Could Things Have Been Different For Euclid Square Mall?

Originally constructed in 1977, Euclid Square Mall was certainly never the Cleveland area’s biggest or most flashy mall, but it most certainly deserved a better fate than it would eventually suffer.

Could things have been different? Maybe. Let’s look back at some times that could have possibly changed the fate of Euclid Square Mall.

Euclid Square Mall Entrance
Entrance to Euclid Square Mall – Image credit Nicholas Eckhart’s wonderful Flickr account.

In late December of 1997, The Zamias Services Company would close a deal on the  purchase of ten mall properties from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Included in the deal were Euclid Square Mall and 9 other malls scattered throughout the eastern and midwestern states. With the deal the company was looking to grow their already impressive portfolio of 35 shopping centers.

At the time of purchase, Euclid Square Mall was still a somewhat respectable center with vacancy rates at 15%. Though these numbers were below average for the Cleveland market, they were still nowhere near as bad as the 29% vacancy rate at nearby Richmond Mall or the 31% rate at Randall Park Mall.

Renovations at Euclid Square Mall

Renovations at Euclid Square Mall
With Simon-DeBartolo already renovating the nearby Richmond Mall could a swanky facelift have saved Euclid Square?

In an effort to improve the vacancy numbers at Euclid Square, Zamias Services did a study of the mall which looked at multiple renovation and redevelopment plans for the property. Some of these plans included a complete renovation, a conversion to a power center, completely demolishing the mall and repurposing the site into an apartment community, and one plan even looked at turning the site into a golf course.

Euclid Square Mall as a Power Center
For better or for worse, the power center idea never unfolded.

Sadly, none of these ideas ever came to fruition. One year later the mall would lose a major anchor when Kaufmann’s would relocate to the nearby and newly renovated Richmond Mall. This loss would only help contribute to the soon to be rapid rise in vacancy.

Euclid Square Mall Directory
This 1999 mall directory shows there was still some life left.

Even after losing an anchor there still may have been a chance of turning the place around as the mall still had some signs of life but by 1999 it had seemed that Zamias Services had given up. Shortly later in 2000 Zamias would sell the mall to North Carolina real estate investor Haywood Wichard.

Haywood not only looked like a business class villain from an 80s movie, he also played the part to near perfection. He cared zero about the mall, the jobs it created, or the people that worked there. He cared only about one thing and that was turning a profit on his investment. Mr. Wichard was quoted in the Plain Dealer as saying “We are willing to sit there and hold it until a use comes along. Somebody will come along eventually who will need that property.”

Haywood Richard Euclid Squares Death Nemesis
Haywood Wichard – Was he wise to not dump money into the mall or is he the reason the mall doesn’t exist today?

In just a year under Haywood Wichard’s ownership vacancy rates soared to 87%. By 2002 the mall’s remaining anchor, Dillard’s, converted the store to a clearance center and closed off access to the second level of the store. In 2004 Haywood eventually gave up the idea of ever turning a profit on the property and sold the mall at a loss to local businessman Ted Lichko.

Whereas Haywood Wichard seemed like a villain, Ted Lichko seemed like the unlikely hero that Euclid Square needed to save it from certain doom. Lichko was mostly known operating United Furniture but also was in the business of purchasing run-down brick apartment buildings and rehabbing them into safe, affordable housing. He had even bought and turned around Conneaut Shopping Center so it seemed like he could really make this happen.

Lichko’s first plan was to fill the other vacant anchor store. His idea was Outlets USA. Despite the name, Outlets USA was not your typical factory outlet, but more of an upscale flea market set in a department store consisting of a gallery of vendors selling wares such as furniture, cigarette lighters, tires, and scratch and dent appliances. Outlets USA would feature 150 spaces for vendors on the first level of the former Kaufmann’s store and if that was filled up they would open up the second level.

Outlets USA Euclid Square Mall
Outlets USA – Not just an outlet shopping mall.

Next, Lichko would focus on revitalizing the mall’s interior. His first order of business was to reactivate the beautiful fountain system. He put his team to work to clean up the mall interior and get the stores into move-in ready condition. Lichko hoped that the mall could rebound by using a “main street” mix of offices and stores. Lichko even had educational organizations evaluating areas of the mall as potential business school campus.

One of Lichko’s first orders of business as the malls new owner was to reactivate the malls beautiful fountain system.

Initially Lichko’s plan would pay off. Outlets USA’s grand opening weekend would attract nearly 13,000 customers. One of the food vendor’s, “The Dog House” actually ran out wieners! It was a hit and customers even commented to the Plain Dealer on how great it was for the mall to be back open and about how wonderful the mall looked.

