Michael, one of our readers, sent us some historic 1986 and 1994 photos of the soon-to-be-demolished Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, just outside of Atlantic City, (as well as two shots of the now-horrifying River Roads Mall in Jennings, MO). All three shots are pretty cool, but I’m especially excited about the unearthing of the photo above–a shot of the departed Asbury Park-based department store chain Steinbach, memories of which seem to have disappeared almost completely right along with the chain in 1999. I never even got to go inside of one of these, but I remember they had some very mysterious New England locations (like Concord, NH, South Burlington, VT and Waterford, CT) that mystefied me even then.
This actually is a good time to share a photo set that I took of the former Steinbach store in Waterford, CT, just over the border from neighboring New London on US1. These shots were taken in early March 2007, and are of the former “Waterfall Place,” a very strange old strip mall-enclosed mall hybrid that once hosted Steinbach as its main anchor, along with a very small enclosed mall on its second level. Today, the long-vacant Steinbach has been redeveloped with a Sav-A-Lot food store on the first level and a Planet Fitness on the second floor, although its plaza is as curious as ever despite attempts to renovate. The second level of the Steinbach building, which once housed a small enclosed mall connecting from the strip mall, over the Steinbach store, and then down a set of stairs into the back/side entrance of Steinbach, has been cleaned up and reopened to the public, so today it’s possible to get inside and witness a truly strange piece of retail. It also sports a location of Rhode Island-based Benny’s Home & Auto Stores, whose survival continues to beat the odds, and which we wrote about last August. Check it out:
Inside the second level: