Mondawmin Mall

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Mondawmin Mall
Location Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Address 2401 Liberty Heights Avenue
Opening date October 14, 1956
Developer James W. Rouse Company
Management General Growth Properties
Owner General Growth Properties
No. of stores and services 100
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 700,000 square feet
No. of floors 3
Parking Outdoor

Mondawmin Mall is a three-level shopping mall in Northwest Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The mall was a development of the Mondawmin Corporation, a firm set up by James Rouse with partner Alexander Brown Griswold owning 45%, Harry Bart and Robert Stack owning 45% and Moss-Rouse owning 10%.[1] The mall opened in October 1956.[2] "Mondawmin" was the name of the corn goddess in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Song of Hiawatha".


Alexander Brown of Mondawmin

St. Mary's College (now St. Mary's Seminary and University) graduate Dr. Patrick Macaulay (1791–1849) built the Greek Revival Mondawmin Manor on 73 acres in 1841. Macaulay was a Baltimore City councilman, doctor, editor of the Baltimore North American and early director of the B&O railroad. Visitor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow gave the estate the name Mondawmin, which was referenced in his poem "The Song of Hiawatha." Upon Macaulay's death, George Brown and later Alex Brown of Alex. Brown & Sons maintained an elaborate exterior garden until his death in 1949. The fountain and garden house were moved to Frederick, Maryland. Land developer Hamilton Sanger used some of the estate's materials in his Roland Park mansion.[3] Alexander Brown Griswold approached James Rouse and Harry Bart to develop 46 acres of the property. The estate was demolished for development in 1955.[4][5]

Mondawmin Center was built as an urban retail hub. It was an open-air complex of 58 store spaces, featuring a spiral staircase, a three-level Sears, a G.C. Murphy 5 and 10, and Food Fair and Penn Fruit supermarkets. Jim Rouse's brother Willard Goldsmith Rouse arranged the initial leasing, which included "The White Coffee Pot", a store that opened as a segregated establishment.[6] The center was fully enclosed during a renovation in 1963, with its name changed to Mondawmin Mall.[citation needed]

After the 1968 Baltimore riots produced white flight, the mall revenues declined and Sears left. Vacant space was occupied by the department of social services, where 35 people were held hostage in May 1977 by an unemployed man facing court action.[7] The Rouse Company had sold the Mondawmin Mall property in the mid-1960s, only to buy it back in 1982. They performed a large-scale renovation in 1983, sectioning the vacant Sears into smaller store spaces and adding a parking garage to the west end of the structure.[citation needed]

With the acquisition of the Rouse Company by Chicago-based General Growth Properties, in 2004, Mondawmin Mall became a GGP holding. General Growth Properties went through bankruptcy proceedings between April 2009 and May 2010.[citation needed] Once criticized for not meeting the needs of the local population, it is now better serving the community following a $68 million renovation between early 2007 and late 2008. During this project, the parking garage was demolished and replaced with a Target store. Two anchors, A.J. Wright (which later became Marshalls) and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, were added to the east end of the shopping center.[citation needed]

A branch of the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) of Maryland was on the Mondawmin property in a separate building. In 2011, the MVA moved to Hilltop Plaza Shopping Center in northwest Baltimore.[citation needed]

During the 2015 Baltimore riots, police protected the Mondawmin Mall for a short period of time, eventually closing in the mid afternoon.[8] Other images of the Mondawmin Mall appeared on major news networks showing looters running into and out of the mall during the riots. [9] The mall remained closed from Monday, 27 April 2015, until Saturday, 2 May 2015, and reopened on Sunday, 3 May 2015.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

Mondawmin Mall was mentioned in the song "King Very Vicious" by local rapper Labtekwon and in the song "Bird Flu" by local rapper Lor Scoota.


Mondawmin station

The perimeter of the Mondawmin Mall property is composed of some major Baltimore roads, including Liberty Heights Avenue, Reisterstown Road, and Gwynns Falls Parkway. Also nearby are Maryland Route 129 and Monroe Street.

Located on the Mondawmin property is the Mondawmin Transit Center, which mainly includes Mondawmin station of the Baltimore Metro Subway. This station serves as a hub for 10 Maryland Transit Administration bus lines. There are also 175 spaces in the mall's parking lot designated for use by riders of the Metro Subway.[11]


  1. ^ Paul Marx. Jim Rouse: Capitalist/idealist. p. 67. 
  2. ^ "Baltimore Observes: Scenes From a Mall"
  3. ^ DeWitt Bliss (12 May 1995). "Hamilton H. Sanger, 86, real estate, business investor". The Baltimore Sun. 
  4. ^ "Mondawmin, Baltimore's Lost Country Estate" (PDF). Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Joeseph Rocco Mitchell, David Stebenne. New City Upon a Hill. p. 48. 
  6. ^ Paul Marx. Jim Rouse: Capitalist/idealist. p. 68. 
  7. ^ "Man pleads guilty in 35-hostage Mondawmin case". The Baltimore Sun. 17 May 1977. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^
  11. ^ Maryland Transit Administration

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°19′05″N 76°38′47″W / 39.3181°N 76.6464°W / 39.3181; -76.6464