Walpole Mall; Walpole, Massachusetts

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

Apologies for the home state neglect. Let’s take a break from the Noo Yawka barrage with a mall that even a lot of people living in the Boston area may not know about.

The Walpole Mall is the only enclosed mall serving Boston’s southwest suburbs, along the US1 and I-95 corridor. There is another, larger enclosed mall in North Attleborough (the 1 million square foot Emerald Square Mall) but it’s so far from Boston that it’s really much more in the Providence suburbs, and there used to be a somewhat larger second mall–the Dedham Mall–on this corridor, but it was de-malled gradually from 2000 to 2003. That leaves this somewhat puzzling, 306,000 square foot ancillary mall by its lonesome, on a strip that always seems underdeveloped given its location.

Old school Papa Gino's logo at Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

(This is an old Papa Gino’s pizza logo. Isn’t papa great? It seems as though he’s holding barrels full of pizza for you.)

I’m actually hoping that some readers will chime in with a bit of the deeper history of the Walpole Mall, because I don’t know too much. My guess is that it was constructed in the mid-70s to the early ’80s, and its size and layout (basically a modified dumbell) is typical of many of the smaller, Bradlees-anchored malls that sprung up around New England at the time. The mall was given a pretty substantial facelift in 1997 through early 1998 that made it look roughly as it does now, with its strange mix of big box retailers and enclosed mall space. In 2001, management briefly announced a plan to expand the mall by over a million square feet by purchasing much of the residential property behind the mall, but this controversial proposal never came to fruition, disappearing without much of a trace. I specifically remember road trippin’ it up to this mall in early 1998 with some of my friends from high school because it had just been given one of New England’s first Old Navy stores, but that was my first ever visit to the place, and it looked then roughly the same as now. The Office Max store looks more like an old Ames than anything, but it seems to small to be an Ames. I don’t have a clue. The Kohl’s definitely used to be a Bradlees, but I’m a bit puzzled on the rest. Today’s anchors are Kohl’s, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and Office Max.

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts
By the way, there are a few malls along this way that have departed in the past few years, including the previously-mentioned Dedham Mall and the tiny Village Mall in Canton. If by any chance–and it’s a wild and crazy chance, I know–you have any pictures of any of these, I’d, y’know, really love to see them. Dedham was one of my favorites, you see, and now it’s much too late to save anything of note. The place is basically gone now, just a sad and disjointed mass of outward facing big box stores.

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts Walpole Mall in Walpole, Massachusetts

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.

56 thoughts on “Walpole Mall; Walpole, Massachusetts”

  1. By the way, the first picture in row 4 doesn’t work. I get “no posts matched your criteria”.

  2. Looks like it might’ve been interesting at one point but now; it’s lifeless and boring looking featuring the worst enemy to the mall; WHITE as far as the eye can see. Nice pictures though!

    And my, what a big Kohl’s sign.

    Your “papa” comment gave me a good laugh! Hope you stopped in for some pizza; they make some of the best of any “chain” I know (I accept if Mass natives to disagree).

  3. 4th row, first pic is a former Gap. The store at my hometown Forest Mall had one that looked EXACTLY like this in style. It went out in 2004 and is now split between an Aeropostale and Finish Line.

    For a mall of this size to of had a Gap store must have been more common in some parts of the country than others. Then again, back in the late 1990s, they were aggressively ‘over’expanding, taking up space in smaller malls.

    You wonder why they’re having financial troubles nowadays. They overdid it and went into markets that couldn’t support their bloated prices. They’ve also literally shuttered all their ‘small mall’ and ‘small market’ locations to basically put focus back on their large super-regional stores and the Old Navy chain.

    That Kohl’s sign is a bit huge for its facade if you ask me.

    The rest of the mall, I’d have to agree with XISMZERO…looks rather ‘blah’….typical late-’90s template of mall design, with slight hints of the 1980s, what with the neon accenting at the tops of the support columns.

    I do have to give them kudos for trying to keep the place afloat though, despite the boring appearance. I guess malls of this size are a bit more successful (to an extent) in New England (compared to here in the Upper Midwest, where most have all but died out, are close to it, or have been torn down outright and big-boxed), partly due to the dense population, and lack of avaliable land to really expand, thus chains are ‘forced’ into a corner so to speak, and have to locate in these malls that otherwise, would be dead.

  4. I have an open date of around ’98 for the Barnes & Noble. Beginnings of the distinct architecture and just before they moved to the ugly block signage they’re using now…uh, just harboring bitterness, sorry.

