Today’s entry to the Blueprint Archive is this lovely sign drawing from Lerner Shops at Euclid Square Mall. The mall, which was developed by Jacobs, Visconsi & Jacobs would open in 1977 and the Lerner Shops would follow suit shortly after opening in 1978.
In the 1970s Lerner Shops had already established themselves as a major player amongst women’s fashion retailers. At one point they were even America’s largest chain of fashion specialists. Held in high regard amongst multiple generations of shoppers, Lerner Shops would offer all of the newest styles to complement any occasions, from daytime versatile to nighttime alluring, customers knew they could find the look they were after at Lerner.
The Euclid Square Mall store would eventually move from space B-252 to the A-156 location where it would remain until closing in the early 2000s.
After its days as a Lerner, the store A-156 would go on to become the Euclid Beach Boys Event Center and Museum which featured memorabilia from local amusement parks Euclid Beach, Geauga Lake, and Chippewa Lake.
Retailers Higbee’s and The May Company, along with developer Jacobs, Visconsi, and Jacobs were looking to build a shopping center on the property of the Chase Brass Company located on Babbitt Road. However with that property currently zoned for industrial use, the decision would be left up to people of Euclid to decide if the land should be rezoned. So it was put it to a vote in 1973 with the result being nearly two to one in favor of the mall.
The mayor at the time, Harry J. Knuth, who was a long time champion of the project considered the mall “One of the greatest things that ever happened to the city of Euclid”. Richard E. Jacobs, President of Jacobs, Visconsi, and Jacobs added that the malls developers “want to prove to each resident of Euclid that the city will benefit from this development and become an even better place in which to live in the years ahead”.
Mr. Jacobs was right. The Euclid Square Mall would eventually open in 1977 and pay immediate dividends in the creation of nearly 2,000 jobs, plus huge increases in income to the city from real estate tax on the new mall which helped the city avoid raising its taxes.
Kicking off the new blueprint section of Mallwalkers with a 1978 storefront elevation drawing of Camelot Music at Mellett Mall (later Canton Centre) in Canton, Ohio.
Camelot Music was a local company founded in Massilon, Ohio who opened their first retail stores in Canton, Ohio in 1965. By the 80s Camelot was a mall staple with over 300 stores and it seemed like they had a store in every mall (except Rolling Acres).
The 90s however were not so kind to the music retailer. In 93 CEO and founder Paul David stepped down and sold his majority share holdings to Investcorp. A few years later in 96 due to massive debts and stiff competition from big box stores the company would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Though they did emerge from bankruptcy a year later, the chain was forced to close nearly 25% of the stores. Finally in 1998 the company would be bought out by Trans World Entertainment, who would go on the rebrand the stores as FYE, thus ending the Camelot name for good.
The above image of an unknown store from the same time period shows what the Mellett Mall store may have looked as a finished build.