The first view is the center court fountain with Sears in the background. Sears was built for the defunct Baltimore-based Hutzler's. The second two photos show the same fountain in respect to center court. It's a cool fountain, but it looks a little lonely with no plants around it. These days, you just have to be happy that at least the mall still has a fountain. Mall fountains are a major reason I got into this hobby, so I'm very unhappy to see them go.
A couple views of the court outside of Belk. The moody 70's-style skylights are one surprising feature to find in a mall built in 1987. The whole mall looks like it was designed in the early 80's with few modifications when it opened.
One of two ramped sections in the otherwise one-level mall give the mall personality. It is very appropriate considering that Carroll County is quite mountainous.
Boscov's has certainly been a positive for this mall given that it might have not survived had they not come in. It was previously a Montgomery Ward.
Toy department inside Boscov's.
Leaving Boscov's with the mall directory on the right.
Town Mall (Cranberry Mall) directory. Sears was built for Hutzler's (opened as Sears), Belk was Leggett, Boscov's was Montgomery Ward and the cluster of Dick's Sporting Goods, Paradise of Fun, and Gold's Gym was previously discount chain Caldor. Caldor opened original to the mall, but most Baltimore-area locations were formerly Stewart's Department Store.
The second fun little ramped section includes a very cool greenhouse dome in one of the stores. They were very popular in the late 1980's, but it is unclear what that originally was. Chick-Fil-A still going strong is a good sign. They are the chicken in the coalmine. When they go, so does the mall.
Approaching Dick's Sporting Goods. It is hard to tell how this looked as Caldor since it has been so heavily modified unless the entrance on the right in black is original. In any scenario that the mall gets redeveloped, Dick's will definitely be one who stays.
Although Leggett was mostly found in Virginia, the logic of Leggett opening in the mall was not as strange as it seemed. Leggett was previously located in Westminster Shopping Center and had opened there in 1963 before moving to the mall. Today, Belk occupies the former Leggett space. The older shopping center is situated less than a mile from the current mall and is currently doing well, although it is no longer a true regional shopping center.
A look at the two entrance wings next to Dick's Sporting Goods. I'm not sure which one is which, but I'm pretty sure the second one is the northwest entrance wing since it appears the mall's theaters are on the left in the background. The other is the northeast entrance meaning shoppers have to enter the mall to go to Dick's. It's a bit ironic that the mall's Chick-Fil-A is not in this food court.
Sears is sporting the dual entrances on the east wing off of center court suggesting this was a Hutzler's idea.
Somehow I knew that Toys 'R' Us Express stores in malls were going to be a novelty. . Now that the company has announced at least 100 stores closing, we likely will not be seeing these ever again. This is sad in a sense considering that this same chain likely killed a real toy store chain such as Circus World or Kay Bee Toys within the same mall in the past decade or so. Photo from May 4, 2013.
Climbing back up the second of two ramps with Belk emerging on the horizon.
Belk mall entrance from the south court. What wonderous water feature was covered up by this garish maroon carpet? This carpet at least needs a dripping snow cone justification.
Belk, formerly Leggett, sporting an exterior that looks more like 1982 than 1987. It is still quite attractive in a 1980's brutalist sort of way.
When it was Leggett. Images from The Baltimore Sun from February 21, 1987 and March 8, 1987.
Cranberry Mall became Town Mall in 2000 when the mall was sold to Strategic Resources. In addition to the new name, the new owners commenced a renovation that was completed in 2002, thus the look was somewhat updated. However, the updates to the malls were not extreme, thus the mall still looks somewhat vintage. In addition, the design itself looks older than its age with design cues that look more early than late 1980's such as ramps, a center court fountain, and recessed skylights giving it a few distinctive vintage elements not present in most other malls of the region.
Sears and Boscov's. Notice that the Sears looks nothing like a Sears, but the Boscov's looks everything like a 1990's Wards. It is unclear if the Hutzler's sign ever even made it to the exterior of the Sears.
I'm sure this mall entrance update from 2000 took the greater part of 15 minutes to design. Exactly why did the mall have to be renamed in the first place? Also, it is actually TownMall, but I am not willing to refer to two words in a name like that. If it was CranberryMall, it would be ludicrous.
Caldor grand opening flyer with a real treat...a list of all the locations open in the area in 1987. So many are long gone and several anchored long-demolished community and regional malls across the region that were hammered by a combination of industry changes, anchor loss, and severe economic decline in the Baltimore region. The Baltimore stores are probably the primary culprit for Caldor liquidating in 1999. Image from The Baltimore Sun from March 1, 1987.
Not much out there shows the mall's original logo, but this ad certainly does. It was definitely one of those very classy and attractive logos used in the late 1980's. I still do not understand what was wrong with the name. Image from The Baltimore Sun from March 1, 1987.