Warwick Mall; Warwick, Rhode Island

UPDATE 4/3/2010: I’m resurfacing this post from 2006 specifically because the Warwick Mall has been all over the news this week. Rhode Island’s Warwick Mall was a victim of a flood that was the worst Rhode Island has seen in 200 years, and the entire mall was buried under 2+ feet of water (and as much as 6ft in some places) and is currently closed indefinitely for a rebuilding and cleaning effort. Although the future of the mall is somewhat in question, it seems likely that the still locally-owned mall will be repaired and reopened in roughly the same state it was in before. Scroll down for some updates on the flood itself, along with photos (and links to more) of the Warwick Mall flood of 2010. Also, one unsubstantiated (and possibly strange) potential impact of this: the neighboring (and very, very dead) Rhode Island Mall has been rumored as a potential site for some short term leases for stores that were displaced in the flooding. Could this be the beginning of a return for Rhode Island’s only Gruen-designed shopping mall?

The Warwick Mall is a 1 million square foot enclosed shopping mall at the junction of interstate 295 and RI-2 in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is immediately across the freeway from the beleaguered Rhode Island Mall, which we’ve posted about before, though I wouldn’t say that the Warwick Mall was responsible for killing it.

Warwick Mall opened in 1972, just a few years after the adjacent Rhode Island Mall (which was then called the Midland Mall). For a very long time, the two malls coexisted very peacefully. Rhode Island Mall was anchored by G. Fox and Sears, while Warwick Mall featured Rhode Island’s first outlets of Boston-based department stores Filene’s and Jordan Marsh, along with branches of downtown Providence department stores Peerless and The Outlet, as well as a Woolworth. The JCPenney building at the west end of the mall was almost certainly added later, and Caldor replaced The Outlet some time in the early 1980s. Despite that Warwick Mall was almost twice the size of the Rhode Island Mall, it houses only seventy stores. This is because it houses six anchors instead of two, and the large size of these anchors and in-line store spaces. The Jordan Marsh store alone housed more than 300,000 square feet of floor space.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Warwick area became the king of Rhode Island retail, and the route 2 corridor became a boomtown of strip malls, stretching miles to the north and south. Both malls profited and continued to thrive, but by the late 1980s, the Rhode Island Mall may have gained a slight edge via a renovation and addition of a food court, plus its ability to actually hold more tenants in spite of its smaller size. The Warwick Mall responded with a 1991 renovation, which added the arched trellis ceilings you see in these photos today, and removed many of the mall’s more vintage elements, such as the sunken sitting areas, extensive greenery, large fountains, and statues. The mall’s historic clock does remain, along with a much smaller version of the center court fountain. Prior to the renovation, the Warwick Mall’s center court featured a large penny fountain with a large, vaguely Grecian statue. I wish I had some vintage photos of this mall, because the way I remember it as a child was truly stunning–very much the model of a “classic” shopping mall. One of my favorite features was a sunken sitting area in the center of the mall which housed an Orange Julius (the kind with the “wall of oranges” facade).

In addition, the renovation replaced the departed Peerless anchor with a large food court. Around this time (I’m not sure of the exact date), Woolworth’s also departed the mall and was replaced with an extremely large Express/Bath and Body Works/Structure combination store, which still has its own exterior entrance.

Warwick Mall in Warwick, RIThis 1991 renovation repositioned Warwick Mall as the dominant mall for the southern Providence suburbs, which is the status it retains today. Rhode Island Mall’s influence began to decline a few short years after the renovation when the May company acquired Filenes, and ultimately decided to shut their G. Fox store at Rhode Island Mall while expanding the Filene’s store at the Warwick Mall, adding to this mall’s overall square footage. The 1999 bankruptcy of Caldor didn’t phase the mall, as the space was filled relatively quickly with a large Old Navy store. Interestingly, however, the Caldor was a two-level anchor store, and the existing Old Navy is only one level, so the second level of the Caldor is not in use and could potentially even be something of a time capsule. Similarly, the 1999 opening of the massive and upscale Providence Place Mall had no measurable impact on the Warwick Mall, which has remained successful. A large Showcase Cinemas also opened on the mall’s outlots in 2000 or 2001.

