Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Levittown Shop-a-Rama Shopping Center


Levittown, Pennsylvania - photos circa 1950s

Aerial views of the Levittown "Shop-a-Rama", a shopping center conceived and developed by famed urban planner/developer, William Levitt. Some Shop-a-Rama notes via this great online exhibit:
"By building a few large, centralized shopping centers, Levitt hoped to avoid the problems associated with haphazardly placed and often unsightly commercial strips. Levittown's main shopping center was not only large—at the time, the biggest shopping center east of the Mississippi—but also meticulously landscaped.

During the 1950s, Levittown's commercial hub was the Shop-a-Rama, a 60-acre pedestrian mall featuring over 65 retailers and a variety of special events. For many residents, the shopping center was Main Street. When completed in 1955, it was the largest pedestrian shopping mall east of the Mississippi. Levitt favored chain retailers such as Food Fair, Pomeroys, Woolworths, Kresges and Sears. The center’s parking lot could accommodate 6,000 cars."
History: 1953 - present (re-developed)
Developer: William Levitt
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2

(Study images courtesy The State Museum of Pennsylvania)

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Mark said...

That design is over the top,extravagantly planned out,and highly unusual!

however it must of been exhausting and extremely hot out to shop there during the summer months with all that concrete!

I'd be roasting and uncomfortable walking on that hard pavement and back and forth walking to and from my car in the parking lot.

theres hardly ANY shade from those small trees! didn't anybody realize how humid it can get out there?

Fri May 11, 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember shopping there as a small child. Usually it was in the evening and it was the late 60's and early 70's. The trees provided good shade by then!

Tue Jul 03, 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

I remember going there in the 10 years before it was demolished (I was born in 1992). It was still a magnificent shopping center, if you looked past the slum-lord's doings. Beat the Oxford Valley Mall being open.

Thu Feb 21, 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous gene said...

this mall was the best in the early 70's. a great place to shop. being i was young at that time it was a great place to meet girls. it will be missed very much.

Sat Mar 07, 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Pizza Man said...

I went to Shop-a-Rama almost from the begining since I ws born in a small town near by in 1950. I loved the Outer Space show in Pomeroy's. If I remember correctly, they had kids dressed up like representatives from each planet. The F W Woolworth store had a basement and a nice snack bar. I even liked the Longhorn in the Sun Ray Drugs store. One walked through an arch way from one store to another. Near Easter, I remember the dyed chicks under a bright light. I was never allowed to get one.

Fri Oct 15, 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous buy viagra said...

I think that this places is one of the best in the world, I would like to visit Pennsylvania , I have some family there, they told me that this place is wonderful!

Tue May 17, 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the Shop-A-Rama from the mid 1950's into the mid 1960's. Not only was it the place where people came to shop (before the totally enclosed malls moved in), but it also served as the town center. "Levittown" did not exist as such as a true town, with a central goverment. It had three different "townships" within its' borders, so schools, police, goverment functions were all split among these. In lieu of a true town center, the Shop-A-Rama functioned as such.

Fri Apr 20, 07:11:00 PM  

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