Friday, March 25, 2016

Cherry Hill Mall ~ Cherry Hill Shopping Center Nostalgia

Cherry Hill Shopping Center, commonly reported as the first indoor, climate-controlled shopping center east of the Mississippi River in the United States, and opened on October 11, 1961. Cherry Hill Mall is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

cherry hill mall 1960s history
Cherry Hill Shopping Center

Cherry Hill Mall opened on October 11, 1961 on the former site of the 16 acre George Jaus farm. It was designed by Victor Gruen and built and managed by The Rouse Company at a cost of $30 million. Upon opening, it became largest mall in the nation and is commonly referred to as the first enclosed and climate-controlled mall in the Eastern United States. The mall featured 90 stores, exotic birds, tropical plants, fountains and a movie theater, something unlike anything in what was called Delaware Township had ever seen.

Aerial view of Cherry Hill Mall 1962

The mall layout was unique for the time. Unlike the dumbbell malls of the time, the mall started from the east anchor, Bamberger's, with a large "Delaware Mall" concourse to the west of it. About halfway along this concourse was an exit way that led back to a twin movie theatre and a giant arcade. The center of the mall featured Cherry Court, a court with high ceilings, more tropical plants, fountains, parrots, plus a staircase leading directly into the second floor into Strawbridge & Clothier. The northern wing featured the "Market Court", Food Fair, and Thrift Drug. There was also a Kresge, Woolworth's, and two liquor stores.

Cherry Hill Mall ~ Bambergers

Woolworth's Entrance to Cherry Hill Mall

1970 layout of the Cherry Hill Mall.

Cherry Hill Mall changed through the years; 1973 brought a detached nine-story office tower. In 1977 a new two-story wing was built in the north part of the mall, following the closure and demolition of Pantry Pride and the Market Court. This wing was anchored by JCPenney. The 1990s brought more change to the mall, with the mall being remodeled once more featuring a teal/gray color scheme and skylights. The mall received different fountains and the ornate Strawbridge's staircase was replaced with a simple escalator/stairs combination. By 1997, two distinct parts of the mall had formed: an upscale wing near Macy's featuring Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, and Ann Taylor, while the JCPenney wing featured McDonald's, General Nutrition Centers, Radio Shack, and several urban shops.

To follow are several postcards and other pictures of Cherry Hill Mall as it appeared in the '60s.  Most of the photos are from 1968-1969, unless otherwise noted.

Inside Cherry Hill Mall Woolworth's Entrance

1963 Christmas ad for Cherry Hill Mall

SS Kresge

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