In a strange twist, the Warwick Mall has remained privately owned throughout its entire history. Developed by Bliss Properties, Lloyd Bliss sold the mall to his son-in-law, Cranston City Councilman Aram Garabedian, the mall’s owner today. Today, the May/Federated merger has created the mall’s largest vacancy ever, with the 300,000 square foot former Macy’s/Jordan Marsh sitting dark. Garabedian has purchased the site from Federated and said he is exploring demolishing the structure (which, given its size, seems almost inevitable) and replacing it with a lifestyle component to anchor the southern end of the mall. While I agree that what the mall needs most is more in-line space (70 stores is tiny for such a dominant, super-regional mall), I’m not so jazzed about the lifestyle concept in general because I fear it will look tacked on. I’d rather see the mall receive a second level addition with a collection of alternative anchors at its southern end, but one challenge facing the Warwick Mall is that the success of its surrounding shopping district means that there are very few chains not already present. We’ll see. UPDATE 4/3/2010: Actually, the massive Jordan Marsh store was replaced with a Target store on the ground level, and a Sports Authority on the second level, as seen in many of the 2010 flood photos. At least one of my original 2006 predictions was correct!

Historic Jordan Marsh photos courtesy Michael Lisicky
Vintage Jordan Marsh photos courtesy Michael Lisicky

In the photos, be careful to notice the distinctive copper-green awnings of the former Jordan Marsh/Macy’s, and the unusually large facade that Old Navy has inherited by occupying just one level of a two-level store. And if you want more, check out the virtual tour on the official website!

UPDATE 3/31/2010: Massive flooding due to storms in New England caused the Warwick Mall to be completely flooded with over 2-3 feet of water inside the mall and more in the parking lot. At the moment, it remains to be seen when the mall will reopen. Initially it seemed the severity of the flood in the area of the mall was comparable to many of the malls around New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina that never reopened, but on closer inspection it appeared that the mall was not as heavily damaged as originally suspected. Mall owner Aram Garabedian has stated that the mall should reopen in a matter of weeks or months at most, though it will remain closed indefinitely. A security guard at the mall had to be rescued by boat, and some bunnies being used in Easter photo shoots at a photography studio were drowned in the flood. More pictures and story here, via the Huffington Post. Photo below via the Providence Journal.

Warwick Mall JCPenney in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall Macy's (Former Filene's) in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall JCPenney in Warwick, RI

Warwick Mall entrance in Warwick, RI Former Macy's (previously Jordan Marsh) at Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Food court entrance to Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Old Navy (Former Caldor) at Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Warwick Mall food court in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall carousel in Warwick, RI Vacant Macy's/Jordan Marsh at Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Prangeway: Here are some more pictures of Warwick Mall from August 25, 2001.

Warwick Mall food court in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Warwick Mall JCPenney in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI

Author: Caldor

Jason Damas is a search engine marketing analyst and consultant, and a freelance journalist. Jason graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a minor in Music Industry. He has regularly contributed to The Boston Globe, PopMatters.com, Amplifier Magazine, All Music Guide, and 168 Magazine. In addition, he was a manager for a record store for over two years. Currently, he focuses on helping companies optimize their web sites to maximize search engine visibility, and is responsible for website conversion analysis, which aims to improve conversion rates by making e-commerce websites more user-friendly. He lives in suburban Boston.

71 thoughts on “Warwick Mall; Warwick, Rhode Island”

  1. Man, Jordan Marsh sure got a lot of mileage out of that exterior design. This is at least the second or third Jordan Marsh I’ve seen that looks like that.

    The JCPenney looks a little newer than the mall proper, possibly circa 1978. It’s got the ‘greenhouse’ canopies, which wouldn’t have happened in 1972.

    The Filene’s (Macy’s) is a prototypical ’90s May Company design. It looks wonderful, as they almost always do, but I’m imagining the interior is the typical classy but staid design they were infamous for as well.

  2. I share your suspicion that the JCPenney was constructed later, but I don’t have any information about it. If you look at the satellite photo linked towards the top of the post, you can see the basic layout of the mall. The JCPenney anchor is the one at left, and looks very visibly tacked on compared to the other 3 anchor stores (for reference, the new Macy’s (former Filenes) is at the top, the old Macy’s (former Jordan Marsh) was at the bottom, and the large anchor built into the mall building itself is the Old Navy (former Caldor). The large areas above or below the Caldor space also were once anchors–the space above was the Peerless, which is now the food court, and the space below was Woolworth, which is now occupied by the Limited Co. stores as well as some other things.

