The first photo shows the fountain, waterfall and pool in front of the Strawbridge's (later Macy's) mall entrance. More details of the fountain and court are shown both above and below. The upper level seen above the Macy's sign was part of the Strawbridge's restaurant and was closed to the public when the restaurant closed.
A view of the fountain and statue facing the Boscov's wing. Macy's is to the right.
Detail of the statue
Detail of the waterfall
Plaque on the fountain explaining the meaning behind the fountain and sculpture.
Fountain facing the Boscov's wing.
Fountain facing the main part of the mall toward Sears.
Above is the detail of the skylights inside the former Strawbridge's/Macy's when it was still open. The gorgeous escalator/staircases in the center of the store was a signature style of suburban Strawbridge's locations.
More detail of the stairs, escalators and chandaliers at the Strawbridge's.
Exiting back out into the mall, more detail of Strawbridge's court. The overhead skylights and windows are 1960's, but it is tasteful and attractive giving abundant natural light.
The 1973 addition was apparently originally designed as a darker corridor with no natural light. A later renovation added these skylights, which obviously had to be worked in above the existing ceiling trusses. This is an unfortunate and unsightly trend in more recent malls as a way of adding skylights where none previously existed.
Leaving the Boscov's court returning to the older part of the mall.
Details of the actual center court of the mall with abundant natural light coming from large windows and overhead skylights. If the areas around the skylights and high windows were replaced with actual color and wood trim with as impressive of a center court as exists in front of the old Strawbridge's, this would be truly impressive.
A view into the food court area.
Sears court and mall entrance. Barnes & Noble takes up a large junior anchor space to the left of the Sears entrance. It is worrisome what will happen to this mall when Sears closes.
This is NOT something you see everyday in a modern mall: a Time-Out Arcade! I'm glad I captured this. I ultimately found another Time-Out Arcade at another mall and went in with a friend to play some Skee Ball.
Before you go to watch the fifth sequel of a movie you were tired of by the second one, you "gotta go to Mo's!" Modell's is a moderately successful sporting goods chain that has somehow found a niche among larger players in the Northeast. It is often found off-mall.
Fun for the whole family at the AMC 24! The addition of the theater in 1995 rounded off the mall at four anchors.
Next year, Neshaminy Mall will celebrate its 50th anniversary, but there may not be anything to celebrate considering that the mall is facing a crisis. Between 1995 and 2015, nothing significant changed with the mall other than Strawbridge's becoming Macy's. However, Strawbridge's was long in decline before it became Macy's with the family losing the store to May Company in the late 90's who then sold it to Federated Department Stores, which converted it to Macy's. In early 2017, Macy's decided to close its location at the mall after 49 years of business. This leaves a significant hole in the mall, especially when considering that the mall's only other original anchor, Sears, is very close to going under. This leaves only Boscov's and the AMC theater as anchors to the mall. Since dead anchors in malls are now impossible to fill, this is the beginning of the end of a very special little mall. We wish so much that the industry could be turned around and that new stores could come in and fill these voids, but since the beginning of the decade this has proved nearly impossible for too many malls. Non-traditional anchors are what will be needed, but this will mean that the existing Sears and Strawbridge's buildings will likely need to be demolished since they are too big for the needs of any future retail tenant.
Sears at a mall should never go without a photograph: especially when it's a store from 1968! As one of the original two anchors, the troubles with the chain are worrisome considering that Macy's left the former Strawbridge's location after 49 continuous years of business.
Sears Auto Center
Boscov's, which opened in 1977 as Lit Brothers. As typical of Boscov's, the exterior entrance saw a few updates. When a smaller chain like Boscov's can update their stores from previous owners, but Macy's can't even afford a gallon of paint, it's pretty obvious there is something wrong with Macy's.
RIP Strawbridge & Clothier. The Strawbridge's "Seal of Confidence" is visible in the stone on the right. That confidence was lost when it became Macy's.
The problems for Neshaminy as a competitive mall, however, are not new. Since the mall was built, it has competed with two larger malls with better anchors. It is also a reflection of the industry as a whole where department store closures and consolidation are making it harder and harder for the typical suburban mall to survive. Neshaminy was one of those malls that was once bulletproof. As evidence of these problems, its main two competitors are also facing difficulties. Oxford Valley Mall, once the primary competitor to Neshaminy, is also not doing well with a dead anchor and many vacancies. Even competing Willow Grove Park Mall, located 12 miles away, just lost JCPenney and is soon to lose its Sears although it has already downsized Sears for Irish clothing store Primark. Neshaminy has also seen an uptick in vacancies since Macy's closure. Unlike with many malls with a sudden loss of a major anchor, this one is harder to pinpoint. Perhaps it can be summed up as the King of Prussia effect: a mall so dominant in the market that none of the other malls can effectively compete. At this point, it is difficult to predict what the final outcome will be, because the mall seemed to be doing very well when the pictures were taken. Macy's was full of customers and so was the mall. What happened? It seems as though the most likely outcome for Neshaminy will be redevelopment into a mixed use center keeping only Boscov's and the AMC theaters. It's not a plan that is worth celebrating when a mall like this survives 50 years, but the wheels of change are suddenly moving too fast for conventional malls like this one.