Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

19th-Century Mall Getting A Makeover

Hartford Courant - November 14, 2006

(Excerpt) In the late 1800s, the Arcade Mall was a bustling indoor marketplace, just steps away from Main Street and the vibrant city of Bridgeport.

Among the earliest enclosed shopping malls in the country, the mall is crowned with a spectacular domed ceiling of glass that lets light flood a two-story space below, where merchants once sold everything from meals to Singer sewing machines to fine hats and coats and treasures from Hubert's Art shop.

Until last year, the Arcade Mall still had a few tenants - a barbershop, a nail salon, a tattoo parlor and music stores - but it had fallen into disrepair.

Now the once grand shopping center and the old red-brick hotel where it is located are undergoing a $22 million restoration and conversion after the city assumed control by eminent domain.

Read the full article here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This mall dates to the late 1800s??! Wow. Thought I read that wrong at first, lol. Very interesting.

Tue Nov 14, 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bridgeport through the late 60s was, if not affluent, at least respectable. Numerous industries in the area, among them Sikorsky Aircraft in nearby Stratford, Bridgeport Brass, Carpenter Steel, and of course General Electric (just a few years before its move to nearby Fairfield) meant lots of workers and lots of disposable income.

I remember a news stand in this arcade, a lingerie store, and a shoe store. There were others, but I was young and usually on my way with my gran to the seven-or-eight story D M Read's department store (its main location).

I was quite thrilled to be downtown-- at that age I don't think I could have coped with New York City; Bridgeport was quite dazzling enough for me. -- Rick

Thu Nov 16, 10:46:00 AM  

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