Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Parmatown Mall May Compay


Parma, Ohio - 1968


Parma, Ohio - 1981

Here are shimmering examples of what class used to look like at the shopping mall. I give you two different views of the entrance to the May Co. department store in Parmatown Mall--one from 1968, and one from 1981. The first photo certainly reflects a more '60s vintage-era design aesthetic and feel, while the second, looks more modern and groovy, almost spacey, coming out of the 1970s.

You should be weeping now looking at these.

Mall history: 1962 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Resource articles: 1, 2
Previous entries: none

(photos courtesy & © Special Collections, Cleveland State University Library)



14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss the may company. I beleive the Montebello May Company was the last to be built in Southern California under the May Company banner. It was the only May Company also to go by just "may". It was like this till they merged with Robinsons.

From the looks of it, this store is still there as Kaufmann's. I wish there was a better view of the Kaufmann's.

Tue Aug 22, 07:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

btw, that was me above.

Tue Aug 22, 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

The newwer entrance is really cool, but the older entrance is out of sight! :-) I love how the chandeliers continue into the store.

Tue Aug 22, 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

I always found it unusual that the May Company's font in the Eighties was the same as Macy's. Like there wasn't enough confusion.
Scott

Wed Aug 23, 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

In 1985 or so, my mother and I and a bunch of women from our extended families and friends went on a road trip to Parma, OH (from Cleveland) to visit this mall. No one had ever been there and everyone had heard about how grand and huge this mall was. I only went there that one time and I was very young but I will always remember the way it looked and how to a little girl's eye it was a very big place. I remember The May Co. so well especially in and around Cleveland and this brings back a lot of memories. It was so beautiful. Now this place has a Walmart in it so I know it isn't quite so grand anymore. But the memory of my mother and her friends looking at the sunny yellow dress they adored here will live on forever. I would love to see more Cleveland area malls like this posted here. Thanks so much, Keith, for reliving part of my childhood I had long put aside.

Wed Aug 23, 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Cole Weston said...

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous! My heart stops at the architecture of both. Just breathtaking.

Wed Aug 23, 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I love the chandeliers in the first photo and the fountain in the second.

Wed Aug 23, 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

It's amazing how the architects considered the details and all that. Although grand, spacious and modern, they have a homey feel to them.

Thu Aug 24, 02:07:00 AM  
Anonymous tkaye said...

Are we looking at the same entrance here?! While the second shot is cool in a futuristic sort of way, it's a travesty if the entrance in the first shot was sacrificed for it, since it's definitely more elegant.

Sun Aug 27, 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous matt said...

I used to live a five minute walk from this mall as a little kid from 1986-1988 and remember the May Company as it is shown in the second picture. There also was a JC Penney and a Higbee's with a second story restaurant that was on a terrace overlooking the mall. The Higbee's became Dillard's which was shuttered for about 3 years before Walmart redid the whole site. Much of my first two years of high school were spent at the Parmatown Mall, with nothing better to do. About that time the mall took a downturn with more competition and a high profile abduction which resulted in a murder. Considering the fact that the neighborhood was safe this was shocking but hurt the mall nonetheless. As a college student in 2000 I worked at the mall and it was in the process of being remodeled and was at only 60% occupancy. The store I worked at did a booming business, though, and as the mall remodeled, lost the early 80's look, and finally embraced its working class clientele (hence Walmart), the mall enjoyed a slight rebirth. I hear its wearing off though...I have pretty fond memories of the place myself.

Sat Sep 02, 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous John H. said...

It's now a Macy's. All owned by the same parent company which is why the font was the same.

Wed Apr 30, 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone remember the mural on the ceiling of the restaurant inside higbee's? i was still small when the restaurant was closed, but for some reason i remember it being a space mural with some really rad light fixtures to represent planets and stars. i can't find any pictures anywhere, so i was hoping someone could confirm for me that this is, indeed, true.

Fri Jan 29, 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of the second floor restaurant in Higbee's was The Zodiac Room. The ceiling was painted dark blue with stars and Zodiac signs in gold (if I remember correctly). The restaurant's theme obviously influenced by the 1960s "Age of Aquarius" in popular culture.

Mon Mar 12, 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kristin Anderson said...

Does anyone remember the Shoe store that was on the strip with the live monkey in it?

Wed Jul 31, 01:17:00 PM  

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