Berkshire Mall (Pennsylvania)

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Berkshire Mall
Berkshire Mall PA north entrance.jpg
North entrance to Berkshire Mall
Location Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Address 1665 State Hill Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
Opening date February 10, 1970
Developer Goodman Company[1]
Management Allied Properties
Owner Allied Properties
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 910,000 square feet (85,000 m2)[2]
Parking Lighted Lot
Website http://www.berkshiremall.com

The Berkshire Mall is an enclosed shopping mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, a suburb to the west of Reading in Berks County. The Berkshire Mall is accessible from US 222/US 422 (Warren Street Bypass) at the Paper Mill Road interchange or the State Hill Road interchange. The main entrances to the mall are located along Woodland Road or State Hill Road. The mall first opened in February 1970. Taylor Swift was known to go shopping here when she lived in Wyomissing.[3]

History[edit]

The Berkshire Mall looking from Sears

Planning for the mall began in the late 1960s. Sears was announced to be the first major planned tenant in November 1967, to replace its nearby Shillington location which had opened in 1956.[4][5] Construction got underway in 1968, with an "official" kickoff in November of that year.[1][6] The mall opened in February 1970, and was the first enclosed shopping mall to open in eastern Pennsylvania outside of the Philadelphia area.[1][7]

The mall is named after the English town Reading, Berkshire. The old fountain in the center of the mall had been choreographed by local Reading company "Symphonic Fountains".[8] The second level food court was formerly a section called "Lamp Post Lane".[9] The food court was created in 1989.[10][11]

The original owner and developer of the mall was the Goodman Company, which sold the property to Equitable Real Estate Management in 1985.[1][7] In July 2002, the mall was acquired by Allied Properties.[12]

On the night of November 2, 2009, a fire broke out in a display window of the Victoria's Secret store. Before firefighters could arrive, the sprinkler system activated in the store and the adjacent hallway. The store suffered smoke and water damage; everyone was evacuated safely without any reported injuries.[13] On April 14, 2010, there was a fire inside of Boscov's. A worker was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital for severe burns to the face. Firefighters had controlled the fire in 30 minutes.[14]

In January 2011, a leaked security camera video of a mall patron falling into a fountain near the entrance to Boscov's while texting, uploaded to YouTube with titles such as "Girl Falls In Mall Fountain While Texting" went viral and received international news coverage. The lady was later determined to be Cathy Cruz Marrero, who is reportedly evaluating legal action against the mall because no one came to her aid after falling. Marrero was featured on Good Morning America on January 20, 2011, and was then due in court to face legal action against her for theft.[15] As a result of this incident, the security guard who posted the video was fired.[16]

On May 22, 2014, a severe thunderstorm caused damage to the roof when golf-ball sized hail tore through the skylights, making them shatter throughout the main hallway.[17]

Anchors[edit]

Former anchors[edit]

The current Boscov's was originally John Wanamaker from August 1970 (a few months after the mall opened) until the May Company acquired John Wanamaker and converted all John Wanamaker stores to Hecht's in 1995. In 1996 the May Company acquired another major Philadelphia department store chain, Strawbridge & Clothier. After that acquisition, the May Company converted all the Hecht's that had been John Wanamaker stores in southeast Pennsylvania, including at the Berkshire Mall, to Strawbridge's. In 2002 Strawbridge's decided to close their Berkshire Mall location and Boscov's took over.[18] The Bon-Ton was Lit Brothers from 1970 to 1975, and then Pomeroy's from 1975 until the late 1980s.[1][19][20]

Berkshire Mall West[edit]

The Berkshire Mall West is a strip plaza across Woodland Road from the Berkshire Mall. The "mall west" contains AC Moore, the only Premium PA Wine & Spirits Shoppe in Berks County, One Stop Beverage, TJ Maxx, Outback Steakhouse, Bank of America, Berkshire Bank, and Old Country Buffet. There was a Circuit City until 2009, which closed after the chain folded. The former Circuit City store served as a Halloween Adventure for the 2009 season. The former Circuit City has reopened as hhgregg in 2010. Hhgregg is an Indianapolis-based retalier of consumer electronics and home appliances.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e (22 November 1968). Berkshire Mall Building Starts, Reading Eagle
  2. ^ "Berkshire Mall". Allied Properties. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.phillymag.com/articles/exit-interview-taylor-swift/
  4. ^ (26 November 1967). Sears Going to Berkshire Mall With Enlarged Store, Reading Eagle
  5. ^ (25 October 1956). Sears, Roebuck Opens New Store on Lancaster Avenue, Reading Eagle
  6. ^ (14 November 1969) This aerial view ..., Reading Eagle (aerial view of mall under construction in November 1969)
  7. ^ a b (2 November 1985). No Real Changes Expected Due To Berkshire Mall Sale, Reading Eagle
  8. ^ http://www.labelscar.com/pennsylvania/berkshire-mall
  9. ^ http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com/2010/02/berkshire-mall-warren-street-bypass-us.html
  10. ^ Andrews, Connie (19 February 1989). Sales up at Fairgrounds Square and Berkshire Mall in 1988, Reading Eagle
  11. ^ (15 November 1989). Taste What's Coming To Town! (Advertisement for food court opening in December 1989), Reading Eagle
  12. ^ (27 August 2002). Walkers dislike new Berkshire Mall schedule, Reading Eagle
  13. ^ "Berkshire Mall evacuated after fire at Victoria's Secret". Reading Eagle. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  14. ^ "Boscov's worker hurt in explosion released from burn center". Reading Eagle. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  15. ^ Brudereck, Jason (20 January 2010). 1 step leads texter to unwanted fame, Reading Eagle
  16. ^ "Security Guard Fired For Sharing Mall Surveillance Video". WFMZ-TV. January 20, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Berkshire Mall, hit hard by hail, reopens to shoppers". Allentown, PA: WFMZ-TV. May 23, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  18. ^ (17 January 2002). Boscov's Moving to Berkshire, Reading Eagle
  19. ^ "Allied May Buy Lits Store". Reading Eagle. October 19, 1975. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  20. ^ Rosenburg, Joyce M. (March 6, 1988). "Retail takeover climate revitalized after slump". Reading Eagle. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°20′29.45″N 75°58′13.03″W / 40.3415139°N 75.9702861°W / 40.3415139; -75.9702861