  3. Although I would hate to see this happen–since it would be the death knell of the Rhode Island Mall–it seems like it would be a smart business decision for Sears to move to the former Macy’s building at the Warwick Mall.

    Since this is my first post here, I just want to conclude by thanking all those involved for making this such a great website.

  4. Hi Max!

    Thanks for the compliment! We really appreciate all the great feedback we’ve been getting. It’s a lot of work putting all of this together, but it’s also a lot of fun (and educational for us too!)

    The idea of Sears moving to the Warwick Mall occurred to me as well, and I almost included it in my list of “what ifs” above, but there are a few reasons why I think it’s unlikely:

    1) Sears has been favoring off-mall locations lately. This is far from an absolute, but given that…
    2) The old Macy’s store is located way in the back of the lot, and has extremely poor access to the entranceways. I think this, more than anything, will kill it for Sears. If the tables were turned and the Filenes space, which is near all of the mall’s entrances, was empty, I think they might pounce. But as it is, the old Macy’s is tucked too deep into the site to be convenient, and that’s not really in line with Sears’ growth strategy of putting stores in reach of the kinds of consumers who shop at Wal-Mart or Target. Case in point: Their Rhode Island Mall store has great access from routes 2 and 113, and has none of the hassles one might associate with a “mall.”

    Still, there is obviously a huge deal of logic involved with it, so I suppose its a possibility. I always wished that the standalone Sears in Woonsocket had moved to the Caldor space in the Lincoln Mall in 1999 or 2000, because that would’ve probably saved that mall before it was too late.

  5. Caldor, thank you very much for that warm welcome.

    Your explanation was very helpul, and it also certainly explains why Federated moved Macy’s from its old location to the former Filene’s building.

  6. Man, what’s up with the mall interior Penney’s sign? Not only is the “Penney” part too high (or is the JC part too low?), the JCP spacing is all out of whack.

  7. I just noticed that. That is one odd-looking JCPenney sign, moreso than the signage mixup from a few postings ago. The interior mall entry used the old ‘Penneys’ logo rather than the current ‘JCPenney’ type, while the building exterior signage was current.

  8. Matt, The JCPenney never would have had the “Penneys” logo as the store is a 1977-79 prototype. JCPenney built many stores with this greenhouse facade in those three years. Here are a few off the top of my head:

    Louis Joliet Mall, Joliet, IL
    Marketplace Mall, Champaign, IL
    Fairlane Town Center, Dearborn, MI
    Southpark Mall, Moline, IL
    University Park Mall, Mishawaka, IN

    And even some one level stores like that:

    The Orchards Mall, Benton Harbor, MI

    My guess is that it was tacked on to an entrance in 1978. BTW, either the auto center was demo’d (they usually were attached to these on the side away from the mall) or it was a rare detached auto center for the period.

  9. The JCPenney actually goes right up to the loop road with no land to spare, so if there was an auto center, it would’ve had to have been detached. There IS actually an auto center on that side of the mall that’s controlled by one of the normal chains (I forget which one) but it could’ve been built by either JCPenney or Jordan Marsh, both of whom built auto centers at the time.

  10. I think what happened to the JCPenney interior sign was (duh) improper installation. If we’ve nailed the construction date of the store down to around 1978, that store probabaly had a wood-sided mall entrance with the JCPenney logo.

    It looks like the entrance was updated about the same time the mall itrself was updated, which explains the marble-granite looking facing material. Apparently, the old sign was reinstalled, and badly, or a new sign was ordered that was too big for the marquee. Either way, it looks an absolute mess.

    If you notice, on the earlier entry of the mall in Nebraska with the Penneys signage, the sign is actually a little too tall for the marquee as well. The proper installation would have lined the bottom of the P up with the ‘enneys’ with the y sticking down a little farther.

    JCPenney has some sign issues chain-wide. The JCPenney at Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro, N.C. has two signs on opposite ends of its marquees (it used to have a single sign, but moved it because a bank of escalators obscured it). the upper level signs are fairly normal, but the lower level signs don’t match, with one sign with thicker letters and the other with thinner letters. Another store in Maryland has a rounded mall entrance marquee with thick, small letters that are unevenly spaced like “J C P e n n e y.”

    Also, the best clue about who the auto center belonged to is the architectural style. If it looks like the JCPenney, it was likely theirs, while if it looks like Jordan Marsh, it was theirs.

