Aviation Mall; Queensbury (Glens Falls), New York

The Bon Ton at Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY

The city of Glens Falls, New York is only arguably within the Capital Region metropolitan area at all, given that its 40 minutes or so to the north of Albany. However, something about the entire area has always felt contiguous to me, which is why I included the Aviation Mall within the Albany malls case study a few weeks back.

The Aviation Mall is the lone mall serving the Glens Falls-Lake George area. The mid-sized metropolitan area is somewhat unique, in that it includes a traditional, older northern industrial city (Glens Falls) as well as a large tourist area (Lake George, which also serves as the gateway to the Adirondack Mountains) and is located on the same commercial strip as some major tourist attractions (Six Flags is just a few miles away). Developed by the Pyramid Cos. in 1976, the mid-sized mall is relatively standard for what Pyramid was setting forth at the time: straight-forward, linear one-level malls with a slight bend in the middle, giving them a subtle “V” shape. Nothing about the decor is terribly exciting, and the 50-store mall is basically what you’d expect to find in a smaller, more isolated metropolitan area. The current anchors are Sears, JCPenney, The Bon-Ton, Target, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
A few interesting facts:

  • In the mid-1990s, JCPenney decided to expand into a larger store than what they’d been occupying, which was originally a Denby’s location. They built a new store on the outside of their original store, and turned the old store into new mall space (and today, part of this space is occupied by Dick’s Sporting Goods). Most of the former JCPenney/Denby’s that was turned into mall space has not done well, for the most part, and despite being the newest and cleanest part of the mall also seems to host most of its vacancy.
  • The Target store was added in 2004, and did not replace an existing anchor.
  • In 1998, Pyramid unveiled a plan to expand Aviation Mall to bring its size to be comparable with Albany’s Crossgates Mall (which is a whopping 1.7 million square feet). Pyramid even went so far as to buy some adjacent properties to accommodate the expansion, but ultimately abandoned much of the project.
  • The Bon Ton occupies a space occupied from the early ’80s to 1999 by Caldor. The court in front of The Bon Ton, which is set off to the side of the main mallway, has not been renovated, and is a massive treat (and truly, the only reason to make a special trek to see this mall):

Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY

You can also check out a picture of the court back in its Caldor days at DeadMalls. You may notice that this particular Caldor appears to have never received the jazzy, red ’90s vintage logo, and lived out its days with the blocky, orange logo instead.

Sears at Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY

Sears at Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Target at Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY Aviation Mall in Queensbury, NY

46 Responses to “Aviation Mall; Queensbury (Glens Falls), New York”

  1. Most intruging update lately! This Aviation Mall is a real gem… and you were damn right about that “jungle” outside Bon-Ton. It would almost be worth the multi-hour drive to go see it. I would go too nuts with photos and I’ve heard mixed reports about Pyramid’s typical mall security. Is that why the photos are a little scant (except for you hiding in the former Caldor foliage)?

    For such an outdated mall, that’s gotta be the first Sears with the lowercase up-to-date company signage. Heck, I’ve seen brand new or newly renovated centers with older Sears stores than that.

    Another interesting anchor is Target; they seem be without a a central mall entrance from the insides. Actually they appear to have “leaky” entrances (more than one?) inside the mall. I suppose that ill-adaption is leftover from an aborted project or one that may never see the light beyond all this brown.


  2. Don’t mean to clog this topic with my posts but I’ve noticed many changes from that center court circa Caldor and now. They appear to have changed much; the globe lights are singular instead of quads, bulbs are solid, flooring is white (carpet?), paint job and most of all, they appear to have white bunkered the once skylight-peaking ceilings! Funny thing about it, it seems they’ve managed to brighten up this area much more so than it was when it had natural lighting! That’s what we call an aborted sterlization today…

    That exterior is not typical of Caldor stores I’ve seen. It’s a shame you couldn’t secure a daytime shot of it for label scar purposes. Bon-Ton is well known over at Newburgh Mall (NY) for neglecting to paint over a rainbow-era scar on their exterior. It also appears WikiPedia’s unknown author claims Caldor shuttered in 1998, a year before the chain folded.

    Another few questions, how did *this* Sears get lucky enough to renovate?

    And how did JCPenney built a store that isn’t stuck in a 70s/80s black hole? This one actually agrees with the times?!

    This is like an alternate, fantasy mall featuring “anchors that won”! Or maybe these anchors were led into a “Pyramid scheme”. What a scam.

    (Sorry for rambling on!)


  3. I personally think it’s interesting too(considering the size of this market, which though I dunno much about Glen Falls, probably is a typical small to mid-size market that this mall serves), that Sears chose to update their signage here(as opposed to possibly doing so in a bigger market, i.e. Syracuse, etc.).

    Wow, what I’d kill to successfully find(and possibly sneakily photograph, hehehe….) some malls that still have court areas like this, such as the one in front of Bon-Ton! Now that I think of it, doesn’t Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL still have a few of those olderish court areas with planters in some of the main parts of the mall(say, where all the hallways converge with each other, and/or around where the “middle” floor is??).


  4. And just so I have it straight about the JCPenney at this mall, it used to be in the space where Dick’s Sporting Goods is now? (and that they just built a new store, and moved it over to an area that I guess was in front of what I guess used to be a regular mall entrance?)


  5. Actually, the JCPenney space itself was turned into additional mall space, and JCPenney built a new store on the outside of the mall from their old one. Basically, the entire old JCPenney was converted to mall space (and part of it did become Dick’s later on) and JCPenney built a new store next to their old one, which connects to the portion of the mall that is in their former store.

    Also, XISMZERO, to tell you the truth, the dearth of photos is because most of the mall is relatively bland. The Bon Ton court is flat-out amazing, and I would’ve taken more pictures (possibly even some *real* pictures), but there were two guys hanging around in the middle of the court and not moving, so I would’ve looked kind of strange. The Bon Ton court is easy to miss, btw, because it’s down a side hallway and isn’t terribly visible when you walk down the main concourse. In fact, I visited Aviation Mall once before in 2000 and didn’t wander down that way, missing it entirely. Because the wing leading to The Bon Ton is narrow, the only part you can really see from the main portion of the mall is the store’s sign and entrance.


  6. I was up in this mall in July of last year on a trip up to Plattsburgh. In some ways, it is representative of the early era Pyramid malls. Unlike the one in Ithaca, this mall did not undergo the full remodel in the mid 80’s, keeping some of the foliage in the Bon-Ton area. In the late 90’s Pyramid proposed expanding several of their malls (Pyramid Mall in Ithaca and Salmon Run Mall being two of these, along with Aviation) From the looks of it, none of these malls underwent the extent of expansion (usually a proposed doubling of the GLA) that was proposed.


  7. So Caldor didn’t have an exterior access entrance? I can’t quite figure out why it would seem so many mall iterations of Caldor didn’t include outside access. Could this have been to repel thievery? Could it have been the mall wanted people to come through the mall in an attempt to increase patrons to see smaller parcels and not just use it for one (anchor) store? I’m more inclined to believe the latter. Looks to me it goes 50/50; Caldor attracts people to the mall thus helping it but they need to ask their customers to walk through it in return for getting more traffic garnered by it (the mall). Then why put a mall entrance beside it? I don’t know, seems to me like antiquated 1970’s mall logic.


  8. In most cases where a mall is anchored by a discounter, it seems that they have the store open out into the mall only, to cut down on thievery. Almost every mall-based discount store I’ve ever seen has lacked an external entrance, even if the discounter in question predates the mall (e. g., the now-former Kmart at Alpena Mall; mall was retrofitted onto the Kmart, so the Kmart’s lone entrance became the store’s mall entrance.)

    There are some exceptions, however, such as the now-former Kmart at Westwood Mall in Marquette. A former PrangeWay, this store opened out to the mall and to the parking lot; there were checkouts at each entrance. This store is now a Kohl’s, which retains both entrances.

    One of my local malls, Bay City Mall, has a Target that opens to the mall and to the parking lot. The mall entrance seems to be seldom used, but it’s right next to a lot of open space (and virtually right next to the exterior entrance too), so it would be easy to spot someone sneaking out into the mall.


  9. I like the court in front of Bon-Ton in its Caldor configuration better; the updates don’t do it much justice, especially those piddly chandeliers.


  10. The Hills/Ames store in Pyramid Mall was like that originally, with the only entrance being into the mall. Eventually (sometime in the early 90’s an exterior entrance was added, kind of clumsily, to the store, requiring the user to climb a flight of stairs in order to get into the Hills store.


  11. I used to work for a place called Oola Candy back in the early 1990’s when I was stationed in Upstate NY. We had a store in Aviation Mall, and several others in Pyramid Co’s malls.


  12. Now come on… Another white and pink tile floor. Yes, I know, it’s diffferent because it also has squares of turquoise and black tiles.


  13. I still go to this mall a lot. It has changed quite a bit. I remember that there was a water fountain and bridge that once stood in front of the old CVS and old JCPenney entrance that was removed when they built the addition leading to the new JCPenney.

    I also remember sliding down the incline at the easternmost end of the mall that led to Sears as a child. I believe this was one of the last Sears locations to switch from the old non-italicized, thin lettered sign logo to the newer, blue, large lettered and italicized logo. They changed this around 1993 or 1994.


  14. Caldor did close in 1998


  15. the second picture with the ruby tuesdays is actually from the wilton mall in saratoga, ny – not the aviation mall.

    i’m from glens falls, ny …the aviation mall, back in its hayday, was quite a sight to see. from the water fountains to the “jungle” in front of caldors, it really was a neat mall.

    now…it’s just dead.


  16. I go to the avation mall all the time but it is getting harder now because gas costs so much. I love ho there is now a gym in the mall so after you eat at the non expencive food court you can go and work off the fat. All an all it is a great mall.


  17. I stumbled upon this blog but I can give some insight. I was the Caldor regional security supervisor when this store was built in 1979, it was where my office was. We opened in September 1979.

    As far as the enttrance it was the only one, when you came out you could go right which would take you outside to the parking lot or to the Sears rear entrance.

    Going straight took you up to the mall.

    Turning left took you outside towards JC Penny and their rear door.

    The mall like many others was big in the 80’s and store turnovers was huge. With bookstores, clothing stores, changing all the time.

    When I worked there a Troy Savings bank was by one entrance and a great place to eat was also there along with a bakery as you came in and I think Lou’s Pizza. The food court came much later.

    As far as Denbys I never remember them being close to Pennys they were more in the middle or closer to Sears, and Denby’s had a front entrance.

    Also back then there was no mall security. Caldor had detectives that worked for me and Pennys had a great guy named Walt who was a retired NYC cop and was their secuirty. Sears finally got security around 1983.


  18. Target seems like a bizarre location…while many mall Targets take over a vacant spot (think Montgomery Ward) or built as a normal anchor, Target wraps around two former entrances, which seems to justify me calling it a “Parasite Anchor”.


  19. Dan, was the Troy Savings Bank at the beginning of the food court? I remember until about the mid 1990’s, there was a Northeast Savings bank in that spot.


  20. I remember readeing somewhere that there was a Robert Hall Village at this mall at one point? Does anyone know anything about this or where it was located?


  21. I miss the bridge outside Penney’s … there used to be a wide pond outside Penney’s, narrower in the middle, with a little arc bridge over it. You could walk around easily enough, but as a kid, where was the fun in that? I’m glad the part outside the old Caldor is still there, but the bridge was twice as cool.

    Oh, and fyi, Target does have two entrances — you can walk straight through from outside the mall out the other side into the mall.


  22. Denby’s was not where JC Penney’s used to be. Denby’s was located where Old Navy is today.


  23. Sears is leaving this mall….



  24. I grew up in this mall and remember how amazing it was in it’s day. Now, it just makes me sad, although it’s not dead by any means compared to the state of other small malls in the Capital District…I guess I just have a soft spot for the old malls that were dark and dingy, lit only by horrible neon…yay for neon!


  25. Sears has been rumored to leave Aviation Mall for over a decade, it still hasn’t happened.

    I was working there when the logo changed, and they merged with KMart (circa 2005). There was talk then that the Auto center would be moving to the (then-empty) Auto garage at the KMart across town; that also never happened. (KMart store leased the space to a local chain instead.)

    I think they needed to replace the signs at the time, which is why the store got the new logo signs; don’t quote me on that because I was just a peon, and you didn’t get the same story from two managers.

    Target’s interior entrance used to be a Sam Goody store, and before that a Kay-bee (Kay-Bee moved to the other end of the mall, taking over the space from Circus World, after KayBee bought that co.). I think part of the space that Target took over was part of the old movie theater, not sure. I do recall a crafts store that only had an exterior entrance (my mom took us there all the time) being on that side of the mall as well, and that space also housed a furniture store for a while.


  26. oh, I forgot. the office area of the Sears was at one time the catalog desk; it was walled off when catalog was dropped. The inside was never really remodelled; they still had 70’s/80’s era striping on the walls, and a portrait of the inside-mall entrance, which was (and still is) at the bottom of a rampway.


  27. George, the crafts store you are thinking of was called “So-Fro Fabrics”.


  28. Hello,

    I am a Glens Falls native. I was a kid, but I can remember…

    I can confirm this fountain pool with the bridge outsid of the old J.C. Penny’s. My mom doesn’ even remember that.

    Also, the foliage outside of the now Bon-Ton, then Caldor, was an awesome waterfall fountain course. There were pools and they had the water running right down the paths where the plants are now. I really wish to God I had a picture of this because I am homesick for it. The floor was composed entirely of the brown brick lay and not that horrible, stain- capturing carpet.

    The food court is now horrible, with only three or so places to eat. There used to be a large, walk-in McDonald’s. Now it houses mall offices. There also used to be a Mr. B’s Best with sparkly red spinning stools. Taco Bell has come and gone.

    There used to be a “strip” part to Aviation. I believe it was the So-Fro fabrics that Dan speaks of. I am pretty sure there was another store though I can’t remember it.

    Target takes an old wing of the mall that used to be an entrance. Benson’s Pet Center had its start there and at the time even sold puppies. A long, long time ago, there was also a Ground-Round restaurant.

    Thanks guys, for the memories. Does anyone remember the Old Saratoga mall with the Jamesway?


  29. Cynthia, I dont remember the Mr. B’s being in the mall food court. Now, the only things at the food court are Arby’s, the Chinese place, and Subway. The Pizza place is gone.

    Do you remember the Schenectady Savings Bank(later Northeast Savings) that was located at the front of the Food Court accross from McDonald’s?


  30. So-Fro fabrics…forgot about that store! It was located in the mall strip, but not accessible from the mall. It was an outside entrance only.

    McDonald’s used to be in the food court…this was one of the most unique McDonald’s I remember visiting. It was “aviation” themed, due to the fact it was in the Aviation mall. It had a huge plan propeller hanging above the counter. While it was located in the mall food court, it was also accessible from the outside the mall – There was a “greenhouse” area of McDonald’s that had an outside door.

    I definitely remember the water and bridge that was located outside of JCPenny’s…Down near that end there was also Sam Goody (which I worked at in the late 90’s) and a Record Town kitty-corner to it. Across from Record Town was Saturday Night Matinee. Before Antie Anne’s pretzel place came in, there was a Barvarian Pretzel place. Across from that was the store RAVE…I think Barbara Moss was next to that for a while as well. The movie theatre used to be located in the centre of the mall…about where the current Famous Footwear shoe store is.

    I know there was a KayBee in this area, too. I remember buying all my NES games from there. It might have even been next to Sam Goody for a while, before moving down towards the food court.

    Lane Bryant was near there, too.

    The mall actually closed up one of the side hallways of the mall…The Ground Round used to be down a side hallway in the middle of the mall. There was a framing store down that wing as well, in addition to the candy store someone mentioned earlier. On the corner of that wing, was either Petite Sophisticated or Casual corner…I can’t remember which. I remember the whole store having class windows and white, glassy mannequins in the windows.

