Paramus, New Jersey is one of the nation’s biggest retail towns, boasting over six million square feet of retail space racking up some of the largest sales of any town in America. The area around routes 4 and 17 has been home (at one point or another) to no less than six enclosed shopping malls, including the legendary (and previously-blogged-about) Bergen Mall.
Paramus Park Mall is one of the newer of the area’s enclosed malls, opening in 1974. Strangely, this large, twisty, mostly one-level mall with two anchors (Sears and Macy’s) seems largely redundant given the large malls nearby, in particular the Garden State Shopping Center, since it has an almost total tenant overlap with that mall. While in most markets, Paramus Park would probably be long dead, Paramus isn’t like most markets. Perhaps the size of the the GS Shopping Center makes it a pain for residents to deal with for every mall trip, so they have Paramus Park as an alternative.
Either way, Paramus Park is really an unexpectedly cool mall, due to its sloping glass ceilings (which best nearly every other skylight-based ceiling configuration that I’ve seen) and great court areas, especially in front of the anchor stores. The Macy’s court especially made me want to sit down and spend the entire day (though it was much cooler when it had a fountain, as opposed to that massage table)… but that’s just me, and I’ve established that I’m weird. A 2001 renovation sapped Paramus Park of a little bit of its character, but the basic idea is preserved. What’s cool is that we have two photo sets for this mall, one taken by Prangeway in 2001 and another by me in 2006, and the older set was taken while the renovations were still underway. You’ll also notice that the exterior of the mall was made over sometime after the interior, and the 2001 set has some intact shots of that rather ugly old exterior. Note the difference, in (I think) the same place:
Sorry there, innocent bystander. You’ve been Labelscarred. (Oh, he knows, he knows. We think.)