Saturday, August 20, 2005

Walt Whitman Mall

Huntington Station, New York - 1960s

'60s kitsch and design at its best! I really like how the photographer used the tree on the left as a framing device. Great shot and unique perspective, almost like we're hiding and peeking out from it. Shhh...don't mind us, we're just time travelers from the future, snooping around Walt Whitman Mall...


Blogger pat said...

have you seen this contemporary homage, the walt whitman rest area?

Sat Aug 20, 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! A whole store dedicated to nothing but hosiery!

Sun Aug 21, 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stopped at that rest area yesterday evening... going from NYC to Wash DC. Not as cool as the mall I am sure...

Mon Aug 22, 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never mind malls, why don't people dress in suits and ties when they go to work anymore? Or even when they go to the theater or a restaurant!

Thu Aug 25, 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, I remember that mall well from a 5yr old's viewpoint. My favorite place there was the huge bird cage.

Thu Aug 25, 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memories, This is not what it looked like in the 80's and NOT what it looks like now.

Fri Aug 26, 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but this is what it looked like in the 70's when i learned to drive in the mall's deserted parking lot on sundays.

Fri Aug 26, 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the memories!! this was the only mall around when I grew up in Suffolk County. And had to drive quite a distance to get to it! sigh...the memories..

Fri Sep 02, 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hung out at this mall, and went to Walt Whitman High School a few miles away. I'm sure I haven't set foot in it since 1975. I can hear the fountains tinkling.

Walt Whitman's birthplace is a a few hundred yards away behind some trees. Off Walt Whitman Road, of course.

Wed Sep 21, 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had forgotten about the water fountain in front of Macys. Thanks, It brings back good times.

Fri Dec 02, 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... I grew up in Woodbury which was very close to the WW Mall. [I'm actually a descendant of Walts'] If you walked past that fountain a bit further there was a great little wooded area with a shallow "lake" with a wooden bridge you could walk across. No trip to the mall was complete without a visit to that bridge. I spent lots of time there between the 60's and 70's. Sadly, you wouldn't even recognize it today. A vacuous kiosk ridden, industrial nightmare. I also spent many a Saturday movie matinee at the long gone Whitman movie theater that was attached to the mall. I think the marquee is still out near the Rte 110 entrance. [at least it was] I could go on and on about Sam Goody's, Macy's, Spencer Gifts, etc... but thanks for bringing back some great childhood memories with that photo.

Sun Jan 15, 09:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this mall it was THE place to shop, also the South Shore Mall in Bay Shore, another mall where there was a store dedicated entirely to hosiery. And the bird cage was a psuedo fountain that dripped some kind of oil.

Mon Apr 17, 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great shot of the mall interior looking northward. Remember the McCrory store that always seemed to go up in flames?
Where the Macy's is in the photo at right is now Bloomingdale's. Macy's moved to the former A&S location at the other end of the mall. Saks and Lord and Taylor came in the 1990's during the "upscaling" of the mall. I do miss the little footbridge and the fountains, which were nicer than those kitschy kiosks.

Sun Jul 09, 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 49 years old, and I lived in Huntington, NY from 1963-1969. My mother and I went to that mall a lot, and I remember that fountain and the large bird cage, as well as the stores of that era. That picture really takes me back!

Sat Aug 05, 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall is much MUCH different than it was even 5 years ago. The fountains are gone and the ONLY store that is still in its original location in the Lenscrafters right at the entrance. I remember when the mall was kind of crappy but it had good stores. Now it has all of these expensive stores and no mom & pop shops. I recently found out why, THE MALL THOUGHT THESE WOULD ATTRACT THE WRONG CROWD. The only good thing is that they finally put a McDonald's in.

Fri Feb 02, 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, was a child of the 60's/70's who shopped at Walt Whitman Mall. I live in the Washington, D.C. metro area now and was looking at info for Saks 5th Ave. That's when I saw that there is a store at WWM! WOW! What a shock! I'm planning a trip back to "The Island" and the WWM is on my places to visit! What I really want to see is the actual store locations on the mall directory! MCrory's...Yes! I bought make-up there... and applied it in Home Oldfields Jr. High School in Greenlawn...with all of the other girls! I have kids in college and high school's just not the same!