    Next to Mr. B’s Subb’s (I used to LOVE the shiny red sparkle stools!) was Deb. I remember the hideous purple shag carpet they had in the store. For s a short while, there was a Walden’s book store near there as well.

    I was really young when this mall was in it’s prime, but I do remember there being a pretty big clothing store next to Sears. I think it was called Osmonds? Or something like that. It had mustard yellow shag carpet. It’s where Payless Shoes is today. Does anyone remember this store? I think it was geared towards fashionable young women.

    I don’t remember any bank being in the mall, but then again, I was never old enough to actually use it.

    Down the Caldor hallway, there used to be a Northern Reflections on the corner. It sold “nature” inspired fashions. I used to pick out sweaters with geese on them for my Grandmother.

    Kitty corner from Deb, there used to be The Gap. I remember it closing sometime when I was in middle school. 1997ish?

    God. I can’t believe how much this mall has changed. I’d give anything to go back for one day and revisit my youth!

    Anything else you guys remember? It’s fun reminiscing!


  31. I was just talking about the “pant shed” or somthing like that. It was next to where cvs was arcross from kay bee. the front of it looked like a roof and it had any type of pants you’d want, piled from floor to ceiling. Miss that place.


  32. The clothing store mentioned above was “Ormond” the store with the jeans was called the Shed House. I remember the changing rooms had little half moons on the doors like little outhouses. I was blessed with a sttel trap memory so I can list some other stores that have come and gone.

    Gibson girl restaurant, Frame of mind, HotBuns bakery
    the Porterhouse restaurant that occupied the space before the Ground round was there. There was even a franklin stove store way back in 1975. Then there was Frankles fabric store, B. Dalton books, a liquor store down where the food court now resides. Bigfoot hot dogs (food court), Magrams clothing, Beaconway fabric store where my mom would buy clothing patterns, Chess King clothing, Karmelkorn (first a store front then an island down by the old Thom McCann shoe store. Cinema 1-2-3 where I saw star wars as a kid, Dutcher’s arcade (which was first called the penny arcade). North Syracuse Musicland who sold organs, Hickory Farms, Young Shoes, that big brick fountain with a step down area that had recessed benches to sit on, Schatz Stationary and gift store, Liberty Travel, Orient Express Chinese restaurant, Orange Julius, Andersen Little, Klein’s All-sports, 1 potato 2 (a short lived baked potato fast food restaurant) Ben & Jerry’s, Serendipity gifts, and who could forget the banks of payphones that are now all extinct? Good times for sure!


  33. There was an Orange Julius in the food court, there was a bank, a tuxedo rental store, and a liquor store.They were located where the food court is now. There were a couple of shoe stores, Thom McCann and the Shoe Shop. There was also a store called Merry Go Round-similar to Rave. Also, Magrams was a huge store back then. Ground Round, Gibson Girl, some Indian store and a photo shop . Deb store did have awful purple carpeting. There was also a store called Foxmoor.


  34. And there was a Gap.


  35. “The clothing store mentioned above was “Ormond” the store” — YES! Thank you! For years it bothered me that I could not remember the name of it!

    I also remember There was a ‘Mckinney’ shoe store in the early to mid-90s where the old CVS was (now Victoria Secrets)


    “Does anyone remember the Old Saratoga mall with the Jamesway?” — I used to love the Saratoga Mall, too! It was always pretty empty (compared to what malls are considered nowadays) when I went there. It had Montgomery Wards, an extremely large Silvermine in the mid-90s (hippie/alternative store) and some huge modern fashion store named Stuarts I believe? (Similar to Merry Go Round and RAVE)


  36. Finally got back to this mall after a year. I thought it was headed to decline but it seems to be coming back. A year ago (granted it was a weekday) it was deserted and almost the entire long hallway seemed to be filled with vacancies. Now, the mall is packed (sunday) and I can count the vacancies with one hand. Though a gift shop and justice seem to be having going out of business sales without calling them that. They are very good about covering vacant stores, not obvious that it wasn’t always just a wall there.