The success however wouldn’t last. Outlets USA would close just two years after opening, with Litchko citing that the vendors were a bad mix with the mall. And just like that, the mall was headed back on it’s course of failure.

A shuttered Outlets USA at Euclid Square Mall – Image via Nicholas Eckhart’s wonderful Flickr account.

And that is basically the end of the line for Euclid Square. Though it did have somewhat of a resurgence as a place of worship. In 2013 there were as many as 24 different churches located in the mall. However in 2013 the mall also lost it’s last retail client when the Dillard’s Clearance finally closed its doors.

In late 2017 the mall would eventually meet its doom after many years struggle.

In 2016 the mall would be condemned by the city of Euclid and a year later demolition would begin.

So, could things have been different for Euclid Square? Maybe. But with fierce competition from upscale centers like Crocker Park and Legacy Village it would be hard to imagine a world where Euclid Square would still be a successful shopping mall. Heck, even Richmond Mall who underwent major renovations is now closed.



The Fountains of Eastwood Mall

Eastwood Mall logo
The original umbrella logo of Eastwood was meant to represent the unusual umbrella style of ceilings in the complex.

William M. Cafaro, Youngstown native and Chairman of WIlliam M. Cafaro and Associates, the firm that would develop Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio had already been constructing shopping centers across the United States for several years. So when it became time to bring a mall into his own backyard, he wanted something extraordinary.

main fountain at Eastwood Mall
This old Postcard depicts the main fountain with colored lighting.

And extraordinary it was. The blueprints alone for the project took ten and a half tons of paper to draw up. The transformer used to power the concourse would be the largest of its kind in the country at that time. The project would use 64,500,000 pounds of concrete, and would feature 120,000 square feet of terrazzo flooring.

Fountain Eastwood Mall Niles Ohio
Two lovely young ladies pose in front of the massive main fountain at Eastwood Mall.

But the highlight of Eastwood Mall would be its extensive fountain system. With more than 12 miles of pipe that would continuously circulate 25,000 gallons of water to the cascading fountains sprawled throughout the mall. The fountains would be considered one of the most lavish creations in the modern shopping world.

Eastwood Mall Fountain
Atlas Cement Ad from 1969, the year Eastwood Mall opened showcasing the umbrella ceilings, terrazzo floor and fountain.

The main fountain would be hailed as one of the most attractive in the nation. Powered by a 60 horsepower pump and an electronic system that would control the cycling of water jets as well as an arrangement of colored lighting to enhance ambience.

John Cafaro, Executive Vice President of William M. Cafaro and Associates would go on to say “There’s no other shopping area in Northeast Ohio or Western Pennsylvania, or any place else in the country for that matter, any more beautiful or convenient to the shopper than Eastwood Mall.”

Eastwood Mall in the 80s
The fountains were still stunning in the 1980s.

The beauty however would not last and in a 1995 remodel the fountains were completely removed and replaced with seating areas, complete with big screen televisions…

Removal of Eastwood Mall fountains
Image showing the mid 90s removal of the fountains at Eastwood Mall.

Though nowhere near as magnificent as it was 50 years ago, the mall is still owned and operated by the Cafaro Corporation and remains somewhat relevant, recently (2017) being named The Best Place in Ohio for Black Friday Shopping by USA Today.

Complaint Department – Canton Centre Mall

Once regarded as highly sensitive and top secret material, these official mall complaints are finally made public for the first time thanks to our whistleblower on the inside.

Today let’s take a look at some of these complaints straight from the files of the Canton Centre Mall Customer Service.

Canton Centre Mall Customer Service
Canton Centre Mall Customer Service Desk.

Exhibit A: Nick of Time

To insiders Alice is known as a “Buzzer Beater” aka someone who shows up at the last minute. On this particular evening in late May, Alice had to make a pickup at an unnamed Canton Centre store before 9:00 PM. Arriving at the mall at 8:50 PM she found the doors to be already locked. Thankfully there were customers leaving and Alice was able to slip in.

Conclusion: Disaster narrowly averted.


Exhibit B: Would You Like Fries With That?

Subject “Jamie” came to Mr. Hero on a July afternoon to order food, however the service sucked and they didn’t give her the right things. To compound issues even further, Jamie was given things that she did not want. Suggestion to hire new/smart people should be seriously considered.

