Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tysons Corner Center

Tysons Corner, Virginia - 1984

Moody (my favorite kind) exterior view of the Woodward & Lothrop store at Tysons Corner Center, one of the first fully enclosed, climate-controlled shopping centers in the greater Washington area.

Much expansion and "revitalization" is afoot at this mall, where "city living is ready for an evolution", according to their site, as they slowly morph Tysons Corner into a "spectacular open-air community", city-like center... Ah, you know the rest. Another one of those deals.

Thanks once again to, Charles Freericks, for yet another cool submission (Paramus Fashion Center yesterday)! He worked at the "Woodies" store pictured above in the early '80s (says it's since been razed), and took this photograph himself.

Mall history: 1968 - present
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are actual 1984 clouds in the sky as well.

Sat Oct 07, 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger J.T. said...

That overhang over the entrance is downright creepy and evil looking. I love it. Forget about sinister?

Sat Oct 07, 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger JM said...

Funny thing, I used to live in the Metro DC area at that time myself and would shop at Tysons Corner on occasion. I'd always park near Woodies at about the spot that this picture was taken. I had to go there on business recently, and I wasn't prepared for the metamorphosis that had taken place. Great to see this shot, since I thought maybe I had imagined it.

Sat Oct 07, 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting shot there. I have been doing a great deal of "vintage mall-related" research lately. It seems that the IVERSON MALL (in Prince George's County, Maryland) was the DC area's first enclosed shopping mall (their website even has an old, circa-1967, newspaper ad that sez so).

Montgomery Mall and Tyson's Corner both opened the following I imagine that this makes them the second and third enclosed centers around DC.....for all that it is worth.

It seems odd that Metro-Washington took so long to build its first enclosed shopping mall. This is especially strange when taking into consideration that the HARUNDALE MALL (Glen Burnie-Baltimore) [enclosed when built] opened way back in 1958.

I hope to find out more info about HARUNDALE....such as its physical layout (I can't make much out of old aerial photos). I would also like to know more about "the rock", reputedly at the center of the mall.

Oh well.......

North Georgia

Sat Oct 07, 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I agree that the massive walls and the entrance overhangs give this mall a somewhat sinister feel. It reminds me of surviving WWII bunkers.

Sat Oct 07, 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Livemalls said...

That's a beautiful sign. I didn't realize Woodies ever had a script logo.

I never saw the place until after JCPenney had taken over. It was a wonderful Penneys, but apparently not a profitable one, because it closed down after a handful of years.

This store hasn't been razed. It's been drasically altered, to be sure, but the basic bones are the new expansion wing at Tysons.

Sat Oct 07, 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

I love it when you profile 80's photos!

Sun Oct 08, 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when this mall first opened and the family would pile in the car to "go" shopping there. It seemed like it was so... far away from where we lived at the time in Maryland in the early 70's. It was big in a way only a single level mall can be. It's three levels now and it has lost that bigness from's bloody huge today. The irony to all this is I still live in the neighborhood from those days in the 70's and today the mall is so much further away from me, though the driving distance is the same

Sun Oct 08, 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger SB said...

I also remember parking in the Woodies entrance when I went and visted friends in Northern VA in the mid to late 80's.

I loved going over to Tyson's Corners. It was far more dramatic than the malls we had at the time in Pittsburgh.

Sun Oct 08, 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the summer of 1975, I had the brilliant idea of taking my dog Rusty to Tyson's Corner (I was 18 at the time and didn't know any better). Rusty and I entered the mall at Woodies, on the right entrance shown in the picture. We actually walked through the store and most of the mall without anyone stopping us -- security was lax in those days, I guess. Poor dog started to get a little freaked out after a bit, so I took him home. Today, Woodies is no more and that area is now part of a huge expansion with restaurants and new stores. I miss it.

Mon Oct 09, 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, this is Charles - sorry if I was wrong about the building being razed... What is there now looks to me like a completely new building. What did they keep from the old building?

Mon Oct 09, 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Livemalls said...

Woodie's old framework is the framework of most of the addition. Some of the stone veneer is still visble too.

Tue Oct 10, 10:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tysons Corner is more dramatic than Pittsburgh malls? I've SEEN Day of the Dead!

Tue Nov 14, 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original 3 anchor stores IIRC were Woodies (whatever happened to Lothrop?), Hecht's (now Macy's), and (I think) Lerner's (the cheeeeeep owner of the Nationals). Lums steak house was an original tenant before the food court concept blossomed; thank gawd they're not in business any more. A novelty store (Allen's?) was all the way at one end, I think the Lerner's end; they had all kinds of stuff like black lights, wax lips, neat posters, other things that kids like.

As a Star Trek fan I thought that the unique angle of the upper corners of the main promenade made them look like Scotty's warp engines (on the inside).

Tyson's Corner is a friggin nightmare these days. I avoid it at all costs, which is pretty easy for me to do since I now live in south Florida. But the sprawl and congestion have consumed any utility out of that area.

I remember riding along as my mother drove my sister out to George Mason University to enroll her in the early 1970s on the 2-lane Route 123 and the at-grade intersection with Route 7 that was the original Tyson's Corner, complete with traffic signal hanging on a wire. It's a bit bigger these days.

For extra credit, go to
and find your way to the Bird's Eye view overlooking the Beltway right next to Tyson's Corner mall. If you move around just so, you will see the Woodie's Darth Vader facade with J.C. Penny's name on it in one or two views, but you have to get the shopping center in the upper left corner of the bird's eye view; the other images have AMC theater in them. Interesting historic tidbit there.

Sun Mar 02, 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in this mall, not so figuratively. My 1st job was at the lunch counter inside Peoples Drug. Are we sure of 1984? I posted this on my facebook profile and it attracted ALOT of attention from my fellow Tysons alumni. We are thinking the photo could be 1982. Is that possible? Thanks SO MUCH for posting this!

Fri Aug 06, 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to remember the name of the German Bakery in the original Tysons Corner Mall in the 70's. It was near the Cheese Shop.
Anyone know? I believe it started with an S.

Fri Oct 08, 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

To Anonymous: The Bakery was Seibert's .. my sister worked there and always brought desserts home from ther e!!

Tue Aug 20, 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Wow. This photo is amazing! Reminds me of being a kid in the 70's and driving here with the whole family to shop. Please help me out with my memory: in the 70's, did Tysons Corner have a water fountain with orange tile? It was near an anchor store and a restaurant?

Thu Mar 13, 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone is still tracking this thread...I used to work at a Luggage store in Tyson's in the Dec of 1983 but cannot remember the name of the store. Anyone have a clue what that place was called? Thanks!

Thu Nov 19, 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone is still tracking this thread...I used to work at a Luggage store in Tyson's in the Dec of 1983 but cannot remember the name of the store. Anyone have a clue what that place was called? Thanks!

Thu Nov 19, 03:56:00 PM  

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