    I’ve only driven past this mall – never been in it. It wasn’t a car lot, so it wasn’t on the Route 1 tour when I was down that way. It’s strange how much this one looks like a big-box center from the outside…I was struck by the thought “uh, that’s a mall?” driving by. This does seem to be a pretty well under-malled area. You’d expect an area on a major highway in what is a reasonably affluent area to be built up considerably more with retail, as in Warwick or Framingham, but here it’s just not the case. Odd.

  5. I can see how you’d think that Office Max was Ames formerly but according to the store locator, there was no Ames in Walpole, Mass; at least in the final years of the company. It looks like it might’ve housed some kind of past discounter though, still clocking in a tad too small for what Office Max usually has in store.

    About the mall’s upholstery and visionless, bland whiteness taking over many historic malls today; I’ve got something to add. We know trends have changed beyond where many of these centers began (70s). The spotlight has since moved out of the indoor mall. Today, it’s all about keeping it simple and safely away from the eccentricities of design of past because the truth is most of these once prominent centers are now second and third-rate has-beens due to a market who grew beyond what’s leftover (these stunted growth malls). That’s why we rarely see original architecture or any overt timezone-centric aspects; keep it simple, get the job done and furthermore; keep it easy to maintain. Developers know most shoppers today don’t care much about the looks of a mall but more or less their (often heavily uniform) offerings but they might tend to turn places down if they don’t appear at least modern-esque.

    Not to get too off topic but any of you who remember Toys R Us and their old look in the 1980s (with the brown roof and rainbow stripes along the frontage). Well the company has evolved in those 15-20 someodd years, but the stores still stuck out there that never made the grade or slipped under the radar have since repainted to more modern pallettes and, my belief, made easier to maintain (i.e. lazy paint jobs) when the funds aren’t quite there to allocate for full-fledged renovation.

  6. So, many of the big box stores do not open to the indoors?

  7. Old Navy and Office Max don’t. Kohls, B&N, iParty, and the former Jo-Ann Fabrics space all open into the mall.

  8. I have to find them, and then of course get them online because I’m prehistoric and still use film, but my boyfriend grew up going to the Dedham Mall (in fact, he wrote about it over at Deadmalls), and after it was pretty much closed – but before they tore the building down – we went in and took a bunch of pictures. When I find them, you’ll be the first to know. Great site, by the way!

  9. I actually think that having a couple of big box anchors in a smaller mall is a good idea – think of it as being a scaled-down Mills mall in a way. I’m surprised that small malls with big box anchors rarely work out well.

  10. That’s because the big boxes–usually category killers suck out all business into their stores, and rarely people visit the smaller stores in a way.

  11. I’ve googled Walpole Mall and I noticed that there was an ambitious plan a few years ago to triple the size of this mall into a million plus square foot center. Does anyone have any more information, or know what the facts of the proposed renovation were?

  12. Bland whiteness has been pretty typical since the early 70s. I kind of like the artless mish mash of store fronts. Clearly, too cheap to make the place attractive. the skylights are nice touch, though. Very early malls had them, but few later-on. The idea of passive solar power might have given the developer the idea, although the lights are a maintenance headache because of leaks and the need for cleaning.

    Bradlees anchored malls almost always had a Stop & Shop (S&S owned the chain) and often had a kind of junior anchor–a second string department store (like D&L in Connecticut), for example. I don’t think they went for discounters as co-anchors, although I can recall a mall they co-anchored with an early Marshall’s.

  13. Really good info here. I’ve been living nearby for 3+ years and driving by for years more and have honestly wondered what keeps this dump going. In previous years, if we were driving by we’d stop at the Taco Bell (in the parking lot) and check out Bradlees. The Kohls is so awful I’ve gone in there with $10 promotional cards they send us and not been able to find anything I’d bring home for free.

    It would make sense that this was a Bradlees/Stop & Shop mall, as those were typically low-end and bland (I’m thinking, particularly, of the Watertown Mall). It even has a tobacco shop near the center which may originally have been a CB Perkins.

    The mall’s draws seem to be Kohls and Old Country Buffet. Papa Gino’s is huge on the kids’ birthday party circuit (and it’s a pretty small shop). The JoAnn is small but busy. IParty and B&N do some business, but Office Max is essentially like going to a different shopping destination.

    That former GAP (and I think you’re right, it was a GAP, for a time in the 90s there seemed to be as many GAPs in New England as there are Dunkin Donuts) has had a number of temporary and short-term renters in the past few years, none of which have lasted.

    As for expanding this dump, it would be pretty hard. There’s not a lot of land to expand. There have also been stories of reviving shopping at other sites nearby, like the former HQ just north in Norwood, but nothing happens. The current plan is to build at least two new malls near Gillette, including a “men’s” mall. Also, Sharon just approved a “lifestyle” mall which will be off Route 1 just south of the Route 1 exit on 95. The newest addition to the “automile” is being built directly on the northwest corner of that intersection. So it’s reasonable to expect that commerce will spread slowly south, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see even more abandoned sites levelled for car storage in the Norwood stretch.

  14. The neon accents on the supporting columns almost looked like the ones they had at Port Plaza Mall (Washington Commons) in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin where I live. They were the same color (blue), but were paired with white neon lights and turquoise tiles. Whenever I see blue neon lights in a mall’s interior, I think of Port Plaza in its golden age.

  15. 1. The Village Mall was (is) fairly close to this one, about 10 mins away by either I-95 or local roads. In the 80’s to early 90’s it had Caldor and Marshalls as “anchors”, as well as a number of duplicates (Good Vibrations, CVS, Radio Shack, perhaps others) and other overlapping types of stores. Village Mall was developed by the Flatley Company and had a castle theme like many other Flatley properties, but, like Walpole, it was shockingly uncool. Neither mall was wildly successful, likely because they were competing very directly with each other. One lackluster mall could have probably done quite well… but two? The Village Mall ended up getting a huge renovation around 2000(?), including demolishing most of the mall to turn it into an outdoor, open shopping area with a (very) slightly upscale nod.

    2. Brockton’s Westgate Mall had bigger anchors/attractions (Jordan Marsh, Child World, General Cinemas, various restaurants) and wasn’t all that far, but it had a reputation for trouble. If you really needed to shop somewhat locally, you’d go to Braintree’s South Shore Plaza, which was huge in comparison (especially after they added a 2nd level in the 90’s) and was much more active and full with at least four anchors (Filene’s, Jordan Marsh, Lord and Taylor, and Sears) and tons of other stores.

    3. Yes, there was a Gap in the mall, and it seemed to do okay. It was in there before the huge Gap expansion of the mid 90’s, but they ended up opening up a new Gap in the new Village Mall remake. I don’t know if it was a move, or just a case where the newer store was killing sales off the old store.

  16. There seems to be some confusion over whether there was a Stop & Shop in the mall. OfficeMax was indeed a Stop & Shop about ten years ago; I remember going in there as a kid. When OfficeMax took over, the Stop & Shop was moved farther down Route 1 to the same plaza as Home Depot, both of which were built at the same time. These two stores were built on the site of a former Raytheon building in Norwood.

    On another note, I remember the Village Mall in Canton as a kid. As the mall was being renovated/cleared for the outdoor mall, the Shaw’s, which was attached to the mall but not accessible from inside, was relocated on the grounds. Caldor and Marshalls were in this mall. The Marshalls that is part of the outdoor mall today is actually the only part of the original indoor mall that remains, although it’s incorporated into the new outdoor mall. I liked this mall better as an indoor mall, and I really do miss it.

    I hope the Sharon mall (aka “Sharon Commons”) will be built. I’m a Sharon resident, and 94% of the taxes is from residential property. It is planned to be a “lifestyle center,” which essentially means an outdoor mall with several niche stores. I would have preferred an indoor mall, but at least this mall would be significant in a town with very little business. The new mall would hopefully relieve Sharon’s extremely high taxes and add to the commercial base. It would be built on the site of a former cranberry bog across from a plaza consisting of Shaw’s, Hoyt’s Cinema, and Brooks. More information can be found on the Intoccia Properties website here – http://www.intoccia.com/recentnews/recentnews.html or from the Patriot Ledger directly (same article) http://ledger.southofboston.com/articles/2007/04/07/business/biz01.txt

  17. The Office Max was indeed a Stop and Shop grocery store until the mid 90’s. I lived about 10 mins from this mall all through my childhood and used to go to the Gap in this mall all the time (it was inside the Papa Ginos entrance and it was completely remodeled around 1997 or so. The Kohls used to be Bradlees and there was a Newport Cremery? Ice cream place right outside the Bradlees in the mall

  18. I had an idea on how to revive Walpole Mall as a classic “neighborhood mall”. It involves trading anchors with strip malls and demolition. First, if it’s vacant, gut Jo-Ann Fabric, making a hallway to a dead end at the mall, behind OfficeMax. Then, renovate Barnes & Noble, it looks dirty and old. Knock down OfficeMax (give it to a strip mall) and add a regional grocery store (Super Fresh, Wawa, something like that.) Open an entrance to Old Navy. Move Kohl’s to behind the mall and add parking garage around it. Then turn Kohl’s into a big-box discount store. Kick i-Party and Old Country Buffet out, bring Taco Bell into the mall proper, turn the rest of the Jo-Ann into new store spaces, and so on. Then retenant the mall like mad, mixing national stores with local stores.

    Finally, change the name of the mall and the sign.

  19. I grew up visiting the Walpole Mall and Village Mall as a kid (I grew up in Canton right near I-95, so Walpole was only 5 minutes further away).

    The mall as a I remember it from the late 70s/early 80s had the Stop and Shop (which closed when they opened the Super Stop and Shop about a mile further north on Rt 1 in its own strip mall) and Almy’s at one end (the Stop and Shop had no internal entrance), with Bradlee’s at the other (now occupied by Kohl’s). The Almy’s space has undergone several revisions-it was broken into smaller stores at one point before being put back into a bigger space.

    The name changed for a period in the early 90s (I think) to The Mall at Walpole (which was a running joke because of the Cedar Junction prison in town that everyone referred to as “Walpole”) before changing back. The Mall also housed a Newport Creamery for years (adjacent to Bradlee’s) and an Orange Julius, which along with Papa Gino’s comprised the only in-mall food options. There was always Radio Shack and CVS along with a variety of specialty stores and a Pearle Vision.

    Now that Target and Wal-Mart have arrived on Rt 1 in the area (a couple miles south) and Bob Kraft is building the Shops at Patriot Place (next to Gillette Stadium) things may change a bit. But that stretch of route 1 is much like route 1 along much of the Northeast and Atlantic Coast-urban sprawl-strip malls and commercial space. (it’s the same in MD and VA where I live now).

  20. I grew up in Walpole during the ’70s and 80s. I can assure you the Walpole Mall was never cool. It was accessible. If you wanted cool you had to get yourself to South Shore Plaza in Braintree where you could get Filene’s, Jordan Marsh and Lord & Taylor all under one roof. The only saving grace to the Walpole Mall was that it had a Gap. Oh, and those cool water fountains lit from underneath the water….one red and one blue.
    Almys’s and Bradlees could hardly compete with Fileene’s and Jordans.
    I almost forgot about the waterbed store located near Almy’s. Maybe the Walpole Mall was cool.

  21. I serviced that Stop & Shop store back in the early 90s. It was a very small store, nothing like the current Super Stop & Shops. It was one of those old grocery stores where, every time you turned around, you found another small section that just seemed to be dropped there and had nothing to do with the other departments around it. The shopping center itself, as I recall from back then, as many have stated, was old and there was really nothing to bring people in. I vaguely recall the Taco Bell stand-alone building in the parking lost as someone else mentioned. I also recall (I think…it’s been a long time) a bookstore, Bradlees, and an empty store or two.

  22. I grew up in Walpole. Office max was an Almy’s way back in the 70’s. It was my favorite store in the mall. They used to have an old fashioned ice cream counter in the store. There was also a Stop and Shop supermarket in that part of the mall too.

  23. Readers are correct the Mall was anchored by Bradlees and Almy’s like bookends. There was a Stop & Shop back in the day and next to the Barnes & Noble, the JoAnn’s store is still there and doing very well.

    The Mall is now undergoing a major expansion under the new ownership and will gain approximately 100,000 square feet of new retail space. New resturaunts, retail and all new signage and landscaping coming soon.

    Walpole Mall has done a great job of working with the community, offering community groups a venue to perform and/or raise money. Hopefully all the changes and new tenants will re-vitalize this great old Mall and that patrons will continue to support this local mall rather than all the new big projects feeding into already deep pockets.

  24. Does anyone know when the new expansion will be open and what will be included? I have read that there might be a Famous Footwear, but haven’t heard much else (nor can I find much else on the web).

    Does anyone else miss Bradlees? 😉

  25. I remember when there was Bradlee’s and Almy’s and Stop and Shop. We pretty much did everything there. The Gap was around even in the 80’s, I swear, back when all they sold was jeans and black shirts. There was a pet store and a toy store and I got my ears pierced at a kiosk there too. This mall is simple but it serves a purpose. Even with WalMart nearby and other surrounding malls, it will survive. Yes, my mother admitted she only went to Braintree for “real clothes” at SSP, we always ended up at Walpole for the cheap stuff for us kids. I remember the old Village Mall in Canton too. The Caldor there was great. Man, I feel old!

  26. I grew up in Dedham, and moved to Walpole as an adult. I’m glad to see from others’ comments that I’m not the only one who remembers Almy’s being the bookend anchor to Bradlees at the Walpole Mall. I used to have an Almy’s credit card which meant they sent you a 25%, (I think.), discount coupon on your total purchases about a month before the Christmas holiday. I used to go there and buy at least one item for everyone on my list in one trip! Once Bradlees acquired Almy’s, I knew it would not be long before the latter closed. After that, the Walpole “Small” – as my daughter calls it – hit on some pretty hard times.

    And yes, the Dedham Mall used to be a cool place to hang out, … in the 1970’s. Sorry I don’t have any photos for you, but in addition to Bradlees it used to have a Stop & Shop, Medi-Mart, (which later became Walgreens), Anderson Little, Woolworth’s, Westgate Yarn, Belden Jewelers, Friendly’s, Chess King, Thom McCann, Singer, Pewter Pot, Fanny Farmer, Hobbytown, a small bookstore,a leather goods shop, a niche clothing store and flower shop, (and a few others I can’t recall), and a cute little sunken “courtyard” seating area for tired shoppers.

    I know what you’re thinking, tired from what? That mall couldn’t have been big enough to get tired from shopping! While that’s true, the mall used to use that space in the center of it all for things like Santa’s visitors, much like the raised “stage” area is still used in the Walpole Mall. At one point in time, however, a Hickory Farms was erected over the sunken atrium area in a shortsighted attempt to expand, (read as cram), rentable space. Hickory Farms was later taken out and the small atrium was restored.

    Things I remember about the Dedham “Smaller”, (also a moniker my daughter bestowed), were streakers running through from one entrance to another with paper bags over their heads. And walking to Stop & Shop during the driving ban from the Blizzard of ’78.

  27. The 1st time i went to The Walpole mall was in 1986. I went there because i went to a music store there and i believe it was Good Vibrations and it was located right inside the mall enterance on the right side, across from I-Party. Then i remember in 1992 the music store moved to another location in the mall and that was across from Subway and i believe it could of been right next to The Gap, but it was definately on that side of the mall in that spot. and come to think of it, im not sure if that arcade is still there but i believe the music store could of been in the spot where the arcade was in.

  28. Oh yeah and one more thing. Theres an old lady who works at Hallmark. She knows everything about what that mall used to have. She mentioned to me about the Bradlees, Almy’s and i think she said Aames was there after Bradlees and before Kohl’s in the same building. She also mentioned Stop & Shop and other stores i cant remember what she said.

  29. I moved to Sharon in 1986 and am familiar with this mall.

    – Stop & Shop was indeed in the space now occupied by OfficeMax. Although the mall allowed it to be attached to the mall structure, it has always been more of an orphaned store. That store is like the kid who has never been told he is adopted.

    – Almy’s was the other anchor store. The redesign caused by the killing of Almy’s was interesting because, internally, the store took up all of the space to the left of CVS. This means if you were walking “west” down the mall (and came to CVS on your left and KayBee Toys on your right) there would be an entrance to Almy’s. So esentially, CVS was the end of the mall navigation area. When Almy’s was tore down they put in more small stores and it felt weird to be able to walk down there. On the left were a candle shop, the Irish store, and more. On the right was Olympia Sports and others. At the end of the new section was a Jo-Ann Fabric. But . . .

    – The thing very few people remember was that after Almy’s was gone but before Barnes & Noble moved in, the Barnes & Noble area was occupied by smaller stores and served as an entrance to the mall. The Papa Ginos was on the left of the entrance and a large Waldenbooks was on the right (Waldenbooks was formerly in a smaller space in the mall – east of the Gap). Then when they installed Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks went away, Papa Ginos moved to where it is now, and some of the small less-popular stores leading to the mall now serve as the back of the Barnes and Noble where it links to the mall internally.

    – Old Navy was installed in an odd way. They actually pushed out the face of the mall into the parking lot and created new space to squish it in there.

    – The fountain near the Gap used to be a sunken-down seating area. They changed that in the 1998 upgrade. I found it to be pointless.

    – There used to be an Orange Julius accross from the Gap, a Newport Creamery outside of Bradlees, and a popular pet store to the left of Papa Ginos.

    Although everyone agrees that the Walpole Mall was very uncool, I always appreciated it because I thought it had a lot of utility. I frequently went to CVS for random items and Papa Ginos for lunch, and to Barnes and Noble and OfficeMax after they opened.

    I found the space to be pretty weird though because you had so much unused, open space at both end sof the mall. I think expansion plans never had a chance because the surrounding part of the mall would be pretty scary at night because it feels enclosed by all those trees. It would be very easy for someone to break into cars back there. I remember one time in the winter me and my friend went to the large, empty parking lot on the side of OfficeMax (then Stop & Shop) right after a snowstorm and did tons of donuts in the open space.

