That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

September 28, 2008

{{Guest Entry}} Frederick Towne Mall, Frederick, Maryland

Filed under:,other malls — Anita @ 9:47 pm


My longtime friend; Gary has been telling me about his childhood mall that isn’t on yet, Frederick Towne Mall in Frederick Maryland. Here is his email:

I really can’t give you any specific history on the mall.

Here is what I remember:

Original anchors from when I was a kid:

JC Penney
Montgomery Wards

The MW wasn’t actually on mall property, from what I remember.  I don’t think that mall security could patrol that area.  but anyway, lol.

The JCP became a JCP homestore, and then a Boscov’s.
The MW closed and was eventually torn down and a Home Depot was built on the same spot.  But you can’t get to the HD from the mall.
The Eyerly’s became Bon-Ton, after Bon-Ton bought them out.

MW had an auto center which was eventually redeveloped and became Mr. Tire, Carrabba’s, a Mexican grocery store, and an eyewear store.

There is a small strip mall behind the mall that was originally home to a Martin’s, a dry cleaners, and a few other stores.  Now it’s Ollie’s and a church.

There was a three screen theater, which was expanded to ten screens.  About this time, they also juggled some of the stores around and moved the barber shop to the other end with some other service-type stores.

This mall never had a food court.  There was a Ground Round restaurant (which I can’t remember what it was before it became GR), and some other smaller fast food places scattered throughout the mall.  The Woolworth’s also had an eatery.

Near the CVS there used to be a freestanding bank drive through structure, and the tubes went into the bank in the mall.  Eventually it was torn down.

Here are the pics:

///edit, October 1st 2008///

February 13, 1982 newspaper … this link might work and it might not work.


  1. Where to Start? I’ve gone to this mall for as long as I can remember…I live out of state now and I still come down to the Fredericktowne Mall to go to Boscov’s. Woolworth’s was never a tenant at the mall, although it did feature a Mccrory’s 5&10 near the center of the mall (now Bon-Ton’s Home Store). Their lunch counter space is still somewhat visible, If your standing in front of the store, there’s a wierd jet out room to the left that looks like it shouldn’t be there. Well, that’s where the lunch counter was…the curvy part at the top was the overhang for it. I guess you could say 1/2 of it was inside the mall, and 1/2 of it was inside Mccrory’s. I remember the food being pretty good, if my memory’s right, I think the chairs/stools were a really dark wood,and I remember baskets of Climbing houseplants lining the ceiling forming a canopy. As for what they use that space for now…I think it’s where they store all of the malls christmas decorations…I peeked in there, and nothing remains of the lunch counter…When it was Mccrory’s, you could park in the back of the mall and enter thru the doors back there (bon-ton now says they’re a “fire exit”, kind of bizarre if you ask me). If you’re back there look on either side of the blacked out doors, you will see a bunch of newer brick and the faint lines of where an overhang was…these were where Mccrory’s display windows were. As Far as the outparcels go, Penneys (on the Left) and Wards (on the Right) both had auto centers at the mall, it’s strange to think of J.C. Penney having an auto center, but they were once a full line department store, on the same tier with Wards and Sears. As my memory serves me, the Penneys auto center closed many years before the actual store did (restructuring), and I remember it being a Donald Rice Tire Center…the building still looked the same, with the brick matching the main mall. Now it’s a Chevron and a quick change oil place. One of the things that has really hurt this mall, was the closing of Montgomery Wards. As I remember, they had just spent about 2 million renovating the store shortly before the chain folded. Wards was the only tenant to my knowledge to own their space at the mall, so when they went bankrupt, they auctioned all of the real estate, and god only knows why, Home Depot bought it and put a store there. Nobody could do anything though, other than stare at it and question it’s existence, because they owned the building outright, separate from the mall. Also, as for the lack of stores, someone who worked in one of the stores that closed told me that the reason for the mass exodus of retailers from the mall is not due to lack of foot traffic, but that the mall was sold during the real estate boom, and was supposed to be razed and redeveloped. Thus, whenever anyones lease came up for renewal, they’d deny their request to renew. That’s what happened to The Ground Round (I miss Ground Round :(, Bath and Body Works, Waldens, and all of the rest. Their plan seems to have backfired with the downturn in the economy, At the least at this point, they should revamp/remodel the whole thing, and beg the chains (and Customers!) to come back. It was once a nice mall, and hopefully someday it will be again. Knowing what I know, if I had to guess, razing the entire mall at this point is probably no longer an option…If you’d like to pick my brain about anything else, let me know…-Dan

