Harundale Mall

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Harundale Mall, the first enclosed shopping mall on the East Coast in the 20th century, was located in Glen Burnie, Maryland, United States at the intersection of Ritchie Highway and Aquahart Road. The mall was built in Anne Arundel County by James Rouse who later developed Columbia, Maryland, one of the first modern planned communities, in Howard County. Harundale Mall rivaled Southdale Center in Minnesota, the only "other" indoor mall in the United States at the time. Harundale Mall has been replaced by Harundale Plaza.

Harundale Mall
Location Glen Burnie, Maryland
Address 7440 Governor Ritchie Highway
Opening date October 1, 1958
Closing date 1998
Developer The Rouse Company
Management The Rouse Company
Owner The Rouse Company
Architect James Rouse

Opening[edit]

Harundale Mall opened on October 1, 1958; it was considered the first indoor enclosed shopping mall on the East Coast of the United States (although Westminster Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island opened in 1828 and was also given that designation).[1] Harundale Mall was also credited as being the first air conditioned mall in the United States.[2][3]

A commemorative stone was located in the northeastern end of the mall, listing those who were involved in the mall's construction. The stone's sides contained the following information:

  • "Harundale Mall" followed by "Opened October 1, 1958."
  • "Owners and Developers" followed by "Community Research and Development, Inc." "Architects" followed by "Rogers, Taliaferro, and Lamb." "Builders" followed by "Arundeltown Inc."
  • One side listed several architectural awards.
  • One side provided a history of the site including information about Native Americans, the Glenn family, and military usage.

The mall included the following additional features: a water fountain was located next to the rock, and a set of stairs to the second floor offices allowed mall-goers to watch the water from the fountain "top out" and fall back into the fountain's pool below. Mall-goers could also throw coins into the fountain's pool from the stairs. A "community room" and restrooms, also on the second floor, had an entrance to the second floor of Hochschild Kohn's Department Store. Hochschild Kohn's was the only two-story store in the mall.

However, in each store there was usually a storeroom with an upstairs area that was used as a stock or storage area. The mall was known to flood in heavy rains, due to its original "flat" roof, and any merchants can attest to cleaning water from these storage areas when it rained.

At one point in the mall's history, a Horn and Horn Smorgasbord Cafeteria operated on the second floor, as well. This had originally opened as "The Severn Room". Horn and Horn stayed opened at this location until 1989.

The second floor "community room" could be rented for weddings and provided a place for public meetings. For many years, on the opposite end of the mall from the "rock", large cages featured talking Myna birds.

Pre-dating the Harundale Mall was a strip shopping center in the southeastern corner of the mall property. This strip center originally included an Eddie's Super Market and a White Coffee Pot Restaurant.

When Harundale Mall opened, it had two major anchors: Hochschild Kohn's and Food Fair, which in the early 1970s was converted over to Pantry Pride. The mall also had three smaller anchors: Read's Drug Store (with a soda fountain), S.S. Kresge five and dime store, and G.C. Murphy five and dime store. The mall also hosted several exclusive women's and men's shops, including Lerner New York, Oppenheim Collins, Braeger-Gutman's, and Raymond's, and about 50 other smaller tenants and food establishments.

One of the more noteworthy food establishments was an eatery towards the center of Harundale Mall, which for many years was the Italian Delight Restaurant. This restaurant featured a "below grade" floor. As a result, the workers at this establishment ended up looking much shorter than the average mall-goer standing "at grade".

The mall opened to much fanfare in 1958. Traffic was backed up for two miles on Maryland Route 2 just to get on the parking lot on opening day. Several politicians (including John F. Kennedy, then junior Senator from Massachusetts) were present for the opening day. Harundale Mall was a major shopping destination for over 30 years.

Decline[edit]

Hutzler's Department Store closed a nearby location in Southdale Shopping Center and replaced the Harundale Mall's Hochschild Kohn's Department Store in early January 1985. Other newer additions to Harundale Mall included Erol's TV and Video Club, Foot Locker, Rite Aid, Record Town, and Kay Bee Toys.

Throughout the 1980s, most of the older enclosed malls in northern Anne Arundel County similar to Harundale Mall experienced a state of decline. These included the nearby Jumpers Hole Mall, the Severna Park Mall, and the Glen Burnie Mall.

In 1987, Harundale Mall's downward slide was quickened with the opening of the Marley Station Mall less than two miles away. Several of Harundale Mall's few remaining higher-end stores left the aging mall for this newer mall. The Rouse Company (which owned the Harundale Mall) didn't do very much to improve or upgrade the ageing mall to compete with newer shopping choices in the area.

Hutzler's, also in trouble as a chain, closed in Harundale Mall in 1988. The mall management talked with JC Penney to replace Hutzler's. However, JC Penney eventually chose Marley Station instead and opened a location there in 1994. The closed Hutzler's was instead replaced by a Value City Discount Store in 1989.

A more rapid decline started in the early 1990s. This was fueled by changing demographics in the area (and in the entire city of Baltimore), lower-income stores' coming to the mall, and a rise in crime.

In 1998, Harundale Mall was quietly closed. Many of the stores had already left by this time. The only sizable business still open was Value City.

Most of the mall was then demolished. The only original building left today is the former Hochschild Kohn's, now Burlington Coat Factory. Value City closed in 2007. The signature "rock" in the middle of the mall was removed for later use (see Harundale Plaza).

Abductions[edit]

Two abductions occurred at Harundale Mall. On November 11, 1969, Joyce Malecki disappeared after being last seen at the mall. She was found murdered two days later, her body discovered at Soldier Park training area of Fort Meade. On October 16, 1970, 16-year-old Pamela Lynn Conyers also disappeared from the mall. Her body was found four days later by Route 100, near the Waterford Road/Route 648 overpass.[4]

Harundale Plaza[edit]

Harundale Plaza
Location Glen Burnie, Maryland
Address 7900 Governor Ritchie Highway
Opening date 1999
No. of stores and services 19
No. of anchor tenants 4

In 1999, the mall reopened and redeveloped as Harundale Plaza, a strip shopping center. Anchor stores are Burlington Coat Factory, Regency Furniture, Mission BBQ and HomeGoods. Mission BBQ's headquarters is also located at Harundale Plaza. The signature "rock" from Harundale Mall is now at Harundale Plaza. In July 2011, a Super Fresh store closed as part of A&P's overall business plan to sell off locations no longer deemed part of their overall business strategy. Regency Furniture has occupied the old Super Fresh location since 2014.

External links and further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kandarian, Paul (October 9, 2013). "Arcade in Providence opening eateries". Boston.com. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cityscape". The Eye of the Beholder: Photographs by Marion E. Warren, 1940–1988. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  3. ^ "Harundale Mall, 1958". Photo in Maryland Archives by Marion E. Warren, 1940–1988. Maryland State Archives. 
  4. ^ Robinson, Lisa (June 1, 2017). "Netflix's 'The Keepers' generates interest in other Md. cold cases". WBAL TV. Retrieved 2018-01-26. 

Coordinates: 39°9′5.56″N 76°36′56.02″W / 39.1515444°N 76.6155611°W / 39.1515444; -76.6155611