  11. How the heck can this mall NOT have a GNC?!

  12. GNC is one of the holdouts at the neighboring Rhode Island Mall, which I’ve posted about before (it’s linked above actually). Back when both malls were viable, most stores were in an either-or situation, but now a location at the Rhode Island Mall doesn’t count for much, unfortunately. This is the problem I was talking about when I said that the Warwick Mall needs in-line space more than anything: it doesn’t have enough room for all the tenants that should be in it.

  13. Hi was caldor the original store in the Old Navy Location, or was there another store before that? Please let me know, this is an on going debate at work and no one really knows the answer. Thanks!!!

  14. Actually, I don’t know. I’ve never known it as anything other than Caldor (and later Old Navy). Sorry I wasn’t able to help more!

  15. Thanks Allan! This is the kind of information I created this blog to learn about. Despite that I’m from Rhode Island, I didn’t even know this tidbit (I was only 1 or 2 years old when The Outlet closed). I’ve updated the master post to reflect your insight!

  16. You’re welcome. Great job on your site BTW. I just found it yesterday. Very impressive.

  17. Wow! Talk about memories! I attended J&W in 1982-1984 and remember shopping at both Warwick & Midland(Rhode Island) malls often. I remember Jordan Marsh’s restaurant “Garnishes” on the third level, just off the electronics and china departments. I recall thier auto shop in the parking lot. The Filene’s at that time was owned by Federated (what goes around, comes around I guess) and was my first ever charge account. The store was tiny (back then, they were known only for fashion and softwares (no china, housewares or big ticket). It was a 2 level store almost round in shape on the inside. The Jordan Marsh had a budget store off the main floor level. I can recall also the Caldor entering the space where the Outlet left (Although, in 1982, the dowtown branch was still opened and closed sometime near the Christmas season that year) The Penney’s was recently opened when I started shopping there. It was odd for me coming from CT to see a single level mall I remember commenting on it.

    I used to also frequent the Midland (RI) mall often as well. My friends and I would take the bus from Providence and then walk across from one to the other. I really enjoyed the G.Fox store there due to the fact it had a better budget dept then the Jordan Marsh did across the way. (It could’ve been my CT upbringing also).

    A note about the Outlet company. New Haven had a longtime dept store called Edward Malley. Established in 1854 it stood on the corner of Chapel and Temple streets for years until it moved to a new location on Frontage Road and Church Street. It was connected to at that time the first Macy’s in CT by footbridge. In the early 80’s it either purchased or was purchased by the Outlet company and both began thier slow and unfortunate declines (also due to the rising crime and migration to the suburbs) of the downtown area.

  18. A Rhode Island native and frequenter of the Warwick Mall. The JC Penney was added to the mall during the 1975. During 1990 the mall had a total renovation to what it is now.

    The former Jordan Marsh/Macy’s anchor is going to have the ground floor turned into a Target. Currently their is a Target not too far from the mall but since a Wal Mart just opened near by – Target wants to be closer to its competition.

    They still don’t know what they are going to do with the other two remaining floors of the old anchor. This I find odd that Target does not want to demolish it? I feel the only way they were wooed to Warwick Mall is that they mall owner are going to foot the bill for Target to move in.

    Another anchor use to be part of the mall back in the day a clothing store called Peerless it close in the mid 80’s and the area was remodeled to the now food court.

  19. In regards to some old stores in Warwick Mall: As others have noted here, there was a Woolworth’s in that location. It was nearby the Caldor/Old Navy location, towards the Jordan Marsh end. One thing I remember was that there was a restaurant adjacent to Woolworths called Harvest House. This was circa early 80’s, up to 1984. I used to love to eat at this place as a kid. It was set up in a way so that the Harvest House’s entrance was one-way, and you exited the restaurant through a side doorway into Woolworth’s. Thus, I suspect that the restaurant was operated by Woolworth’s. Also I remember, almost directly across from the Harvest House restaurant was another restaurant called York Steak House, which I think was part of a small chain at the time. The last time I ever recall Harvest House being open was 1984…Caldor was a very new thing in Warwick Mall at this time and it had two floors.

  20. harvest House was part of Woolworth and they opened them adjacent to mall stores in the 60s and early 70s. York as a sizable national chain–a 1970s icon.