Conclusion: Definite major malfunction

Canton Centre Mall Complaint


Exhibit C: Bad Vibes at Big Abes

Subject “Sherrie” was attempting to shop at Big Abes on the afternoon of July 13th. While in the store she was very offended by the use of profanity in the music played by the store personnel. Sherrie cited examples of the use of words such as “mother f_____, b____, pu___ and so forth”.

Conclusion: Sh__.

Bigger Than Life – Time Out at Forest Fair Mall

In the fall of 1988 Cincinnati, Ohio would be the arena for an all out shopping mall rumble. With a total of 6 shopping centers within a mere 80 miles of one another it was not a battle to be the best but rather to see who could stay alive. There was a massive renovation to transform a strip mall to a 100,000 square foot enclosed shopping mall. An $80 million dollar expansion to one of the larger existing malls and a $2 million renovation by one of the smaller ones. Another hired not only Micky Mouse but also Ray Charles, like the real, actual Ray Charles, to head line the grand re-opening upon completion of their $100 million expansion. There was also one mall that was not even opened yet but the promise for something new, like nothing no one had ever seen before, was the most intoxicating of them all.

Forest Fair Mall Grand Opening

Just shy of 2 million square feet, would not only put Forest Fair Mall in the elite 1% of malls larger than 1 million square feet it would also make it the second largest shopping mall in the state. Intentionally designed to be different than all the other mundane shopping malls, the five anchors were to have their own individual style through the use of architecture. Offerings would include fashion, both high and discount, a considerable assortment of food outlets and an entertainment complex, the first of it’s kind.

Time-Out on the Court at Forest Fair Mall

Time-Out was not new name in the industry with more than 70 locations through out the U.S. by this time. In fact most would very fondly remember their local Time-Out arcade. But Time-Out on the Court was not your normal shopping mall arcade. It was an arcade and a midway area, and an 18-hole miniature putt-putt course. If that wasn’t enough there were amusements rides for the kiddies, bumper cars for the adults and a carousel for all ages to enjoy.

Ferris Wheel at Forest Fair Mall

“Timeout On The Court was the s*** when I was a kid. If I died and had to choose between heaven and Timeout, I’d choose Timeout lol.” [austiNati] “Forest Fair Mall/Cincinnati Mills questions (Dayton, Burlington: tenant, theatre, live)”, 3 Mar. 2021.

Forest Fair still remains open to this day (Now Cincinnati Mall), though with just a small handful of stores. And one of those stores is an arcade. It’s not Time-Out for sure, but it’s still a lot of fun to visit. If you do go to the mall, why not do it in style in a retro style Forest Fair shirt from Untitled Colours.

Forest Fair Mall Shirt Cincinnati Ohio

Greetings From Belden Village Mall – Canton, Ohio

On October 1st 1970, Belden Village Mall opened its doors to a “New World of Shopping Pleasure”. Mall management billed Belden Village as “The Magnificent Mall”, and a quick glance at these old postcards makes it rather obvious that it certainly lived up to it’s moniker.

Belden Village Mall Canton Ohio
Main Entrance – Belden VIllage Mall

Upon entering, one would immediately realize that Belden Village Mall was much more than your average shopping center, the mall was alive with fountains, lush plantscaping, and gorgeous sculptures from several well known artists.

1970s Belden Village Mall
The Main Court at Belden Village

In the malls Main Court tied into the fountain is this rather striking free-form metallic sculpture by Cleveland’s own Clarence Van Duzer who had several of his works on display throughout the mall.

Fountain at Belden Village Mall
A great view of the fountain and Clarence Van Duzer’s sculpture

Another renowned Cleveland artist, William McVey Contributed this magnificent piece in the Higbee’s Court. Mr. McVey also had pieces in other mid-century malls most notably being his hippo sculpture in Detroit’s Eastland Mall.

Higbee's Court Belden Village Mall
Higbee’s Court featuring sculpture by William McVey

In addition to the artwork placed throughout, the mall also featured cozy seating areas, surrounded by tropical flora and contemporary lighting really did make the mall feel alive, even during the harsh winter months in Ohio.

Belden Village Mall 1970
One of the many cozy seating areas at Belden Village Mall

Back of postcard reads:

Belden VIllage Mall – Where good taste costs no more.

Main entrance to belden village mall
Belden Village main entrance in 2018

Though remodeled in 1987, today the mall is still very much alive and serving Canton well, but I can’t help but wonder what happed to all the amazing art from the mall.

Rolling Acres Mall – Bubble Elevator

It was a pleasant surprise to come across this old Dover Elevator ad while recently thumbing through an old Architectural Record from 1979. I always thought the elevator at Rolling Acres Mall was special, but I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Dover Elevators apparently thought so highly of the elevator that they featured it in this ad which ran for several months in multiple trade publications.

Elevator Rolling Acres Mall
1979 Dover Elevators as featuring the “Bubble Elevator” at Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio.

With a design similar to what one might expect to find in a big city hotel, The elevator at Rolling Acres Mall was touted as “Akron’s First Bubble Elevator” and would serve customers as they traveled from the main level down to the Promenade Level.

This Beacon Journal clipping from 1976 points out that the mall’s bubble elevator was supposed to be yellow.

Though the ride on the elevator itself only lasted 15 seconds, it was definitely worth waiting for to take in the the beautiful fountains and and the French-styled greenscaped Parc from above before gliding to a smooth landing at the Promenade level.

Rolling Acres Mall Promenade
A 1978 Beacon Journal Ad featuring the Bubble Elevator promoting the opening of the Promenade Level at Rolling Acres Mall.

The elevator was a hit with shoppers, especially children. It was claimed that the because of its novelty the elevator had probably carried nearly as many shoppers up and down as the double escalators that it compliments in the Court of Lights.

promenade court rolling acres mall
A late 90s view of the still dazzling elevator in the Court of Lights at a Rolling Acres Mall in decline.

Head over to The Court of the Twelve Trees or take a video tour of Rolling Acres Mall from 2003 where you can see the bubble elevator and the escalators running.


Greetings from Midway Mall – Date Unknown

Named after its perfect location between two cities, Lorain and Elyria, Midway Mall opened in 1966 and I would have to believe this postcard to be not much newer than that.

Some notable highlights from this image include Winkelman’s, Penney’s, Harvest House Cafeteria, Fanny Farmer and some great semi-circle bench-style seating. To see what this mall looks like now makes it pretty easy to understand why people don’t really go to malls anymore.

Midway Mall Elyria Ohio Postcard

Initially, Midway Mall management prided itself on its squeaky clean image, so much so that there was a 3 bedroom furnished apartment onsite for the head to maintenance to help him make sure that his crew would continue to make the mall the “Showplace of Ohio”.


Back of postcard reads:

Midway Mall, one of Ohio’s finest shopping centers on Route 57 between Elyria and Lorain.

Midway Mall - Elyria Ohio
JCPenney at Midway Mall – 2018

Gone are the terrazzo floors, the sleek benches, and globe style lighting that once adorned this beautiful court. The JCPenney store is now not surprising gone as well, honestly it looked like they had already given up at this point anyway (great window display). No word on if the apartment is still there.

Christmas at Rolling Acres Mall

Rolling Acres Mall Fountain Santa

“Our Christmas wish for you are these: May you always see Christmas with the eyes of a child. May you always know the warmth of love, the joy of giving, the magic of Santa Claus and the wonder of a star. May your days be filled with laughter and your lives be filled with peace.” from the Rolling Acres Merchants (The Akron Beacon Journal, 1991)

Rolling Acres Mall 1998 Gingerbread Man Dillards

Rolling Acres Mall Christmas 1998

Rolling Acres Mall Christmas 1998 Payless Shoes


Rolling Acres Mall 1998 Dillards

and Reindeers…

Rolling Acres Mall security

and Bears…

Rolling Acres Mall Dillards Christmas

Oh my!

Zales Roling Acres Mall

Rolling acres mall fountain

Seriously, how long is this going to take?

Christmas Rolling acres mall

Rolling Acres Mall Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…denim and a black light.

Christmas Rolling Acres Mall

Rolling Acres Mall

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a department store with three Christmas carolers near.

Rolling Acres Mall Fountain

I’m sorry, but that floor, how did they get it so shiny?

Rolling Acres Mall Fountain

Rolling Acres Mall

Well, this is a little sad.

Rolling Acres Mall REindeer

JB Robinson Rolling Acres Mall

 ♪♫ JB Robinson ♫♪

JB RObinson ROlling Acres Mall

Rolling Acres Mall Christmas Train

 Best darn job in the mall!

Rolling Acres Mall Christmas     1998 WQMX Rolling Acres Mall

Could it be the WQMX “Wish Upon A Star” Wish Wheel where you could spin for a free trip, a telescope kit, or a $1,000 shopping spree? I’m in!

Northern Reflections Rolling Acres Mall

That reminds me, I still need to get my Christmas cards.

Rolling Acres Mall Entrance

Wow, that Post Office was also in this great video.

