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Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

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Eastwood Mall

Ward — Thomas Museum
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The Eastwood Mall from an aerial viewpoint. Dated 1976 PO1.264

Eastwood Mall main entrance, 1970.

Eastwood Mall main entrance, 1970.

Eastwood Mall opened in 1969 with Sears, Strouss, Montgomery Ward, and Woolworth as anchors. It was the first mall to feature both Montgomery Ward and Sears. The JCPenney wing was added in 1979. Montgomery Ward closed in 1984, and its building was split among Gold's Gym (now a local gym), Toys "R" Us, and Carlisle's. Advance Auto Parts was built across the street from the mall in 1992. After Carlisle's closed in 1994 and Toys "R" Us moved to a new store, those spaces both became Dillard's. Target was added onto the mall in 2000.

Strouss became Kaufmann's in 1986, and Macy's in 2006. A food court was added near Macy's in 2006. In late 2007, a 3-tank aquarium, known as the Equarium, was added to the center court.

In 2012, construction began on a Residence Inn by Marriott in the Dillard's wing. In 2014, Hot Head Burritos opened outside the mall along with a strip plaza. On September 17, 2015, H&M officially opened at the mall. In late 2016, Cafaro Management opened their main office on a new construction, along with a new Hampton Inn & Suites hotel. In 2017, additional renovation of the mall's entrance features and interior occurred.

The Cafaro Company has now embarked on development of an adjacent 105 acres, named Enterprise Park at Eastwood. This new tract that will be connected to the existing mall property is envisioned as a mixed-use development that will include residential buildings along with office space for medical, educational, research, care and other commercial activities.

On October 15, 2018, it was announced that Sears would be closing as part of a plan to close 142 stores nationwide.


Eastwood Mall main entrance, 1970.

William Cafaro and wife with Miss USA at the grand opening of the Eastwood Mall.

Construction of Eastwood Mall, 1968.

Construction of Eastwood Mall, 1968.

Front of the Eastwood Mall, highlighting the Strouss Department Store, 1976.

Front of the Eastwood Mall, highlighting the Strouss Department Store, 1976. PO1.254

Construction of the J.C. Penney Wing of the Eastwood Mall.

Construction of the J.C. Penney Wing of the Eastwood Mall.

 

It took years of planning for the mall to come to fruition. As some may remember, prior to the erection of the mall, that area along Rt 422 was home to Eastwood Golf Course. In September 1966 Niles bid to annex a huge area of 113.4 acres from Howland Township along Rt 422 for the construction of an $8 million plaza by William Cafaro and Associates. (The parcel remained with Howland School District.) This would not only alter the physical boundaries of the city but the proposed ultra modern shopping facility would change Niles commerce forever. Such a shopping concept was new to the area. The plaza would be entirely enclosed and air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter! The proposed mall would be constructed in a "T" formation.

John Cafaro was superintendent of the mall's construction. This huge undertaking required 12 miles of water pipes, 2000 tons of steel and 8 miles of duct work not to mention 2,500,000 cement blocks and 64,500,000 pounds of concrete. The blueprints alone consumed 10 1/2 tons of paper.

When completed the concourse featured high teardrop ceilings, tropical plants and sweeping fountains which were reputed to be the most elaborate water display in the country and merchandising world. 25,000 gallons of water was continually circulated through them. Center concourses could be converted into stand-alone stages. Gold canopies marked each entrance. Eastwood Mall was featured in various trade magazines for these amenities, its 3,800 car parking lot and for having the largest electrical transformer in the nation. 3000 jobs were created with more added for the holidays.

The official ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday September 17, 1969 with Miss USA in attendance. A fireworks display was set off the following Saturday and special events continued for ten days. The newspaper noted "At night the mall looked like a sparkling diamond in solitaire setting as the only illuminated site on the north side of the highway close to the intersection of Rt 46." It was the hope that the Eastwood Mall would attract not only shoppers but be an outstanding attraction for visitors and guests to the area. And it has.

The mall's 90 stores had something for everyone. Some stores such as Sears had actually opened earlier. Montgomery Wards was the largest store and included a warehouse and auto center. Shoes could be purchased at Nobil's, Lustig's, Kinney's, Regal's or many other stores. Hughes and Hatcher, Hartzell's Rose and Son, Bond and Gentry, and National Shirt featured menswear. Women shopped at Livingston's, Learner's, McKelvey's Loft, Rappold's and Ormond's. Sewers could buy supplies at So-Fro Fabrics, The Fabric Tree and Singer Sewing Center. Hungry shoppers could stop in Sweet Williams, Harvest House Cafe or enjoy a special evening at Cherry's Top O' the Mall. The A&P sold groceries and movies were shown at Loew's Theatre. Sundries could be picked up at Gray Drug or Woolworth's. The Second National Bank's new office offered banking from your car via closed circuit TV.

