Bid Adieu Shoppers World

This photo was taken by Ken McGagh for the MetroWest Daily News in 1994.

The paper was so proud of their headline. Shoppers World became a strip mall. Congratulations.

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14 thoughts on “Bid Adieu Shoppers World

  1. Ben says:

    i’ve never actually seen a photo of shoppers world being torn down, but remember seeing it being leveled in person in 1994

  2. You’ve found such unique photographs to put on your site.

  3. Catherine Rogers says:

    This picture just about broke my heart. I grew up in Framingham, and my family used to go to Shoppers World just about every Friday evening. The dome of Jordan Marsh seemed uniquely impressive when I was little. Does anyone remember the perfume fountain inside the front door? When I was very little, my mother would shop and my dad would take me to the merry-go-round at the end of the grassy mall. At Christmas time there would be a little petting zoo with reindeer and machines that you could buy reindeer food from. Jordan Marsh would have a Lionel Train set up in its toy department. The set-up was probably about the size of a pool table, but it seemed like a magical world to me. Jordan’s even had a bakery at that time–best blueberry muffins in the world. When I grew older, Shoppers World was still important to me. My first job was as a salesclerk in the old McCrory’s, a 5-and-10-cent store at the other end of the mall from Jordan’s.
    Shopper’s World was a unique place, an enclosed open-air mall with two levels of covered walkways bordered by all kinds of shops, and a beautifully landscaped park area in the center. More than just a place to buy stuff, it was a landmark and a center for community life. The new “Shoppers World” is just another ugly strip mall, a monument to a homogenized consumer culture. How very, very sad.

    • Sandy says:

      It is a sad picture. We would walk to Shopper’s World, or when we got older, ride our bikes. It was a great place as a kid to Christmas shop for your family. I loved going into Windsor Button shop and McCrory’s.

  4. Andrew says:

    Very well put! I too enjoyed the magic of that very unique place as a young kid in the 50’s /60’s, with my folks. Aside from the great toy nook, I remember lunching at the Jordan Marsh restaurant on the lower level. Each store in the mall had it’s own personality. There was always something to see. the holiday season verged on spectacular. The giant toy soldiers still grace Bowditch Field, I believe. Later on my own, I spent many Saturdays walking from Prospect St., to SW enjoy movies and the great hobby shop with my friends, Friendlys, and later, in my mid-teens, I was an usher at the Cinema. SW was an extremely welll thought out design of public space utilizing trees, lanscape, park and playground space, not too mention the amusement park. Parking was never too far away, either, since there were many side entrances on both sides. The new Shoppers World is just an abomination. A driving and walking nightmare. Whoever was involved in designing that space should be heavilly fined and have their degree revoked. Bigger clearly isn’t better.

  5. Robert Hamilton says:

    Shopper’s World truly was a magical place for me as a child growing up in the 60s/70s. I miss it dearly.

  6. Frank Ruben says:

    It has been 30 years since I left Framingham for the West Coast. As a kid growing up in Framingham, Shoppers World was a regular destination. Before there was the Natick Mall, SW was the premier place for shoppers. Even though Zayre’s and Sherwood Plaza was across the street just over the town line in Natick, it paled in comparison. I too remember the all of the different seasonal activities. Fitts Photo and Hobby Shop was one of my favorite places to stop and buy model cars, electric trains, etc. How I even stumbled upon this site I am not sure. But I am glad I did because it stirred up some long forgotten memories about a ver y unique place.

  7. judy says:

    How SAD !!!

  8. Mark A says:

    For those of us that had a chance to experience Shopper’s World, this photo is unsettling, to say the least. Like Frank, Fitts was my favorite store . I can’t begin to guess the number of movies I took in at the General Cinema, including my first real date. I spent untold hours in this magic kingdom holding onto mommies hand, then biking to, and eventually parking my car at. No matter what age, the magic was easily felt each time.

    I wonder if there is anyone that prefers the new Shoppers World after experiencing the original…. I can’t imagine that there would be.

  9. Erin Stelmach says:

    I grew up in Framingham and have wonderful memories of Shopper’s Mall. Windsor Button, Dr. Pet, My Store for Levis’ and (as I got older)House of Zodiac were favorite destinations.
    How I loved to run down those wide, paved ramps! And throwing pennies in the fountain in the middle.
    Seeing the photo of the mall being torn down literally turned my stomach. The new “Shopper’s World” is devoid of personality. It certainly was not designed for the enjoyment of those who shop there. Who’s bright idea was it to put the parking lot in the middle? When Framingham let the original Shopper’s World go, they lost a a tremendous sense of community.

  10. Paul Hogan says:

    What a SAD SAD day indeed!! Even though I lived in Marlboro, so much of my youth was spent on the exciting “Golden Mile” of Rt. 9 growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. The Putt Putt minature golf,old Tech Hi-Fi, Fun & Games when it was still huge and not a shadow of what it is today. But most of all was the fun I had at Shoppers world. What a wonderful place! What memories. So many movies I saw at that great cinema. All the models and old super 8mm movies I bought at Fitts. Lariets (know I misspelled that one) bookstore, among so many other places. There was a certain aura and feeling about being there that just made it fun. Especially as a kid. That God ugly pile of bricks they call Shopper’s World now is a joke! I can’t even look in the direction of it when I’m on Rt. 9. It turns my stomach to think what was once there and whats there now. I’m at least grateful to have been old enough to have experienced it for myself growing up. Its nice to see others who share my equal disgust for the new place.

  11. Keith Turpin says:

    My Dad worked in the men’s shoe department for many years during the 60’s and early 70’s. I too rember the reindeer every year. He used to bring stuff home with him like neat things from old displays. I still have a suit of armor that is about 3 feet tall. It used to hold a little hatchet and it stands next to my fire place like it did when I was small. I was trying to find out if there are any others out there and came accross this picture. Kinda choked me up.

  12. Randi says:

    I remember they used to have a train for kids that ran a circuit around the bottom level of Shopper’s World. I used to beg my mom and grandma to give me the fare to ride it. When I was older, my friends and I would go to Lauriat’s book store, Papa Gino’s, and the House of Zodiac, before going to the movies. Oh, the memories!

  13. David Colman says:

    From 1950 to 1959 I lived in Sherwood Forest and rode my bike to SW many times. What a wonderland it was. Although I have been living in California since 1967, I have never forgotten where I grew up. Last year I sent the Framingham historical society about two dozen photos of the demolition of SW which I took back in 1994. What a sad testament to the boundless greed and stupidity of the people who destroyed my past.

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