  30. More recently (between 2001-2005 roughly), in the Walpole Mall, I remember a Play N’ Trade being there (one of a very small chain of video game stores and a welcome alternative to the behemoth that is GameStop), to the left of Papa Gino’s. Does anyone know if it is still there?

  31. The Walpole mall expansion is moving along quickly…they just moved the Coney Street entrance to the mall further away from Rt. 1 and will be installing a traffic light at that entrance. I’ve heard that CVS will be moving to it’s own store outside of the mall and that Olympia Sports will be moving it’s store to a larger space in the new part of the mall. Texas Roadhouse Restaurant is coming to the mall as well as Famous Footwear and fitness facility, LA Fitness.

  32. I am living in walpole currently and have always lived in walpole. It’s a small town that barely anyone knows about, but it has a lot of character. it’s small size lets everyone get to know each other. given, the mall could have better stores. but it is currently under construction and getting extended. i love walpole and everything about it. even it’s crappy malls 😉

  33. There used to be an Auntie Ann’s, Bradlee’s, Gap, Pinches and Pounds has gone recently, so has F.Y.E and KB Toys. It’s basically a ghost town. I cannot wait for L.A. Fitness to open up.

  34. I’ve been in some of these stores from the front and I didn’t even know it was a mall. Probably a good thing in terms of its survival.

    On another note, 3 Old Navys between Dedham and Foxboro on Rt 1? If this isn’t indicative of the vast excess of retail space I don’t know what is.

  35. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned the Dream Machine! While the mall may never have been cool for teens, for us younger kids the new addition that replaced Almy’s was pretty cool. It gave us a new Walden Books, a Papa Gino’s, and the aformentioned Dream Machine arcade.

    I think the arcade was one of the fe arcades in the state. I remember attending many joint Papa Gino’s and Dream Machine birthday parties.

    Once the big box stores moved in, I think the Dream Machine relocated to a new store within the mall.

    I don’t recall if Pinches and Pounds was in the expansion or not, but I remember it also being a popular store for people my age.

    Everyone is correct about Office Max at one point being a tiny Stop and Shop. IIRC, the store actually closed well before the Super Stop and Shop was completed.

    I’ve recently moved back to the area and the new renovations look good. I think a lot of malls have moved to the new outdoor format – it reminds me of some of newer DC area strip malls.

    As for the Dedham mall, I don’t have too many memories of it, but I recall at one point my parents were concerned about crime and wanted me to stay close to them.

    There was an old Child World outside the mall, which was odd because Toys R Us was just down the street.

    Does anyone know what the new buildings outside the Wapole Mall are going to be?

  36. All I can add was that in the late 80s or early 90s, the mall was “renovated” and rebranded as “The Mall at Walpole” which even to me as a young kid seemed pretty lame.

  37. My Aunt lives in Norwood, and when we would visit her in the 70’s and 80’s, we would go to Walpole Mall. Good Vibrations was a great record chain in the area, with superb customer service, and this location was full of cool imports. I remember the Bradlees as well, CVS and Orange Julius. I never saw malls as a “cool place to hang out” – that was something you saw in the movies or TV. It was an average mall for an average population area.

  38. I worked at a restaurant/bar called Thackeray’s in the mall in the late 70’s early 80’s. It was a pretty hopping spot for the area back then. It was located where the Old Country Buffet is now. There was a bank on the other side of the mall entrance, a Newport Creamery, GAP, Orange Julius, Bradlees and Stop & Shop. Also a Stacy’s gift shop and a hair salon.
    The Barnes & Noble, Taco Bell, Joann Fabrics were added on later. Thackeray’s was eventually sold and became Pickerings. There is a page on myspace called Thackeray’s. There are some pictures on it of that were taken inside and outside the mall.

  39. I read several of the comments here, and I dont think anyone mentioned the old wing of thw mall that was removed back around 1996 or so (it contained the original Papa-Ginos for the mall, old Dream Machine, Walden Books, Auntie Annies towards the end)…..but the wing was taken down to build the Old Navy and Barnes and Noble (you entered the wing by way of where the Barnes/Noble inside entrance is now)…..also, I’m pretty sure the Office Max was an Ames originally in the ealr 70s….I know by about 1985 it was a Stop and Shop….they built a bigger one up the highway in like 1998. Back in 1985, there werent many supermarkets in the area, that was a maor one, at the mall….the only other for Walpole was the old Hartland on 1-A. I recall the entire mall was renovated around 1986 or 87…..it had a brown tile to it before that (prob from the 70s)….but virtually no trace of the original features remains I think, the place has changed a great deal since the late 90s….