Many businesses have come and gone in the almost 50 years of the mall. Strouss became Kaufman's and now Macy's. General Nutrition Center, Sears and Memory Lane are a few of the original stores that remain. The fountains have been replaced with seating areas with big screen TVs. Restaurants are now located in the Food Court. The carousal is gone but there is a children's play area, a train to ride and fish to see in the aquarium. Santa still comes every Christmas.

The area is now known at the Eastwood Mall Complex and includes many surrounding plazas, restaurants, hotels and even a baseball stadium. The Cafaro corporate offices moved to a newly constructed section of the mall recently. This brought 200 additional jobs and business to Niles. Already one of the largest shopping venues in the nation, still more features are being planned for the area.

While other malls throughout the country have fallen on hard times, William Cafaro's "Impossible Dream" of an enclosed plaza called Eastwood Mall continues to thrive.

Thelma Snyder


Cherry's Top-o-the-Mall, 1970.

Cherry's Top-o-the-Mall, 1970.

Advertisement for Cherry's

Advertisement for Cherry's

Center court fountains, 1969.

Center court fountains, 1969.


View of Eastwood Mall Concourse.

View of Eastwood Mall Concourse. PO2.253

Umbrella ceiling design

Two-level Carousel

Two-level Carousel


The removal of the interior fountains in the main concourse of the Eastwood Mall.

The removal of the interior fountains in the main concourse of the Eastwood Mall.
Dated August 19, 1994 PO1.280

The Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation of the interior, including removal of the fountains. Dated February 14, 1994.

The Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation of the interior, including removal of the fountains. Dated February 14, 1994. PO1.283

The interior of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation including removal of the fountains. Dated September 30, 1994

The interior of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation including removal of the fountains. Dated September 30, 1994 PO1.287


The north concourse of the Eastwood Mall during the renovation of the interior.

The north concourse of the Eastwood Mall during the renovation of the interior.
Dated January 13, 1995 PO1.290

The interior staircase located in the main entrance of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation in the 1990's.

The interior staircase located in the main entrance of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation in the 1990's.
Dated February 6, 1995 PO1.300

The inside of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation which included the removal of the fountains.

The inside of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation which included the removal of the fountains.
Dated March 13, 1995 PO1.306


Original staircase, 1970

Original staircase, 1970. S11.182

The staircase inside the main entrance in the Eastwood Mall during renovations in the 1990's. Dated March 3, 1995

The staircase inside the main entrance in the Eastwood Mall during renovations in the 1990's. Dated March 3, 1995 PO1.308

The escalator inside the main front entrance of the Eastwood Mall during renovations in the 1990's. Dated Feb. 25, 1995

The escalator inside the main front entrance of the Eastwood Mall during renovations in the 1990's. Dated Feb. 25, 1995 PO1.309


The interior of the Eastwood Mall main concourse during the renovation that led to the removal of the fountains. Dated February 17, 1995

The interior of the Eastwood Mall main concourse during the renovation that led to the removal of the fountains. Dated February 17, 1995.
PO1.311

The interior of the Eastwood Mall main concourse during the renovation that led to the removal of the fountains. Dated February 17, 1995

Photo taken of the interior of the Eastwood Mall north concourse during renovations that included the removal of the fountains.
Dated February 17, 1995 PO1.310

Harvest House Cafeteria

Harvest House Cafeteria


Photo taken of the model geodesic dome house displayed inside the Eastwood Mall, spring, 1985.

Photo taken of the model geodesic dome house displayed inside the Eastwood Mall, spring, 1985. PO1.277

The interior of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation including removal of the fountains. Dated September 30, 1994

The interior of the Eastwood Mall during the complete renovation including removal of the fountains. Dated September 30, 1994 PO1.286

York Steak House


The entrance to the Eastwood Mall during the renovation. Dated November 18, 1994.

The entrance to the Eastwood Mall during the renovation. Dated November 18, 1994. PO1.293

The exterior of the main entrance to the Eastwood Mall during renovation.

The exterior of the main entrance to the Eastwood Mall during renovation.
Dated November 18, 1994. PO1.292

Original Eastwood Mall Umbrella Logo

Original Eastwood Mall Umbrella Logo


Exterior of VIP Restaurant.

Interior of VIP Restaurant.

Interior of VIP Restaurant.

The "Strip" consisted of the Eastwood Mall and many fine restaurants, many of which featured live entertainment.

A partial list of the restaurants on the "Strip"

Alberinis

Brown Derby

Cafe 422

El Rio

Flamingo

Living Room

Town & Country

 

 

 

The VIP Restaurant and Entertainment had a large dance floor and nightly bands.

Sandalinis
     


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