    Going east to west. The jcp (new company name) is very unusual, very long and thin, and continues even further south with the “catalog/salon” entrance, very popular in early 90s stores such as this and the original Wilton mall jcp.

    The dicks wing seems like the most lively wing, housing among others a pet shop with a huge selection of puppies, 99 restaurant, brand new planet fitness with one mall entrance, and the one Target mall entrance which seems to be heavily trafficked (the other has been closed for more store space, as Target is converting all their stores to “supercenters” with a grocery section).

    Then a lot of your run of the mill mall chains. Then the south hallway which houses a Regal very reminiscent of the old clifton country mall regal. And the Caldor court. Very 80s. The storefront has been bonton-ified and some lights removed, I heard the gardens used to contain fountains and you can see a string of bricks on both sides lending to that theory. Otherwise not really updated since the 80s.

    There’s one remaining retro light on the ceiling dead center. Now regretting not trying to sneak a pic. As far as I know bonton hasn’t built outside exits, just the atrium exit, with one door to the mall, one with a outdoor sidewalk headed toward dicks, and one headed toward Sears. So there’s sort of a outdoor aspect here, but odd that It’s on the back of the mall.

    Continuing on, a newsstand, radioshack, then the unique and strange zig zag ramp down to Sears and payless. Isn’t the whole point to be a wheelchair ramp? But It’s so hard to maneuver and so awkwardly slanted, there’s a sign saying wheelchairs MUST use the lift on the side. The only standout feature of sears is the “Sears” logo (note capitalization) with a red underline. Very cool.

    Now the food court. As a kid I could swear there was a hallway where there is now a wall of mirrors. Perhaps they converted it to store space when the HUGE kids party center moved in down the hall, or possibly for Target storage room. Or perhaps I am remembering another mall. I do know there was a taco bell to the left of that where there’s now just a wall. Another spot now has a Gamestop, and another has an arcade (may have always been there). Just Arbys, subway, pizza, Chinese, which are actually decent choices in an era of fading mall food courts.

    Last but not least, the mall office. Go outside and take a look at the double doors there. The inner door still has the golden arches on it! I had a flashback and remember eating under that greenhouse type area there.

    Oh how I miss McDonald’s in malls. Each one was so unique and it was fun to eat there. Latham Circle Mall had a McDonald’s with a playplace. I remember it but have not found its location after many trips. If anyone knows please help me out because there is no labelscar (i’ve inspected every storefront). And of course there is no “typical” storefront for mall McDonald’s as aviation is a shining example of.

    This is just a fun mall to walk around in and offers a variety of things other than your typical mall shopping. Specifically planet fitness, 99, Target, and an overall retro feel due to their lack of remodeling (arcade, McDonald’s, caldor atrium). But if this success continues they likely will remodel, so go see it and snap some pics if you dare.


    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @E, I do remember reading that Latham Circle Mall had a playground inside their McDonald’s. I’ve always wondered about full-service McD’s inside malls. I wish I had gone inside the Cherry Hill Mall McDonald’s, and thought the Mayfair Mall McDonald’s (antlers converted to light fixtures, plus overlooking the ice rink) was cool too.


    Billy Reply:

    @E, Won’t help much now that Latham Circle is more like Latham pile of pieces, but their McDonalds was towards the JC Penney end from the later food court, basically across the hallway from the Old Country buffet area (if that helps any in location).

    If I remember correctly, that was where the mall itself ended before the newer JC Penney was built on (which brought the section with the theaters, sort of in place of the older JC Penney which you had to exit the mall to get to). That was from the fact that the mall started as an open air plaza (which also explains why the larger stores like Woolworth and Boston Store were all on the “back” side of the walkway – anything in “front of the walkway didn’t exist originally).


  37. I meant west to east. jcp is on the west, dicks and bonton on the south, Target on the north, and sears/foodcourt on the east.


  38. One more FYI. Look at aviation mall on Google maps and switch to satellite view. It was taken right as the parking lot was being cleared for Target.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone have an exact date when dicks was built?