  40. 1. <>

    This was the Dedham Mall, not the Walpole Mall.

    2. Can someone post some pics of the new mall to flickr and link them here sometime? thanks

    3. Someone mentioned the new streetlight on the Coney Street entrance. Logistically, that seems like a nightmare. I would think that all the traffic would get backed up and clog up the Coney/Route 1 intersection.

  41. I lived in Walpole MA from July 1968 to July 1990. Pretty sure the mall opened in summer / fall of 1974 because that Christmas I did not have to go to the Good Vibrations at Village Mall (AKA Tri-Town Mall) in Canton. As you went in the south mall entrance, closest to Bradlee’s on the right there was a Mug and Muffin, Good Vibrations (became a Sam Goody’s), a pet store, and a Tobacco Road store on the corner, across from the Newport (like a Friendly’s.) Not as sure about the left side but I know there was a Motherhood Maternity (my aunt worked there) and the Orange Julius on that corner. The card store was Sackett’s Hallmark.

    Inside the north mall entrance was indeed Thackery’s (oh the memories!) which was styled to be a Victorian eating and drinking saloon, complete with a balcony second level; because it was open until 1:00AM they had an external door as well. The bank opened as a Hancock and later became Bank of New England. I didn’t bother with this end of the mall much after Almy’s closed. I keep thinking there was a travel agency somewhere down this way. By 1985 I was basically going to South Shore Plaza and Chestnut Hill, anyway.

    The Stop & Shop (Office Depot) definitely opened along with the rest of the Walpole Mall. The Mall at Walpole was a pretty awful name. But nothing beats the pretention of the Natick Collection, however.

    A note the Walpole supermarkets. The CVS downtown was built as an A&P decades ago and then became a Hi-Lo before CVS.

    Best to all, River.

  42. I worked at this mall during the summer of 1975. I remember a GNC, several women’s clothing stores, OJ, Waldenbooks, the water bed place, Newport Creamery, Thackery’s, Radio Shack, the Gap, Thom McAnn, Zales, Good Vibrations. The Captain and Tenille and Elton John (someone saved my life tonght) were big hits at the time.

  43. Hello. Like Jay, I worked at this mall around the same time. Along with all the stores he mentions there was Almy’s which was another large anchor store like Bradlees and there was a Karmel Korn (I remember this cuz a guy a liked worked there! lol) I worked at Orange Julius and when this mall was first built…mid 70’s, it was bustling. I remember working split shifts on Saturday’s and we were busy non-stop all day! There was also a Stop & Shop there at one time which was great but they moved up the street where Raytheon used to be. It’s no wonder there’s no business there now with all the other mall type properties around. Seems to be one on every corner now….. Patriot Place, Legacy Place, South Shore Plaza, Cobbs Corner, Emerald Square Mall, Dedham Plaza and with the economy the way it is who shops at all these stores?! The Walpole Mall is in need of some good stores……. A drug store like CVS (used to be one but moved out) or Walgreens is especially needed. a good sub shop like D’Angelo’s (NOT subway) A Sears or J C Penney would be great. An FYE (also used to be one but moved out). Also, just like to comment on the statement above that says this strip seems underdeveloped given it’s location… are you kidding? This area has become so overpopulated and congested since my parents first moved here and even since I was a teen it’s really sad. It was so nice around here then. Once the mall went in and all the car dealers started popping up, that was the end of the tranquility and the reason my parent’s moved here.

  44. I grew up in Walpole and spent most of my early 20’s in the area. Not a cool mall but if you’re a kid and it’s a place you can walk to, then it’s fine. I’d go to South Shore Plaza as a teenager and Dedham Mall, but I worked at a bunch of places in the Walpole Mall as a teenager and couple places as a second job.

    I worked at:
    Photomat (horrible job) I bailed after about a month
    Almy’s 1985 – May 1987–the day before my Jr. Prom it closed

    I remember seeing pictures of all the snow piled up at the mall during the blizzard of 78. I might have a picture of me on a snowbank, I’ll need to look.

    There was a Simply Sportsware or it was Joannes (not fabric) a bit further down than CVS but on the same side. I remember buying my prom dress there. There was an art store next to Orange Julius.

    There was another clothing store that was owned by Marshalls (it was next to Joanne Fabrics right there on the corner-worked there to but can’t remember the name) There was a Dentist, it was K-bee toys on one side and cvs on the other and all the rest was Almy’s. Over by Tobacco Road was the water fountain and the $$ went to the kids ward at Norwood Hospital.

