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Wheaton Then and Now: Wheaton Plaza

Before "Westfield Shoppingtown Wheaton," there was Wheaton Plaza.

The Wheaton Mall (Wheaton Plaza) opened in Wheaton in 1959. It was an open mall with one plaza anchored by Montgomery Ward Department Store (now Target) and Woodward and Lothrop Department Store, (now J. C. Penny).

Giant Foods was there before the mall opened and had no entrance from the Mall. Here are some more of the original businesses: Doctor’s Pet Shop, Kresge’s Drug Store, Calby’s Clothing, Sirloin and Saddle Restaurant, Embassy Father and Son Clothing Store, Leonard’s Draperies (later changed to Danneman’s Fabric Store), Wheaton Lowes Movie Theatre, Beckers Shoes, Variety Records, Charcoal House Restaurant, Farrell’s Ice cream parlor. Later, other stores included Bo Peep Clothing, Federal Bake Shop, Tiara Gifts, Gilbert’s Camera, Wheaton Plaza Hi-Fi, Lamps Unlimited, a Dry Cleaners, Guardian Federal Bank, A GEICO agents office, Jellef’s, Fannie MayCandies, Peoples Drug Store (now CVS), Learners Shop, and a travel agency.

I am sure there were more businesses that did not turn up in my research. For kids growing up in the 1960s, Wheaton Plaza was the place to go for fun.

If any of you are interested in more on the Mall and interesting stories from former and current “Wheatonites”, go to this blog at http://www.labelscar.com/maryland/westfield-wheaton-plaza

Let us know what you know about Wheaton History. Contact Marian Fryer at mafryer@verizon.net

SWN March 10, 2012 at 03:36 PM
This is great to see! Keep the photos coming! It looks like this might have been taken at the old Wheaton Boys & Girls Club ballfields on Bonifant. My kids spent many a happy day at those ballfields. This is a great example of what has happened to Wheaton. The ballfields were sacrificed for the ICC and when was the last time, if ever, that Westfield supported their host community by sponsoring local youth?
SL Harris March 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Don't forget that "Hobbies & Arts" was in the plaza for many years. It was located between Tiara Gifts and Gilbert's Camera Shop. It was a great all-around hobby and art supply store still remembered fondly by many people.
Len Jaffe December 14, 2012 at 04:31 AM
I used to work at Variety Records for a few years. Great times during those years. Got to know many interesting people as well.
BJ March 04, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I was a 'Monkey' Wards employee in the mid-1970's!
Jeff Sharp March 08, 2013 at 12:51 AM
I worked at Variety Records during the period that the Plaza was being enclosed...wire barricades in front of all the stores...that wasa great period to be at Variety Records!where are Paul,Andy,Shirley,Joe Brown now?we had a blast working there...lots of"colorful" customers like Robert,mall walker,loopy...never a dull moment...Jeff
unisphere November 30, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Farrells came later in the plaza history. What store was there before Farrells?

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