  39. “Out of curiosity, does anyone have an exact date when dicks was built?”

    ….I want to say it was early 2000s? 2001-2002 perhaps? I want to say it was after Klein’s was taken out of the mall (Klein’s was across the hall, where Planet Fitness is now.) …I can remember shopping in Klein’s up until ’99/2000.


  40. I was there recently and I was a bit shocked to see that both Arby’s and Subway had closed in the food court. This leaves you with three food court options…the chinese place, a newer shop that sells cupcakes, and a pizza place, which now as a side business sells poutine. It is an interesting combination. I would surely think there would be more hungry people wanting a sandwich or some more conventional food option!


  41. Bad News guys…
    I was at Aviation Mall on Wednesday and noticed that Arby’s and Subway are now gone.
    Like Rotterdam Square and Wilton Malls, the owner of the eateries was not able to pay the rent, so they shut down.
    I guess the Arby’s and Subway at all three malls are owned by the same franchise.
    So now if you go into Aviation Mall, there are only 2 places to eat in the food court, Little Italy Pizza and a chinese food place….the food court sucks now…
    The food courts at Rotterdam Square Mall, Wilton Mall and Aviation Mall are all dead and in desperate need of new eateries.



  42. A few weeks ago, Subway reopened at Aviation Mall, under different ownership.
    So now the food court is back up to three eateries..Little Italy Pizza, chinese food place and Subway..
    Now all we need is a new eatery to replace the former Arby’s and the food court will be like it was before.


  43. Thanks to all for the trip down memory lane! I worked at this mall as a teenager, in Schatz Stationery and The Gap. It opened when I was a kid, the mall had an orange sunset sign with a seagull on it, at the entrance next to the Friendlys. My mom bought her clothes at Magrams and Chess King was the high end mens store, I think. The arcade had deep purple shag carpeting on the walls! There was a fresh-squeezed lemonade stand in the middle of the mall, and they would also hand-dip ice cream bars in chocolate and nuts. Does anyone remember a Ghenghis Cookie store? They sold huge chocolate chip cookies, but I think they closed early on. The jungle/fountains outside Caldor were really great, no modern mall has this stuff. Wooden benches were built in among the plants, so you could sit in nature and wait for your family to finish their shopping. Love this mall, even if it’s on life support.


  44. Greetings!

    Target just recently left the Aviation Mall and opened a “stand-alone” store in a nearby shopping plaza, right next to a less than 1 year old Hobby Lobby. I have no idea what they are planning to do with the old Target space, because although I’ve lived my whole life in Glens Falls, (I worked at the Aviation Mall Troy Savings Bank one Summer in high school) we generally make the 15 mile trip South to the Wilton Mall to shop instead. The fact is, that these two malls provide very little difference in their overall experience these days, due to the Wilton Mall now having had quite a few recent store closings as well.

    In my humble opinion, the real draw to that area is more about all of the new stores that are popping up either in freshly renovated, or in several newly built locations in and around downtown Saratoga and in new plazas and shopping centers that have been cropping up on the outskirts of the city.

    They also have several new(er) and more trendy restaurants that are exclusive to the area, where Glens Falls and Queensbury have really only added one new big name chain restaurant in the last 5 years or so. (A Texas Roadhouse)

    It’s true that the Wilton Mall did have more desirable stores at one time, but I’d have to say that it’s just as much on it’s last legs as Aviation Mall these days. I really feel as though the massive malls are slowly going by way of the dinosaur and being replaced by a new type of “shopping experience”. (Oddly enough, one that technically existed before the malls ever came into fashion)

    What we’re seeing in the South when we travel there to visit our daughter, are trendy “outdoor malls” that house both high end and mid-priced outlet and retail stores side by side, with pretty landscaped courtyard style walkways throughout. (The Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, VA is one of the examples that stands out in my mind at the moment)

    Great site, btw! I found you while I was searching for information about whether or not the Ground Round chain still existed in other areas of the country. Reading through this post and all of the comments has been a fascinating and nostalgic walk down memory lane! Thanks!


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