    There was a Sonja’s jewelers. Sonja and her family ran it-they were from India. There was a a ZALE’s, too. My husband bought my engagement ring and a ton of other jewelry there.

    Definately not a cool mall, but as kids we could walk there and there was not much else to do in Walpole.

  45. Stop & Shop was were the Office Max is.

    The two anchor stores where Bradlee’s on the Right and Almy’s on the right (if facing the mall).
    Restraunts/food were Thackery’s, Papa Gino’s, Pewter Pot, Newport Creamery and Orange Julius.

    Stores: Bradlee’s and Almy’s, Radio Shack, Good Vibrations, The Gap, Cummings, Zales, Walden Books, CVS, Debi’s Petland, Tabaco Road, Sonia Jewelers,The Halmark Store (I believe it had a different name).

    The two seating area’s that use to be in the mall were known as “the Pit’s”.
    That’s all I can think of right now…hope it helped.

  46. Here are few more stores from the original Mall…
    Thom McCann, India Imports, Sew Fro Fabrics and Fields Hosiery

  47. Hi! I didn’t read all the comments so this may have been said, but where the OCB is now used to be a Pewter Pot restaurant. Kohl’s was a Bradlee’s and not connected a little ways down where the Old Navy and LA Fitness is used to be a separate Stop n’ Shop. S&S and Bradlee’s were owned by the same parent company. Right outside of Bradlee’s was a Newport Creamery. I believe the Taco Bell in the parking lot went in the in early 90s. The lot has a Panera and Chili’s now. This mall was never a real hotspot, even in the early 80s when my family went to a mall every weekend. We usually just drove up to Dedham or South Shore Plaza or down to the Lincoln, Warwick Mall, or Rhode Island Mall. This was a tiny place, similar to the Taunton Mall in comparison with some of the other shopping plazas of the early 80s.

  48. I clearly remember when the Walpole Mall was built and found it popular in the early 80’s. Before this we frequented the Dedham Mall, but when the Walpole Mall was built, it was quite a busy place! I can remember that on Saturdays this Mall would be “booming” with the inside Mall halways crowded with families, strollers, and children. there were busy stores up and down the main Mall areas and small community groups performing in the middle. I remember local dance studios performing and many people watching, shopping, eating……it was probably around 1984-87’ish when I can picture this Mall really hopping! In the early 90’s it was slowing down, but still had some regulars that frequented certain stores. I bought my baby’s crib and furniture in a baby store in the early 90’s. By the late 90’s I believe the Mall was starting to lose its’ popularity to a larger degree!

  49. Back in the 70’s, all us neighborhood kids took our bikes down to the construction site of the new Walpole mall. We were able to ride our bikes into what was then to become Almy’s and we stood at the big glass sliding doors that were to be the entrance from Almy’s to the mall section. I recall our view of the interior as we 13 year olds stood and stared into the unfinished mall as all dirt and concrete construction. We were all in wonder! “What was this going to be?!”

    It was a hopping place in the 70’s – especially at Christmas time. In the 70’s, the design had more brown and tan colors- remiscent of 70’s color schemes. That god awful white they painted it with the neon lights/tubing—-lol.

    I bought all my LP’s at Good Vibrations. One fond memory is that of buying the LP soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever [in it’s initial release] and walking 5 miles home- so excited. [Yes, we walked back then when we had to!]

    It is now sad when we come back from California and see how much the mall has changed over time. If you want malls, come to California! They are mini-Disneylands out here!

  50. It recently got a renovation including Famous footwear,La fitness and a few other stores

  51. Not to get too far off topic but did anyone else notice the first picture of the mall sign… the weird up-ended copper SUV across the road?

  52. @Bobby, Officemax was indeed Stop and Shop. Back in the 1980s-1990s, inside the mall, If facing Kohls/Bradlees, Newport Creamery Restaurant was at left, and Hallmark was next, then I believe Record Town. On the right side there was Radio Shack, I think GNC, and Tobacco Road, a nice little convenience/gift shop/newspaper stand. Around corner was Debby’s Petland and Orange Julius. There was also The Gap, KB Toys, a baby shop, Shampoo hair salon, and more expensive gift shop. CVS was also there toward the front, book store, and Old Country Buffet. They had a nice water fountain too, where people would often sit with their ice creams. I think they had two at one point…Changed to a more boring design in the 2000s. I miss those types of Malls…same fate for Village Mall in Canton 🙁

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