Toledo Trip: Part 2

3 Jun

Continuing on about my recent travels to Toledo, Ohio, it’s now time to venture forward to Part 2 of my trip.  I really thought I’d get to posting about all this earlier, but boy – time catches up with me.  I had other things on my mind to post about and this epic vacation (a little exaggeration there) has been delayed a bit.

If you’re just joining me on this fascinating and insightful journey, you probably want to start at Toledo Trip: Part 1

And so, moving on…

After leaving Northwood High School and heading down Woodville Road, where else would I go but the great Woodville Mall.  Located in the same community as my high school (Northwood), it’s a place full of exciting shopping destinations, entertainment, food and – er, wait….rubble?

Yes, the great all-mighty mall has recently been demolished.  Actually, sections of it were still up, but wrecking crews were eying them down.

I knew this prior to my visit, but seeing it in ruins was something else.

I know it’s just a mall, but I grew up around it.  From birth to 5th grade, I was roughly a mile away from the place.  During high school when I moved to a different house, the parking lot for it was my backyard.IMG_0094

Above:  The main entrance.  In the background, you can see the remains of the old Andersons store.

I remember its heydays back in the 80’s.  It wasn’t ever very vibrant compared to some malls, but it had a lot going for it.   There was the Woolsworth store where I bought candy, toys and my pet parakeet.  Also, the Fox Theater was there (where – not sure why – I remember a class trip to go see The Little Mermaid at).  It also had arcades, a busy food court, toy stores, hobby stores, bookstores, etc.  About any store you could think of.  The big anchor giants were The Andersons, Elder-Beerman and Sears.

Again, I spent tons of time here.

My friends and I growing up would be the first to arrive on Saturday mornings.  Yes, we were known for loitering.  We’d typically buy some food (candy) and then waste all of our quarters at the arcade playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or anything that involved street fighting.

At that time, all the “fun stuff” was bought in person at a retail store such as K.B. Toys.  We’d drool over the latest video games that – at our age – were unaffordable.  We could only hope that when a birthday or Christmas rolled around, we might end up with the newest Mario or something as a present.

But, we all know that malls (well, some of them) aren’t what they used to be.IMG_0095

Above:  Another view of the main entrance.  This part lead to the mall…which is rubble now.

Seems like the ones with less high-end items – like the Woodville Mall was – seem to be in decline or closed up.

The sad thing about the Woodville Mall area is everything around it is basically closed.  There used to be a Hills department store across the street (I believe Hills are totally gone everywhere now), a grocery store, little shops, auto repair places, etc.  Again, a vast variety of shopping and services.

Unfortunately, it reflects bad on the entire area of Northwood.  I mean, yikes. It was about the only major thing the community had (for an excuse to visit the area).

When I moved away from Northwood after high school (in 1997), I can’t say I didn’t see a lot of this coming even back then.  The mall had shops open and wasn’t doing too bad, but it still didn’t have hardly anything compared to those bigger malls on the other side of Toledo.  A new Meijer mega-store opened up as well in the early 90’s and I think that took a lot of business away from here.

I do know – according to news – that the final nail in the coffin is when the roof started to collapse, mold started to grow and the place was generally unsafe to be in.  They tried a small revival of the mall about four years ago, but it was too little too late.

I’m guessing the remaining abandoned sections of the mall that were up when we were there several weeks ago (as seen in my photos) are probably gone by now as well.

What’s left is memories of wasted quarters, weekends with friends and the smells from the pretzel place by the theater (those were some good pretzels).

RIP, mall.  It was fun.

We hopped in the car and headed out of there.

Next up is Toledo Trip:  Part 3.

Stay tuned…




4 Responses to “Toledo Trip: Part 2”

  1. Connie Meeker June 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Love it. Good memories of you kids. Are you going to write about Divinity. I showed Raedell a pic of you and she said she didn’t think you would be able to swing on the coat rack in the hall anymore. You and Nate Snider had lots of fun together.

  2. Wandering Author January 22, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    I am writing a novel in which two main characters go to the food court and arcade of Woodville Mall in one chapter. Would you, by any chance, happen to remember some of the restaurants in the food court around 1989, and some of the popular arcade cabinets of the time? These are small details, but details I want to add for authenticity’s sake!

    Any small things you could recall off the top of your head would be amazing.

    • w101njf January 23, 2017 at 11:06 am #

      That is awesome to hear! Please let me know when your novel is published – would love to get a copy.

      I spent a lot of time at the mall (ESPECIALLY in 1989) and unfortunately, I don’t recall too many details of specific places in the food court. The one that sticks out in my mind is the Chinese restaurant. They hung in there until the end – I think. Otherwise, it’s kind of a blur on what else was there. I do remember eating at the Chick-fi-la that was in the mall (separated from the food court). As for arcade games, I used to place TMNT’s with my friends almost every Saturday there. They also had some street fighting games in front of where Woolworth was. Those were played very often.

      Speaking of Woolworth, they had a restaurant in their store as well that we went to on several occasion. I can’t recall the name of it though.

      My favorite places to go were Spencer’s Gifts, KB Toys, CVS and B Dalton Bookstore. Always a weekend activity, again, around 1989 when I was in 5th grade attending Olney Elementary.

      Good luck with the book. Hope this helps!

      • Wandering Author January 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm #

        These are perfect – thanks so much for wracking your brain for things that were such a long time ago! It means a lot. Will definitely let you know when this thing is out! Would love for you to read it.

        Thanks again!

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