, Ohio's Cafaro Company. The fully-enclosed complex encompassed approximately 1,095,700 leasable square feet and featured five anchor stores. The first tenants to open for business were a 2-level (125,000 square foot) Sears and 2-level (137,100 square foot), Erie-based Boston Store. These were in operation by late 1974. 

A 2-level (86,800 square foot), Cleveland-based Halle Brother's Company (Halle's) was dedicated in January 1975, followed by a 2-level (160,000 square foot), Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann's, which made its debut September 9 of the same year. The final anchor, a 2-level (148,200 square foot) J.C. Penney, held it's grand opening October 1, 1975.

MILLCREEK MALL held its official dedication October 6, 1975, with new store openings stretching into the following year. Junior anchors were a J.G. McCrory 5 & 10 and Ashtabula-based Carlisle's. The General Cinema Corporation Millcreek Mall 3 was dedicated around the time of the mall's grand opening. There was also a (91,800 square foot) retail annex in the northwest parking area.

Charter inline stores included Orange Julius, Hot Sam Pretzels, Florsheim Shoes, Spencer Gifts, Ciro's Supper Club, York Steakhouse, Karmelkorn, Hickory Farms of Ohio, CVS, County Seat, Musicland and a branch of the Erie County Public Library.

The nearest mall-type counterpart was ERIE CENTRAL MALL (1963) {3.3 miles northeast, in downtown Erie}. This complex, which encompassed only 181,700 leasable square feet, was no match for MILLCREREK MALL, which was five times its size. The nearest regional-class complex was MEADVILLE MALL (1970) {30.2 miles southwest, in Crawford County}.

A dizzying succession of anchor store closings, openings and rebrandings commenced at MILLCREEK MALL in July 1979. The Boston Store morphed into a Pittsburgh-based Joseph Horne Company. This Horne's was rebranded by Columbus-based Lazarus in May 1994. Lazarus closed March 14, 1998 and was replaced by a Dayton-based Elder-Beerman on September 11 of the same year. Elder-Beerman was followed by a York, Pennsylvania-based The Bon Ton in October 2003.

Halle's was the second store in the mall to change nameplates. The chain folded in 1982, with its MILLCREEK MALL location re-opening as an Erie-based Dahlkemper's Catalog Showroom. This lasted until 1993. On August 1, 1997, Burlington Coat Factory assumed the space, but moved out of the mall in the fall of 2012. The vacant anchor was reconfigured as eight tenant spaces, with a new southwest mall entrance created.

Meanwhile, Carlisle's space, vacated in 1995, was renovated with a small addition. The area was occupied by a Myrtle Beach-based Waccamaw's HomePlace. This store was shuttered April 1, 2001 and divided between a New Jersey-based AC Moore Arts & Crafts and New York State-based Steve & Barry's University Sportswear. The Steve & Barry's chain was liquidated in early 2009. AC Moore expanded into its space. Kaufmann's had been converted into a Macy's on September 8, 2006.

Peripheral structures were added to the shopping center site during the 1980s. These included Children's Palace (1983) and a second multiplex, the General Cinema Corporation Millcreek Mall 6, which was completed in 1986. An additional strip center of stores was proposed by the Cafaro Company in 1989; this to occupy a 62-acre site west of the existing mall. Many hurdles were to be overcome before this addition would come to fruition.

After 10 years of litigation and negotiation, Cafaro was finally able to proceed with the construction of MILLCREEK MALL PAVILION. Ground was broken in the fall of 1998. Stores opened between 1999 and 2002. These included a (51,000 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods, (26,500 square foot) Linens 'N Things and (23,600 square foot) Old Navy.

Canton, Massachusetts-based Hills had also dedicated an (85,300 square foot) freestanding store. This closed and re-opened, as a Rocky Hill, Connecticut-based Ames, in July 1999. An adjacent parcel at the northwest corner of the PAVILION site was being developed as a prospective Regal 12-plex cinema. Work commenced in December 1998, but stopped in September 2001. After two false starts, the project was abandoned. Said cinema was never completed.

Although MILLCREEK MALL had been given a face lift in 1996, by the late 2000s it was ready for another update. Cafaro announced a mall makeover in March 2008, which was to extend for 7 months. The original 3-screen cinema, shuttered March 20, 1997, had been replaced by Albany-based FYE (For Your Entertainment) in November 2002. Adjacent area was reworked into a 5-bay Food Court.

Moreover, common areas were refurbished with Italian porcelain floors, new ceiling treatments and skylights. Three mall entrances were remodeled, with a fourth being sealed off. A Bazaar Court in the mall was gutted and reoriented with exterior-entranced storefronts, along with most of the existing space on the west-facing front of the mall. This area became an upscale PROMENADE, that was populated with various high-end boutiques and bistros. 

The renewed MILLCREEK MALL was dedicated November 14, 2008. By 2013, the mall proper, its adjacent strip centers, and most of its outparcels, were being promoted as the MILLCREEK MALL COMPLEX. The mall proper encompassed approximately 1,107,300 leasable square feet and housed around 115 stores and services, with twelve kiosks.

Sears, a 1974 charter anchor, went dark in December 2016. In January, work began on a renovation of the vacant building. It was expanded to 151,000 square feet and re-opened, as a Reading-based Boscov's, on October 5, 2017. This department store's debut was followed by the departure of another. The 14-year-old The Bon Ton at MILLCREEK MALL closed for good in mid-2018. With these modifications, the main structure of MILLCREEK MALL encompassed approximately 1,133,300 leasable square feet.

Sources:

"Millcreek Mall" article on Wikipedia
Erie County, Pennsylvania property tax assessor website
www.cafarocompany.com
http://www.goerie.com
www.cinematreasures.org
Syracuse's Shoppingtown


Greater Syracuse's SHOPPINGTOWN was officially dedicated -with eighteen stores- in March 1954. The strip-format complex was touted as "Central New York's newest and greatest regional shopping center". 
Photo from www.syracusenostalgia.com



SHOPPINGTOWN TENANTS 1954:

J.C. PENNEY / F.W. WOOLWORTH 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / ACME supermarket / GRAND UNION supermarket / Addis Company / Alexander Grant's Hardware / Endicott-Johnson Shoes / Fanny Farmer Candies / G.R. Kinney Shoes / Harry Cook Dry Cleaning / Kearny-Goodyear Automotive & Appliance / Dr. John P. Kavanaugh, Optometrist / Jonas Shops ladies' & children's wear/ Mason's Barber Shop / Shoppingtown Antiques /  Shoppingtown Launderette / Shoppingtown Shoe Service / Walgreen Drug (with Walgreen Grill) / Wilbur-Rogers ladies' & Children's wear 

A Syracuse-based Dey Brothers was the first bona fide anchor of the SHOPPINGTOWN complex. The store, added to the north end of the strip plaza, opened in 1962.
Drawing from http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com