The golden triangle area of Framingham and Natick Massachusetts is one of the most active retail districts in the northeastern portion of the United States, and while today it’s dominated by only one enclosed shopping mall, it used to be home to 5 “malls” of various size and design. One of those was Shoppers World, which was demolished and reconfigured as a big box center in 1994. We just found a great page including some photos of the old Shoppers World in the days before it was demolished, and we’re quite impressed. I do remember seeing the domed Jordan Marsh landmark once, right before it was torn down, but I never got to see the insides of this outdoor mall. Also make sure to note the presence of another retail relic: Herman’s Sporting Goods.
Today, Shoppers World is a large big box center with stores like Best Buy, Bob’s Stores, Barnes & Noble, and Toys ‘R Us. Its smaller neighbor, the one-story Natick Mall, was expanded and renovated in 1994–the same time that the original Shoppers World met its fate–to be the dominant mall for that area, and it’s about to be renovated again to include a whole new wing that will house Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus, two condominium towers and almost 100 new stores, making it New England’s largest enclosed mall.
There were also 3 other enclosed malls huddled around these two behemoths: the smaller Framingham Mall, which was demolished in 2000, was home to Filene’s Basement, Lechmere (a Labelscar favorite), and about 30 other stores. The Cloverleaf Mall is smaller, and we were less certain of its history before reading the article at that link, but today it hosts a Guitar Center and Burlington Coat Factory, and had a Service Merchandise until 2001. There’s a fifth mall near the corner of Route 30 and Caldor Road (tee-hee) that is really strange. So far as we can tell, it is referred to only by the unglamorous name “Route 30 Mall,” and none of the stores in the center even open into the mall corridor anymore, yet it remains open. It’s really just a glorified strip mall, anchored by Filene’s Basement, with a long hallway running behind the stores so visitors can walk to the back, home of “Lotus Flower,” an excellent local Chinese place.