Sun Mar 11, 09:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Does anyone remember the french toast at Cookey's (Spelling? I'm a teacher!)at Walt Whitman Mall? My parents used to take me there for this "delicacy!" There was another branch in the village of Huntington.

Sun Mar 11, 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Big Ern said...

Cooky's was located outside of the Mall's entrance next to the theatre. It had a Middle Ages motif and featured an all you can eat soup, salad, shrimp & dessert bar. There also was one near the Green Acres mall as well

Fri Aug 31, 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I can see Sam Goody's on the left hand side. I worked there from 1969 - 1971. Another world!

I shopped at the mall from the year it opened until I left LI in 1976.

Do you have other photos?

Tue Sep 11, 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger That Man Who Lives in Diane's House said...

So cool seeing the original fountain outside Macy's.

My dad was one of the first few employees hired by Macy's when the mall first opened. He worked in the men's clothing department, then into TVs and then carpets. He used to drive every day from where we lived in Jamaica Queens until 1966 when we moved to the Island.

I worked there for a year or two also when I was in high school (Half Hollow Hills); class of '69

Also worked at EJ Korvettes just to the south of WW Mall ... they sort of shared the parking lot.

Spent LOTS of time in that place. Thanks again for the memory.


Sat Dec 22, 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure do miss how that mall used to look. I loved the the fountains in there, i was so mad when they took them out.

Thu Jan 03, 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to go there with my parents back in the late 1960s. I had forgotten the fountains - strangely, I can now remember hearing them when I was going shopping.

I remember most the birdcage. It looked like it was made of wood and it was a huge round tower that went up nearly to the ceiling. It was full of small birds.

I remember cookies as well. Whenever we had a birthday or similar, we would go to select a cake from there. Occasionally we would eat lunch there.

It does seem like a different planet nowadays.

Thu Feb 07, 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in that mall between 1968-1978. My house was directly behind the mall on NY Avenue - so least be said that I grew up at this mall. I would spend entire summer days in the mall with my friends. We played every sport possible in the parking lot. I worked at both Cooky's Steak Pub (on the outside) along with the Cooky's restaurant inside (that once had a snack bar for a quick hot dog. I still remember all the great times in McCrory's (which was my favorite store), Sam Goody's & Crown Drugs and still remember all the older stores in the mall of that era too (like Home Decor, Carol Jewelers, The Card Shop, Wallachs and the movie theatre - when it was a single screen). There was a store near A&S that had cool stuff like posters - it was a precursor to Spencer's - but I cant remember that stores name. Speaking of A&S, there used to be a snack bar in the front (faced the mall) one in the back and they had a full seating restaurant on the 2nd floor (all before they built the 3rd floor). I remember the summer the NY Islanders gave a brief camp and meeting a lot of the Mets & Jets over the years. Then there was Hermans & Korvettes immediately to the south. I remember when the the flower shop near Macy's went up in flames and I personally called it a "Florist Fire." The Mets had an officialy ticket booth in A&S and of course the fountains & birdcage. I can go on forever about my former residence :-)

Mon Apr 21, 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't this mall an outside mall when it first opened? I could swear I remember this.

Tue Jul 15, 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember ... there was an ice cream place on the north side of the mall called Farrell's. I remember going there for lunch and sundae's as a kid in the early 70's.

Sat Dec 20, 10:03:00 AM  
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Sat Oct 02, 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this photo, brings back memories. Didn't people throw pennies into that fountain?
Also, to the left of it going down, wasn't there a Buster Brown?

Wed Jun 15, 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Vaughn said...

The link above will take you to a rare snapshot of the birdcage out in front of the old A&S store, circa late 60's...