  21. Also–Edward malley was part of Outlet by the late 70s.

  22. The “vaguely Grecian statue” you’re referring to was the Independent Man. The original statue is on top of the State House rotunda. IIRC it was temporarily removed from the State House and put in the Warwick Mall while some renovations were being done. A replica of the statue now exists outside the food court. In fact, it’s in one of your photos above.

  23. The replica of the Independant Man has always been at the mall. There was a plaque that was there that used to say it was the only full sized replica. Cannot remember what else was on it. But it was there before the renovation of the state house a few years back.

  24. Question regarding the Midland Mall, not the Warwick Mall please. What were the names of the stores that occupied the store location where GFox & Filines used to be. I think originally, there was Shepards… please reply with a chronological time of what stores were there. A friend of mine and I have been tossing this around too long trying to remember. Thanks so much

  25. In the Warwick Mall where Macy’s first was now will be Target. I think it will open in Sept or October.

  26. What are they putting in the top of the Warwick Mall before and above Target?

  27. One of the tenants lacking that really surprised me at first was Spencer’s – there used to be a location at the Rhode Island Mall, but not at Warwick Mall. I have been told that Garabedean is close with the owner of T-Shirt City/Land of Aahs and since their merchandise was similar they blocked Spencers from opening up here!

  28. Even though I live about 25 minutes from this mall, I have only been there once. Because I have to travel through Providence to go to Warwick, it is more logical for me to shop at Providence Place instead. I have been wanting to check it out, and I plan on doing so over the summer.

    According to an article in the Providence Journal, Sports Authority is opening a location above Target, along with another location. Here is the complete article.

    Sports Authority to open in Warwick Mall

    Sporting-goods retailer Sports Authority will open a 40,000-square-foot store in Warwick Mall next spring, according to Aram Garabedian, one of the mall’s managing partners.

    The privately held retailer will open a store on the mall’s south side, above the Target store. Both stores are taking up space once occupied by a Macy’s outlet, which moved to the mall’s north end in 2006.

    Since then, the mall’s owners have reconfigured the former Macy’s space, creating an access from the concourse to its second floor. Sports Authority will share the second floor with a second store, which is yet to be leased.

    Sports Authority operates more than 400 stores in 45 states, including one in Warwick, at 105 Pace Boulevard..

    My guess is the other retailer will be H&M. It would definitely be a draw for the mall, since the only other H&M location in the state, at the Providence Place Mall, is a women’s only store and is quite small.

    I find it odd that both Sports Authority and Target operate two locations in Warwick. I know that Target pledged that they will continue operations of the other Target store, which is ironically on the same street. However, I doubt that Sports Authority will keep both locations open.

    Here is a link to the rendering of the new Target/Sports Authority exterior:
    It also list renovations to the mall concourse, but I haven’t heard anything about it.

    I think that this Filenes location was not the first in Rhode Island. If I remember correctly, I read an article about the history of Filene’s during the Federated/May merger, and it said the second FIlene’s location opened in Providence in the 1920s. I’m not sure if that is true or not.

  29. I think I can give you a timeline of the Rhode Island(Midland) mall
    Midland Mall opened in 1967. It was developmed by Homart Development(subsidary of Sears) It had about 465,00, square feet of space. It was anchored by Sears with 200,000 sq ft and Shepards of Providence with 80,000 square feet. This was Shepards first branch. Shepards closin 1973 and was vacant until about 78 when G. Fo of Hartford opened a branch. G. Fox ran until about 1992 when the name was changed to Filene’s. Filen’s operated both stores .When the Filenes at the Warwick mall was expanded, the Midland Mall store was closed.

  30. who is the little girl with her mom coming out of the store?

  31. Yes flooding here in the Providence/Warwick/Cranston RI area has been quite bad.

    Part of interstate 95 in Warwick is closed because of flooding,as well as many other roads in the Warwick area.

    It is scary

  32. Despite this disaster, I think it only brings some hope that we’ll see a bigger and better Warwick Mall rise from the ground up. With 6 feet of water, perhaps higher, that can only mean the entire mall is ruined, and even after the water recedes, the damage will be left behind, and then comes the danger of mold, meaning the interior is going to have to be completely gutted and rebuilt. Perhaps it would be cheaper just to bulldoze it and start all over.

  33. @Gary, in other words, build a two-level mall on the site and refurbish the anchor stores.

