Friday, March 30, 2007

Westfarms Mall

Farmington, Connecticut - circa 1970s

The ambiance in this vintage Westfarms Mall (Taubman-designed) postcard is just so palpable! You can almost feel it. Hope you guys dig this one even half as much as I do. Here are some fun reader memories from, Rick, culled from a past Westfarms entry:
"This mall being in my backyard (CT is a small state), I remember vaguely when it opened. My aunt dragged my mom and me up to West Hartford to check out a shopping area called Corbins Corner, which turned out to be across the street from the spanking-new Westfarms Mall. My aunt had never even heard of the Mall; she was more interested in the strip mall across the street (anchored by a Sears).

Having been mostly exposed to Trumbull Shopping Park and Lafayette Plaza in Bridgeport, both of which were inviting in a dowdy sort of way, seeing Westfarms (then anchored with G Fox & Co on one end and J C Penney on the other) was a bit of a sea change. Clean, clean, clean; and upscale too. I vividly remember the piano and organ shop next door to Penneys, which had a better and pricier selection of Lowreys and Allens (my first experience with a digital pipe organ).

It's a big mall; if you put your mind and body to it you can work up a real sweat walking around it before the stores open at 10 am."
Mall history: 1974 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Resource articles: 1, 2
Previous entries: 1


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to LOVE the West Farms Mall...Still do!
It was an adventure to go there. Always a special all day shopping trip complete with a stop at the Pie Plate for lunch. They have since added on a new wing with Nordstroms and some more upscale stores.

Fri Mar 30, 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

What odd timing! A buddy of mine purchased this card for my birthday. I've got a super scan and a load of commentary as well as a current day photo on my website; The Caldor Rainbow.

Fri Mar 30, 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eh, this mall was okay, but I always preferred another nearby one that I just can't remember the name of at the moment.

Westfarms was actually TOO BIG and funky looking for my tastes. lol

Fri Mar 30, 07:02:00 PM  
Anonymous j said...

Love the fountain!

Sat Mar 31, 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

Judging by what I've seen on this site, the Taubman malls seem to have been weighed a bit too much towards fashion and "upscale" shops for my taste.

But they sure looked lovely!

Sun Apr 01, 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Upscale you say?! You're definitely on there with the kinship of stylish centers and upscale shops. If you want the best amount of proof, Mall at Millenia can show you upscale with a sharp pointy nose raised on high!

Of course, Mall at Millennia is far beyond the architectural spirit of some of their peaking 70's masterpieces like Eastridge, Woodfield and Westfarms to name a few.

I've been coming to Westfarms since I was a single digiteer (now I'm 22) and I've seen this mall adapt to extraordinary. For a great while, it was stuck in a 1980s tempo and through the 90s when it really began to get dry. When Nordstrom (the first and only in CT) and its wing came into the light in 97, it made WF even greater on the scale of sharp, cutting-edge shopping for the state.

Meanwhile, Stamford Town Center (Taubman's other, early 80's-built staggering pony which I dub a bizarro Westfarms) has lost many of it's fancifuls in terms of shops but is hoping to rebound after a proposed renovation helps it along.

Visit my site to get a good idea of how the mall has changed but not too much over the ages. As you might've guessed, the fountain was trendily scrapped shortly after the millennial bend...

Sun Apr 01, 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

love 'em or hate 'em, Taubman malls are iconic. This mall doesn't stand out in my eyes, but then again, I've never been there. Being there makes all the difference.

Mon Apr 02, 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

I could partially agree, Swain. Westfarms doesn't particularly stand beyond Woodfield, Eastridge, Fairlane Town and a bunch of other Taubmans built in the 70s pictorally. The others look far more complex and intricate in design than Westfarms.

After studying Taubman malls a bit more, I've come to the conclusion that Westfarms is more of the "junior" center of most of those built around the time. Fits rather well which is what I'm sure they wanted with Connecticut, West Hartford but mostly Farmington's quaint landscape.

Mon Apr 02, 09:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Westfarms, it's still quite nose in the air thanks to the area. I was in there just last weekend for the first time in quite a while, and was shocked to see a Tiffany & Co. had moved in with plenty of snobby traffic around it.

Mon Jul 14, 10:59:00 AM  

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