Monday, February 05, 2007

Lehigh Valley Mall


Whitehall, Pennsylvania - circa 1977

OK, the houseguests are now gone, and it's time for me to get back to my vintage malling duties! :)

Let's get right to it with a really nice view of a court fountain in the then "new" Lehigh Valley Shopping Mall. And best of all... a groovy Spencer's Gifts store is just visible on the left! Many very cool childhood memories come to mind with that great kooky store. As I've mentioned here before, I practically lived at the one that was in Universal Mall in Warren, Michigan, back in the late-seventies and early to mid-eighties. Fun times man.

Mall history: 1976 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: none



19 Comments:

Blogger Funky-Rat (a/k/a Railyn) said...

The Lehigh Valley Mall was a fantastic mall. It lost a lot of it's charm - and that fantastic spiral ramp - in a remodel some time between 1994 and 1999.

The first time I went back after the remodel, we entered in the usual spot, by Strawbridge & Clothier, where the entrance takes you in on the 2nd floor (the mall is kind of on a hill). We walked up to the hole in the floor, and our jaws dropped that the ramp had been replaced by a glass elevator. Ho-hum. The round hole is still there, but surrounded by a green wrought iron and brass railing.

It's now very glossy, with lots of brass and shiny marble-esque floors.

Last time I was in there, Spencers was still in that spot, although it doesn't look like that anymore. Bought lots of stuff in there.

Mon Feb 05, 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Spencer still has that 70s logo at some malls including Crystal Mall in Waterford. As far as that "Caldor" arch facade around the store, no way. Wonder what kind of goods Spencer had back then...

Tue Feb 06, 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Funky-Rat (a/k/a Railyn) said...

Well, back in the 70's, Spencers sold things like:

Blacklights, Lava Lamps, Posters, T-Shirts, Quasi-Drug Related Stuff, Borderline X-Rated Stuff, Gag Gifts, Naughty Greeting Cards, Keychains, Strobe Lights, Bean Bags, Various Clothing Items.......

In short - exactly what they sell now. Only the tv shows and singing groups have changed.

I can go in to any Spencer Gifts in the US and pretty much tell you what they have.

I wanted incense sticks and an inexpensive holder this weekend when I was at Park City. I knew exactly where to go for it.....Spencers.

Their Spencers is fancier than most on the outside, but it's same old same old inside.

Tue Feb 06, 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I like the fountain in this shot, with that ramp rounding it. It's little things like these that have been ripped out in favor of more kiosk space and 'gardens'.

Spencer's hasn't changed one bit at all in the last 30 years. Only their name. (Spencer's in the '70s, Spencer Gifts in the '80s and '90s, and it's now 'Spencer's' again I believe, abelt with a new...crazy-looking logotype for the 2000s, though this look hasn't been implemented at all stores yet.), and store appearance, have changed through the years.

Wed Feb 07, 12:14:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Several months ago I went into my very first Spencer's and bought my fiance an "I love my penis" magnet.

In essence that's an example of the kinds of stuff they sell.

Wed Feb 07, 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Spencer's Gifts is forbidden from Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton. They don't feel it is appropriate for the mall. Yeah, right!!! I think Hot Topic was a stretch for them, or they got desperate. Either way, I say it's mall discrimination! Oh wait, the mall doesn't grant the same rights and privileges as outside the mall. Hmm.
Anyway, love the picture, especially the fountain.
Scott

Thu Feb 08, 01:00:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Stoneridge forbade Spencer's from coming in? I went to their website and saw several other stores that are just as controversial. Abercrombie and Fitch anyone? So sexy ads and racist paraphinailia isn't forbidden? Bebe? No one has a problem with ugly and sluttly clothes that are too small for the average thin woman let alone average woman? Express and Express Men? They need to forbid stores that sell the plainest crap at highly inflated prices. Ditto for The Gap and J Crew.

Sat Feb 10, 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger andrewdanish said...

i met my wife in that mall in 1978. macy's was then bamberger's. she worked in "country store" and i in men's sportswear. and we're still together after all these years.

by the way i'm working on a book about the history of the shopping mall in case anybody's interested.

andrew danish
oakland, ca
andrew@danishmodern.com

Wed Feb 25, 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so miss the spiral in the middle where the elevator is now. I hate going there now.

Sat Sep 19, 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the night club at the mall in the 80's called "Dukes Pub". If you do what was the name of the local radio personality that would broadcast live from the club....

Wed Jul 14, 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please keep the pics coming! where is the giant eagle statue??

Sun Aug 01, 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just proves nothing ever stays the same. Many fond childhood memories. My grandparents always favored three eateries in the mall: Dukes, Bamberger's Restaurant and Wanamaker's Restaurant. Surprisingly not, Dunderbak's. I guess because of the high fatty foods they served. Whenever I could slip away from them, would make a quick getaway from Wanamaker's to Chuck-N-Cheese for the arcade games. Do not remember a Space Port in the mall. If so, never knew it. I also remember buying at Listening Booth my first walkman w/ a cassette. Still have it nicely tucked away in mint condition. Does anyone remember Franklin's outside the mall presently where Friendly's sits?

Mon Oct 25, 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JJ sands was the radio DJ I think...

Sun Feb 13, 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember while my mom shopped, I would go my own way to check out the record stores. There were three that I remember: Listening Booth (upstairs), Wall To Wall Sound, and Beaky's (both downstairs). I also loved to check out "Tees For Twos"...a t-shirt booth upstairs that had concert shirts of my favorite bands. It's a jewelery counter now, but usually look over as I'm passing, remembering those special times as a teenager back in the early 80s.

Wed Apr 13, 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have such fond memories of this mall. In high school 1981-1984 my mom and gram used to bring me here all the way from Pottsville to shop twice a year. I remember all the great stores with nice quality merchandise. We always ate at Swenson's, but a few times Duke's Pub, too. Sadly, both are gone. Loved the big store aside of Dunderbak's with all the cuckoo clocks. I miss all the nice stores like "The Lodge" and some others that were family-owned.

Thu Mar 01, 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be a waitress at Duke's Pub - grand time! The DJ I remember was "Ank"...

Tue Jan 08, 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Lyle M said...

Can someone help???? I bought an Ovation guitar in the mall at one of the music stores but can't remember which carried guitars. I am thinking Listening Booth.

Wed Apr 09, 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Hoch said...

I remember it, but no one else does. Can't find any info or pics. Think it was fast food with the sign having a Ben Franklin like child image?.....

Tue Sep 15, 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the memories.What was the italian restaurant that used to be Duke's Pub?

Fri Jul 15, 10:44:00 PM  

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