  34. the mall is currently flooded. what will happen? (I Saw this on the news)

  35. In MHO The Warwick is a goner. I’ve seen many a mall come and go over the years, usually store by store; not all at once. The cost to rehab / refurb will not be cost effective. What a sight to be seen. The ghost of Katrina without the hurricane designation. Now it’s April in New England; forecast BLIZZARD!

    There’s a new Bass Pro store @ Patriot’s Place Mall in Foxborough, MA You grab the boat, I’ll grab the oars.

    Happy Easter and Passover to all,

  36. The area that is now thee flooded Mall was once a large farm. When the owner sold and the Mall was built in 1972 it provided alot of work for many in RI not only the construction but also the retail jobs. Also in the parking lot was a dinner / function building that had a large stair case and beautiful chandlier. that building became an HMO office building.
    I worked At jordan Marsh when it opened. It had 3 floors and an adjacent “basement ‘ store.The Mall was not open on Sundays and larry Coldwell the Jordan Marsh store Manager said that “you do not get more business by being open 7 days, you just devide your business by 7”
    When the condos were built in the parking lot we were often teased that we were all to live there to be near to work!
    Jordan Marsh even had a bakery , the baked goods arrrived from Boston every day.A full resturant on the 3 rd floor and a snack bar on the first floor near the bakery.
    I am sad to see the flooding in RI . I am afraid that when the water receeds the mall will be razed and with this economy not rebuilt for many years. Maybe it will go back to being a farm and in 38 years, no one will remember it was once a busy mall.
    I now live in Florida.God bless RI and I hope RI gets the aide that New Orleans did.

  37. Was the building that did functions & dining a Chateau DeVille [sp?] They were known for the red carpeted stairways with a great giantic chandlier in
    the center.

  38. That’s ridiculously depressing, ugh.

    But what about the Rhode Island Mall across the highway? Same flooding?

  39. @AceJay, I was actually wondering that myself when I read this. Quick investment in Rhode Island Mall right now could resurrect it from the dead if renovations at Warwick don’t happen.

    Now wouldn’t THAT be an interesting story

  40. i work at the mall….at one of the anchors. lost a vehicle in the parkinlg lot during the flood. totally devastating

  41. I work at the Swansea Mall which is about 20 minutes east in MA, and the store I work at actually just closed the location at the Warwick Mall about two to three weeks ago. What timing! I think the mall will reopen, but it probably won’t be for months, then there will always be that speculation about mold damage at the mall. If this had happened at a less successful mall (I.e. Swansea Mall LOL) I don’t think it would reopen! Maybe this will benefit RI Mall from death status!

  42. I work at the Swansea Mall which is about 20 minutes east in MA, and the store I work at actually just closed the location at the Warwick Mall about two to three weeks ago. What timing! I think the mall will reopen, but it probably won’t be for months, then there will always be that speculation about mold damage at the mall. If this had happened at a less successful mall (I.e. Swansea Mall LOL) I don’t think it would reopen! Maybe this will benefit RI Mall from death status!

  43. That would have to be the coolest turn of events if the mall that was killed because of the competition suddenly came back to life because of a natural disaster. Nevertheless, I’d rather see both malls revive and Wal-Mart pushed out of Midland/RI Mall so that it could be revived. It seems Macy’s might like to be there after realizing the other mall is in a flood plain. For me, I’m always for historic preservation of any older structure as long as it is sound, attractive and interesting enough to save.

  44. According to the Macy’s “employee connection” website the store is still closed as of today 4-8-10 alongside it’s sister Macy’s El Centro California store which was damaged during the Easter Sunday shaker we had here in Cali, poor people, hope they don’t close the store and fire the employees.

    Also poor bunnies! What kind of freaking moron didn’t take them when the mall was evacuated? Shame on whoever decided to leave them behind! Shame!!!!!

  45. @Caldor, wow, buzz kill

  46. @Matt from CLT,

    There is one other mall Penney’s I have seen with messed-up spacing like that (tho not the difference in font size.) It is at Prince George’s Plaza (or “The Mall at Prince George’s or some such “updated” name) in Hyattsville, MD. The store was originally the venerable old D.C.-area chain Woodward & Lothrop until 1995 when they went belly-up, and Penney’s moved in shortly after. Here’s a pic: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/29/40567699_1c6372a909.jpg

    I’m guessing this is just a case of hasty/sloppy work, due perhaps to it not originally opening as a JCP store. Converted stores in general are often given the short shrift on signage/decor. There are allegedly still some “Woodies” lights and other decorative elements in that Penney’s.

