Schuylkill Mall; Frackville, Pennsylvania

The Schuylkill Mall opened in 1980, developed by Crown American properties, with Kmart, Hess, Sears, and Pomeroy’s as anchor stores. With around 800,000 square feet spread across a “T” shaped pattern, the mall was extremely large, especially given its rural trade area, and initially opened with a bevy of mid-range national tenants

Century III Mall; West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Neatly perched atop a giant slag pile nine miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh, Century III Mall has an interesting name and an even more interesting history. Opened in 1979, Century III Mall was the result of a mutually beneficial partnership between regional real estate magnate Edward DeBartolo of Youngstown, Ohio, who wanted to build a giant mall, and the U.S. Steel Corporation, who had a giant mountain of slag marring the landscape south of Pittsburgh that needed a better use. For those who don’t know, slag is a by-product of steel production, and for many decades the slag from Pittsburgh’s steel mills was transported to this site until it became an otherworldly artificial mountain taller than anyone could have imagined, disaffectionally known as Brown’s Dump.

The Mall at Steamtown; Scranton, Pennsylvania

Steamtown Mall opened in 1993 as a keystone of Scranton’s downtown revitalization. Featuring nearly 100 stores and 564,000 square feet of retail space spread across two levels, the mall was wedged in the center of Scranton’s downtown area and was meant to bring shoppers and activity back to the region’s core city from suburban malls and shopping centers.

The Gallery At Market East; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The placement of enclosed shopping centers in urban cores and downtowns in America has always been a bit curious and fascinating to us.  Perhaps it’s because their designs must be creative in order to weave the structure into the existing built environment.  Or maybe it’s because they challenge the very notion of the traditional downtown, which struggled with its identity after the automobile age brought clusters of stores […]

Berkshire Mall; Wyomissing (Reading), Pennsylvania

I know that I’m really keeping these posts coming fast and furious lately, but after I threw up my tome on the Fairgrounds Square Mall outside of Reading, Pennsylvania, I decided to follow it up with the other, better mall serving the Reading area: the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing. While the Berkshire Mall is in […]

Fairgrounds Square Mall; Muhlenberg Township (Reading), Pennsylvania

The Fairgrounds Square Mall is one of two major malls serving the Reading, Pennsylvania area. Fairgrounds Square is located on the northern edge of the city between the Allentown Pike and the Pottsville Pike, and at 718,000 square feet, is only slightly smaller than the more successful Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing, but I’m of the […]

Whitehall Mall; Whitehall, Pennsylvania

Hey kids–I’ve been really busy lately (in fact, it seems we both have), hence the dearth of new posts. But it’s not that I haven’t updated anything–in fact, we made some edits to a post from nearly a year back the other day thanks to some new vintage photos of the Leh’s Department store in […]

Harrisburg Mall; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

It was the fall of 2004, and I was finishing up my first day of what was then the longest trip that I’d taken alone. After a long day spent trawling across the northeast, I found myself standing in the lobby of a Red Roof Inn in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, entirely by myself in a city […]

PREIT Purchases Former Strawbridge’s Flagship Store

One of the more prominent retail sites vacated due to the Federated/May merger has been snatched up by PREIT (The Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust). According to, the developer has signed a purchase agreement for floors one through six of the former Strawbridge’s anchor store at Eighth and Market Streets in center city Philadelphia. […]

Capital City Mall; Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Not every mall can be exciting, and truth be told, the Capital City Mall in Camp Hill, a suburb just southwest of Harrisburg, isn’t terribly remarkable. It’s a fairly standard mid-sized one-level mall with 576,000 square feet and three anchor stores organized roughly in the classic dumbell fashion. Its greatest drama seems to be that […]