Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Greece Town Mall


Greece, New York - circa 1968

More vintage Greece Town for your retro mall viewing pleasure. This time an exterior view from nineteen and sixty eight!

Mall history: ? - 1994
Current website: here (after merging)
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1



12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith, thank you!!!!
The previous post of Greece town with it's spartan entrance really took me back and this exterior shot is actually fairly similar to what you can see from that angle today. Inside, however, it was a wealth of fountains and sculptures and 'sunken niches' with groovy relaxation monitors. I wish someone could find more interior shots of this great mall, lost to the renovation and connection to Longridge mall....
come to think of it, maybe it was Longridge that held the 'sunken niches'. It's hard to remember, it was a while ago and I was only a kid...
-matt

Wed May 31, 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Glad you liked the pic, Matt! I'll definitely try to find more for you. I'll see if I have any Longridge shots, too.

Thu Jun 01, 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sweet.
a friend I work with remembered the niches and said they were called "contemplation areas"
There was this Huge orange sphere sculpture, set into a brown tiled floor near one of the dept. stores that was illuminated from inside and water trickled over the surface of it too...
wayyyy coool.
-matt

Fri Jun 02, 08:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I too appreciate the memories of Greece Towne Mall, some of what Matt is describing (the sphere, sunken sitting areas and original art sculpture) is from Long Ridge Mall, which was eventually linked to Greece Towne to create what is today's Mall at Greece Ridge.

Greece Towne Mall opened in 1967 (Long Ridge opened later in 1972-1973. The main anchor was Sibley Lindsay & Curr Company, Rochester's legendary department store, with The National Clothing Company, Loblaws, and GC Murphy Co as secondary anchors, and 55 stores. The oil fountain in the picture was in the mall's center court across from The National. The decoration in the middle must have been removed in the early 1970s, because all the time I was growing up, I don't remember anything inside of the fountain. it used to be lit and change colors. And it was a typical 1960s mall with dark interior and high ceilings. It was the "it" mall until Long Ridge opened literally next door in 1972. In 1980ish, an addition was put onto the back of Greece Towne with a Gold Circle Discount store and about 10 smaller stores. Gold Circle closed and was replaced in succession by Hills, and then Caldor.

Long Ridge Mall was developed by Sibley's chief competitor, McCurdy & Company, Rochester's other big store. McCurdy's had already opened a free-standing store by 1970. The mall was built attached to it. Long Ridge had about 75 stores with co-anchors B. Forman Co., Sears,Woolworth's (large format store, with a Harvest House Grill and Cafeteria),and JB Hunter, a discount chain, which built a two-level store. Long Ridge was 70's cool, with dark interiors, lots of original modern art and sculpture, sunken sitting areas, and the lighted sphere fountain, in center court, in front of Hunter's. The early pictures of this mall would be very cool on this site.

Long Ridge, with it's updated look and more national retailers immediately dominated. As with all malls, anchors changed. At Greece Towne, The National went out of business, and Murphy's left. Loblaws changed to Bells for a few years, then to Apples, then closed. In 1990, Sibley's was absorbed into the Pittsburgh based Kaufmann's (May Company) chain. When Caldor went under, the empty box was expanded and became a Regal 12 Theatre complex.

At Long Ridge, JB Hunter was closed by the mid-1970's, and the huge 2 story box became Rochester's first modern full-line JC Penney store (Penney's had 5 small strip plaza stores around the Rochester area from the 40's and 50's). B. Forman closed in the early 1990s. Woolworth closed around the late 90's, and was replaced by a Dick's Sporting Goods superstore.

In the early 1990s Rochester mall developer Wilmorite, which controlled Greece Towne, also took control of Long Ridge. They built a glass-ceilinged connector mall to join the two malls together into one huge complex with a total of 140 stores. The connector featured a food court (something neither of the two malls had, and a spectacular new JC Penney store. Around the same time, McCurdy's closed. Kaufmann's remodeled and moved into the McCurdy space because it was a more centrally located store. The Bon Ton opened in the former Kaufmann's(Sibley's) space. The old JC Penney store was split with a Lechmere on the first floor and a Burlington Coat factory upstairs.

Today, Greece Ridge is anchored by Sears, Macy's (Kaufmann's), Penney's and Bon Ton. When the malls were joined in 1995, they renovated both sides to look fresh with the connector mall. All of the cool 1960's and 2970's stuff was gone.

Fri Jul 27, 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Powers said...

The biggest thing I miss from Greece Towne Mall is the mural that was displayed in its center court, above the southern hallway.

I also miss the kinetic sculptures and contemplation areas from Long Ridge. I still walk through there remembering the old features.

Wed Aug 15, 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

First of all, I really like this website! Secondly, I found a picture of the Orange Julius that used to be in Greece Towne Mall. This is probably the only picture of a 1970's era Orange Julius in existance. I would love to submit it but where to? Also, I have some recent pictures of Midtown Plaza and a really cool tribute video to submit!

Sun Jan 20, 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous digitaljunkie said...

Powers, I also miss that Old Trolley Route mural. The old Sibley´s department store (now Bon Ton) may disappear next year. Wilmorite wants to demolish it in order to make room for several smaller stores. According to the good folks at Bon Ton, they did not even know about this until recently. Looks like Wilmorite may not get their way this time. A public hearing is scheduled on July 14th at the Greece Town Hall at 9:30 am. I would go, but I do not even live in Greece. For more information, please visit www.greecemallhistory.com and click on ¨contact us.¨

Thu Jun 19, 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous digitaljunkie said...

I do not know how many of you read this blog, but I received interior and exterior photos of Long Ridge Mall recently. Almost everything described here is featured on my website. Please visit www.greecemallhistory.com and take a look. All I ask is that you do not duplicate these pictures, unless they are for your own personal use.

Mon Aug 25, 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMFG... Contemplation areas... That sounds oh-so-very-vaguely familiar. I think that was Long Ridge Mall. I remember that huge watered sphere. I think it was right outside JC Penney in the center of the mall, and it had multi-colored lights that went around and around inside. But I am not sure.

Wow.

I wish I could go back to 1976 for just one day.

Thu Aug 20, 10:31:00 PM  
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Sat Oct 02, 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger bp said...

JB Hunters did't go out till the end of the 70's, I know I worked there in 78-79 when it went out of business.

Thu Oct 13, 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I remember going there in the mid and late 1960's through the early 1970's. It was a nice place and I think it was the first time I saw the Orange Julius drink, which to me is the beginning of all of the smoothies and so on today. Thank you.

Sat Apr 05, 07:17:00 PM  

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