One of my favorite stores was TandyCrafts, located between the original Macy's on the south end and McCrorey's. The store was loaded with leather goods and the tools to create decorated finished pieces. My grandmother used to wander the mall for hours - once she called home to have me drive over and meet her for a McCrorey's "Middle 'O the Mall" Restaurant banana split - you would pop a balloon to get your price - with the highest being 49 cents. I popped a balloon once and got the dessert for a penny !

Great memories. I practically lived in the mall through my high school years.

Mon Aug 01, 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mon Aug 01, 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Vaughn said...

In my original post, the birdcage link didn't appear. If you'll copy and paste the above URL into your browser, you'll get to see a small shot of that cage out in front of Abraham & Straus department store.

Mon Aug 01, 08:49:00 PM  
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Wed Sep 21, 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were two Cooky's. First was the restaurant in the middle of the mall. It had a bakery on the parking lot side and a snack bar on the mall side with the restaurant in between. Then Cooky (yes, there really was a man named Cooky) real name Isidore, opened Cooky's Steak Pub outside the south entrance of the mall near the movie theatre. I worked in both places while going to college in the early 70's.

Wed Apr 11, 01:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to shop at the Walt Whitman mall when I was a kid before they built the Smithhaven. I remember my family frequented a luncheonette type restaurant there all the time, but for the life of me, I can't remember the name. It wasn't Cookys, I loved that place, that was for dinner. You entered from the outside not the mall. Do you remember a place like that? I also remember it was visible from the street. It's driving me crazy. thanks.

Sat Aug 23, 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every one seems to forget that all the long island malls (green Acres Roosevelt field,Walt Whitman South shore mall) had the first $ stores but back then they weren't filled with low end housewears They were clothing accessories stores called Scot Ties Ltd where everything was $1.00

Sun Oct 05, 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So many memories! I grew up on NY Avenue just down the street from the mall and remember when it was built. That picture brings back such memories! I remember all the stores people mentioned. I remember when Cooky's started the all-you-can-eat shrimp bar - the first of its kind! My Dad was in heaven. We went there a lot. My mother and I were always at the mall. Our favorite store was Foods of All Nations. We bought a lot of things there. This was a time before ethnic restaurants abounded, so it was a great way to taste foods from around the world. We bought our first marzipan there and then my mother learned how to make it. It became our Thanksgiving tradition to hand make individual marzipans and paint them. I remember getting all my shoes at Buster Brown when I was little. Lunch at McCrory's. I think it was A&S (or maybe Macy's?) that also had a restaurant on the top floor that my mother and I used to go to. I loved the bird cage. Used to hang out there a lot. Used to go to TandyCrafts a lot. That theater was the only movie theater around at the time and it was a big deal because it had two screens! That was way before multiplexes. I remember there was a cobbler next to the movie theater. We were always going there to get shoes repaired. It's funny how I can see everything in my mind like it was yesterday, but it was half a century ago! The photo looks so dated, but back then it all looked so new and shiny. It was one of the first malls and a huge deal when it was built. Thanks for posting that photo! I was just thinking about Cooky's (loved the food there) and Googled it and this photo and blog came up.

Tue Jun 19, 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Do you remember a restaurant near the middle of the WW mall that had wonderful cheesecake?

Sun Sep 02, 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't specifically remember cheesecake (we got all our cheesecake from the German bakery across the street from Dairy Barn), but I do remember a Woolworth's in the middle of the mall that my mother and I used to go to a lot. There was also Cookie's restaurant. Do either of those ring a bell?

Sun Sep 02, 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Loved it I got engaged there my husband bought my diamond at Carol's jewelry store right there in the mall a beautiful memory we are married 48 yrs we were christmas shopping that night

Thu Apr 02, 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Does anyone remember a shoe store called 'Rattlesnake Shake' in the alley outside the southern entrance to the Mall? they had some really cool mens shoes there.

Tue Apr 13, 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That must have been near the cobbler and the movie theater, but I don't specifically remember a shoe store there.

Wed Apr 14, 03:00:00 AM  

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