The Syracuse area may be dominated by one very large mall, but there are two other substantially-sized malls that are still operating in the metropolitan area, and the Shoppingtown Mall (which has no relation to Westfield’s “Shoppingtown” malls) is the area’s second largest mall, with just over 1 million square feet. Serving Syracuse’s eastern suburbs, it seems to be struggling much like many other Syracuse-area malls before it.
Built in 1954 as an open-air center, Shoppingtown Mall was one of Syracuse’s first suburban shopping centers, with W.T. Grant’s, Woolworth, E.G. Edwards, Dey’s, and The Addis Co. as anchor stores. The mall was enclosed in 1975 along with the addition of JCPenney in the former E.G. Edwards space, and substantially renovated and expanded in 1991. Syracuse-based department store chain Chapell’s also entered the mall at some point. The last expansion brought Steinbach, a relocated Addis & Dey’s, and a new wing of stores. While I’m not entirely sure, I would estimate that the two-level portion of the mall that now houses Macy’s and the food court is the newest addition. Chapell’s was sold to The Bon Ton in 1995, and The Addis Co. and Dey’s merged into one chain at some point though I’m unable to find when. Kaufmann’s replaced them in their second location in the mall in 1993.
The mall’s anchors today are Macy’s (until recently the Kaufmann’s store), Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JCPenney, and a 10-screen Regal Cinemas. While the mall is bright and clean and sports a very unique and dynamic layout, Shoppingtown has very recently lost The Bon Ton, Old Navy, and Media Play as well as many smaller stores, especially on the long, sloped Sears wing.
Despite its commercial malaise, Shoppingtown is a very neat mall. Because it was added onto over time, it has a strange floorplan that can best be described as an “L” with an “X” hanging off one end. Part of the mall is two-level, while another part is on a rather steep grade sloping from the second floor down to the first.
I’ve attempted to organize these photos in a logical way, since there are three very distinctively diferent areas in the Shoppingtown Mall. Moving from right to left according to the mall directory, this first group of photos are the indoor and outdoor shots from the two-level portion of the mall, with Macy’s, JCPenney, and the food court:
And the third set is from my favorite wing of the mall, the long wing stretching from Dick’s Sporting Goods, past the former Old Navy and Media Play stores, and down to the Sears store. This entire wing is on a steady downhill slope from Old Navy down to Sears, and you can see the grading if you look towards the edge of the mall corridor, in front of the stores. Note also that there’s a basement courtyard with offices and a mall entrance in the middle of this wing. Two teenagers were actually down there making out–which is quite a testament to how quiet it was in this part of the mall on a Saturday afternoon–and I briefly considered taking a photo until I remembered I was a kid once… not that long ago. I’m not a bad person, so I refrained.