Railyn Mest's Commentary:

Posted May 11, 2005 (user submitted)

This mall has seen many incarnations. It started out as a strip plaza. The only thing that I know for sure was in it was a Korvette's. There also was a Howard Johnson's restaurant out front. I didn't discover it until the plaza was in the process of being demolished, and the mall was being built.

The mall itself was completed in the mid 80's. It was a very nice mall, anchored by Montgomery Ward's and Boscov's. It was the first mall I had been to that had a food court. The interior was bright and airy. There was a Camelot, I believe Benetton, Unitz, and some regional stores. It wasn't a huge mall, but a nice size. I think they were trying to capture the upscale shopper. That just doesn't work around here.

What got this mall on the map, was the movie Mannequin. A large part of it was filmed in the Boscov's anchor. In the movie, I believe the store is called "Electra". We went down to watch them film.

The problem is, the Harrisburg area is saturated with malls. This was just one, and a smaller one at that. The Capital City Mall is literally just a few miles away, and offered more mainstream stores. This mall slowly but surely went downhill. The last time I was there was 2001. The mall itself was largely dead. Only one or two restaurants in the food court. Lots of empty stores. All the fountains were off. Ward's had gone out. Boscov's had taken a few of the stores for sales of surplus merchandise (furniture, etc). The light and airy feel of the mall was gone. I saw they were attempting redevelopment. They had built a Barnes and Noble on the front of the mall, and had an exit into the mall.

A little digging confirmed my suspicions. A redevelopment company listed the mall on a list of success stories, stating that there was a lot of vacancy, and they asked remaining tennants to move to the back side of the mall, and partially big-boxed the front. They added a Zainy Brainy, and it appears Giant Supermarket has moved into the old Ward's store.


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