  47. @Gary, Quick call ABC. We may have Visitors among us. LOL

  48. The image purporting to show the damage inside the Warwick Mall is probably fake.

    I think it started making the rounds of social media before the owners of the mall even went inside.

    To my knowledge, none of the news media in Rhode Island ran with it because of its suspect origins.

    Certainly looks like a Photoshop job to me.

  49. Today Sports Authority opened up again. According to reports, they only sustained damage to their main entrence and their storage area,but the store itsself wasn’t damaged..Target is due to open soon as well..

  50. driving by other day, target will be opening July 11, almost two years to the date that they originally opened in the mall

  51. In the year since the flood, most of the store reopened (Newport creamery was supposed to open in the fall, but they are currently seeking employees, and Macys is doing a complete gut job to reopen in spring of 2011). The water features near the food court and the center of the mall have been taken out. In addition, not long after the mall officially reopened, Old Navy (where caldor was) moved to be directly opposite of the food court, taking up the old retail space of Walden Books (closed Jan 2010) and CVS (closed just before before the historic floods). Currently the caldor space is used as an ‘Event center, in the same way that the former Macy department store (before they moved into the Filenes) was in 2005/2006

  52. When the mall first opened in 1971, Jordan Marsh, Filene’s, and The Outlet Company were the three anchors, with Peerless being a ‘junior’ anchor.

    JC Penney was added on in 1977 (lured away from rival Midland Mall which was looking to fill the vacant Shepard’s Dept Store). The Outlet closed in 1982, and made way for Caldor. Caldor closed in 1999, and after years of vacancy Old Navy moved in. Old Navy took a smaller store near Macy’s, and the latest rumor is that ‘Nordstrom’s Off-The-Rack’ is interested in the space. We’ll see…

  53. It was announced today that Jordans furniture would take over the old old navy location. They will build a 2 story 100,000-square-foot store with an IMAX and a “Vegas-like” water show.

    It is bringing about 100 jobs to the area.

    Right now the mall uses Old Navy as a mall entrance,must be kind of cool to walk through a vacant store.

  54. @Steven Swain, The greenhouse canopies I know were done in 1973.

  55. I was an Employee in the Mall, in the late 80’s, working for the 7th Anchor store of Kennedy’s, where I just read the Old Navy store has taken up residence. Kennedy’s original space, with outside entrance, was carved up for CVS, Kennedy’s and a Gold Jewery shop, which kept the original Outside Entrance, complete with Kennedys rubber door mat. Haveing transfered from the Hanover Mall, and The South Shore Plaza Kennedy’s, I was aware of the Unique Rhode Island “Fashion” location.

  56. @Paul, Do you remenber the name of the arcade that was in warwick mall in the 80’s ?

  57. @Chrispycritters, It was Shepards you are right…now do you remember the name of the arcade that was in warwick mall in the 80’s ?

  58. @Lauren, Outlet,shepards,Gfox and Filenes Hope that helps

  59. @Rose,

    The arcade in the mall was called Tilt

  60. @Anne Smith, was it a farm? I remember the Warwick Mall area being a sand and gravel pit.

  61. @Riverledge, Yes, it was Chateau De Ville. It was very popular for a while; there would always be a crowd there on Saturday nights. It was a dinner theater.

  62. @Steven Swain, Yes, Jordan Marsh and Filenes were the original anchor stores, with Penney added later.

  63. I especially remember the Warwick Mall Cinema! Saw so many movies there: THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION (it was exam week at RIC and when I wasn’t taking tests, I was watching that movie–bargain matinees were a dollar and I saw it three times), BIG JAKE, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and more.

  64. I remember every Saturday going to Warwick Mall and then to Midland Mall with my mom, sister, brother and eating at Yorker Steak House the best lunch for a good price and also Harvest House next to Woolworths we had so much fun spending hours there, When I had my son I took him as as a baby and toddler with my mom and sister he is now almost 20 years old and he to talks about the fun he had at the mall. I like the new mall but for me the old one will always be my favorite because of the old stores and restaurants good memories I will cherish!!!

  65. The mall is now open again and redone

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