Cricket West Shopping Plaza
Victor Gruen constructed the first shopping plaza on the outskirts of Detroit in 1954 and the second two years later in Edina, Minnesota in 1956 (Bogost). The with the roller coaster ride off the economy we have had over the last 70 years, outdoor malls and shopping centers have definitely played a part consumers' shopping experience. Rival architectural masses such as indoor shopping malls have struggled as consumers' habits have changed, especially with the advent of the internet and online shopping. Some of these malls, in an effort to survive, have reinvented themselves as shopping plazas. A prime example of this is Northway Mall in Pittsburgh. Northway opened in 1953 and while it was successful for many years, it has struggled to maintain profitable levels of business in the past decade (Petro). Finally, in 2014, after most of the stores in were closed, the mall was extensively renovated and reopened as an outdoor shopping plaza called The Block Northway, surviving in its new form and providing economical relief to the Pittsburgh area.
Examples like this one demonstrate why the Cricket West shopping plaza in Toledo has been able to stand the test of the time. Cricket West was built in 1960 by Glen L. Fitkin. It has seen many stores come and go through the 70s 80s 90s and the early 2000s. Today, it hosts a variety of stores and eateries--some that have been tenants for years, and some that are brand new. Hopefully, Cricket West will provide a space for commerce and community for years to come.
Bogost, Ian. “When Malls Saved the Suburbs From Despair.” The Atlantic, 17 Feb. 2018. www.theatlantic.com, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/when-malls-saved-cities-from-capitalism/553610/.
Petro, Greg. “Shopping Malls Aren’t Dying - They’re Evolving.” Forbes, 5 Apr. 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2019/04/05/shopping-malls-arent-dying-theyre-evolving/#b78a93f72210.