Rolling Acres Mall Fountain

Rolling Acres Mall Fountain 1998

Ahhhh, I think I’m going to rest right here on this beautiful bench and just take in all the glory that is Rolling Acres at Christmastime.

Rolling Acres Mall Elevator

Meanwhile, on the other side of the mall.

Rolling Acres Mall

May your shopping bags be full, and your local malls stay open!

Merry Christmas from everyone at

Frederick's of Hollywood - Rolling Acres Mall

Destination: Quaker Square – Akron, Ohio

Through the eyes of a child, Quaker Square was wondrous. At least that’s how I remember seeing it. Every where you looked there was something to see. There were real trains outside, train cars inside and lots of miniature ones too. However, my favorite was always the mannequin displays depicting what it was like to work in the old factory. It was magical.

Quaker Square Akron Ohio

The complex itself was the original Quaker Oats factory consisting of a mill, factory, and silos. In the early 1970’s, developers saw great potential in “recycling” the building to what would become a unique destination full of shops and restaurants.

Quaker Square store Kitchen Works

The developers wanted to keep as much of the original factory look as possible. The brick walls, massive posts and beams and the overhead pipes through out the building were exposed. The wooden floors were left alone, only to receive a polish to a high gloss finish, and old factory equipment and materials were restored and installed as displays. It really was as beautiful as you are imaging.

Quaker Square Shoe Store

On April 1, 1975, when Quaker Square officially opened, it contained only four shops and one ice cream and sandwich shop. By April the next year, roughly 43 shops and restaurants were in operation with 10 more slated to open by July of 1976. The third and fourth floors contained offices that were accessible by a glass front elevator located in the main building, overlooking downtown. I always wanted to go up there as I envisioned they were the most grand offices in all of Akron. How lucky were you if you actually got to go to work in Quaker Square?

Quaker Square got the blues store

The developers attention quickly turned to one of the oldest buildings in Akron, which sat directly behind the Quaker Square complex. By June 1976, the REA Express building was transformed into the REA Express Spaghetti House and Pizza Parlor. As with the Quaker Square building, all the original brick, beams and posts were exposed. And authentic railroading memorabilia and artifacts were added all around. The best part however was not by design. The train tracks behind the restaurant were still active so chances were always good to hear a train whistle or even see a train pass by through the windows.

By the fall of 1979 it was time to start re-purposing the silos. The initial thought was to convert them into apartments. However with the hotel market starting to rebound at that time, it seemed like a more viable option. So a total of 26 silos were renovated into round hotel rooms with another 10 silos being used for elevators, corridors and storage areas. I never did stay at the hotel, or had an old-timey western picture taken at Magic Lantern Photos. It just goes to show that we should not take sites like this for granted. All we have now are fond memories.

Looking for more Quaker Square? Check out The History of Quaker Square Facebook Group or leave us a comment below!


Although you can no longer get a plate full of hobo roasted chicken, you can still get some cool Quaker Square T-Shirts and more…

Store Showcase: Camelot Music, Great Lakes Mall, Mentor, Ohio

In the late 1990’s, the North Canton-Ohio based music retailer, Camelot Music, decided to open a new mall prototype. They wanted a store that looked and felt different from the typical cookie-cutter mall music stores we were becoming accustomed to. Their concept was more than just a music store, it was a “lifestyle” store. After all, music is the foundation of many lifestyles.

Camelot Music Storefront

Camelot music opened their new flagship store in a 17,000 sq ft retail space located in Great Lakes Mall. In addition to the normal entrance in the mall, the store also had it’s own front entrance from the parking lot. And the overall look of the store was more like a hip clothing store.

Next to a CD display you could find t-shirts, books and other memorabilia that paired with the CD’s. And the store didn’t stop there incorporating their new “lifestyle” products. They carried vintage jeans, comic books, watches, lighters, trading cards, musical instruments, and quirky boutique style items. I’m sure we all remember the ever popular notebooks with the car license plate on them.

Camelot Music Record Storr

Despite the new products, about 65% of the store merchandise remained music-related.

Camelot Music Record Store

The president of Camelot Music believed that the mall music business could regain it’s health by decreasing the number of music stores in each mall. He predicted that in the future the mall will support one good music store. And even though Camelot did it’s best to position itself to be that store, we ended up with F.Y.E. instead. WTH?

Camelot Music Record Store

“Camelot Music is the coolest music chain in the country.” Anna Nicole Smith (AOL Center Stage, 20 October 1995)

You can be the coolest with this Camelot Repeat Performer Card t-shirt by Untitled Colours.

Camelot Music by turboglyde

Camelot Music Record Store Shirt