    Comment by Dan — October 18, 2008 @ 8:23 am | Reply

    • I’m glad that Home Depot is at the mall, as I really miss Hechinger’s on that side of town. I do wish that Home depot had seen fit to open a door into the mall though, I really don’t like it when an anchor store doesn’t offer access to the rest of the mall, it’s inconvenient, and they sell me a lot less when I am not encouraged to browse around and see what’s new, but that’s their loss. If there weren’t a Home Depot there, then the main choices would be HD and Lowe’s on the FSK side of town, and most of my travels there amount to white knuckle time, so I don’t go that way very often. I remember one time out that way, and elderly driver got so scared he froze and stopped right in the middle of the road….what a mess. FTM didn’t even bother to advertise at all during the holidays last year, and unlikely they will this year either, considering the mgt has taken the position they don’t even want any stores there. Yet they still lease out space to a few discount stores for some reason, which is weird, makes me wonder if they are leasing month to month to people who would be more willing to accept such a deal, or the likelyhood of getting kicked out on short notice?

      Comment by uh-uh — October 19, 2009 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for the correction re: McCrory’s. I misremembered it being a Woolworth’s. But the Woolworth’s was over on 7th St.

    The Ground Round was a Ponderosa.

    Comment by Gary — October 18, 2008 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

  3. So is the McCrory’s space vacant still?

    Comment by Bobby — October 30, 2008 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  4. Yep…..but I thought it was a Woolco? 7th Street, at the Frederick Shopping Center….the first shopping area built outside downtown…’s a link to whats there now:….for a long time after they pulled out, it was an ames….then a few years after that, maybe 2-3 years ago…..they remodeled it and its really different now. Frederick Towne Mall looks worse every time I head down there. Auntie Anne’s pretzels is gone now, as well as the Kid’s shoe store (Chanticleer’s?), which moved to a strip mall further down on the golden mile. I miss my mid shopping pretzel break 😦 Whenever I go in, i always ask the cashiers in the dept stores what they know about the current status of the mall, and they usually grumble a bit and share my sentiment of how it used to be…and how it should be that way now! 😦 When I was down there last week, someone told me that the mall’s pending forclosure (not sure if it’s true or not…but seems likely to me…after all, no stores, no rent coming in, and presumably no way to pay the mortgage!) Maybe someone will buy it and fix it up again….after all, it is a pretty good location….and they’re still the only mall on that side until you hit Hagerstown…Maybe if they rebuild it, the people will come? LOL! I’ll post again if I learn anything else

    P.S….I think Mccrory’s, which if I remember right, closed in Spring 1996, was vacant until about 2003-2004…when Bon-Ton put their home/furniture store in there….See my above post for more info.

    Comment by Dan — January 17, 2009 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  5. If they would rebuild it, I would be the first one to show up and shop there, I would much rather shop at that mall than FSK, I hate the traffic and roads on the other side of town. It was a McCrory’s at the FTM. 7th Street had both a Woolworth’s and a Woolco at one time. The main problem with Frederick towne mall is the mall’s owners, I wish and I hope that someone responsible will come and buy that mall and bring it back.

    Comment by Uh-uh — February 5, 2009 @ 11:43 am | Reply

    • I am with you. I wish that they would bring back this mall. BonTon was a great store a few years ago. When we first moved to Frederick in 1995, I remember shopping @ BonTon and thinking what a great store it was – very upscale and very much like a Lord and Taylor. Now it has become somewhat crummy – dropped much of the upscale merchandise it used to carry. I have been trying to locate older pictures of this mall, and cannot seem to locate any on the internet. Does anyone have any pictures they can share of how the mall used to be?

      Comment by RAB — October 5, 2009 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  6. It’s a good location….the only mall until you get to Hagerstown (Valley Mall)….I tend to avoid FSK as well…Once Value City folded, I decided I didn’t want to deal with the roads to go in there (what a maze!) If I need something from Sears or Penneys, I usually hit Valley Mall, after going to the Prime Outlets. Its really sad how decrepit the owners have let it (Fredericktowne Mall) get. All we can do is hope that someone buys it (i was told it’s for sale) or that it goes into foreclosure…which I can sadly see happening with the lack of tenants, assuming that theres not much cash coming in since they evicted everyone when their leases came up for renewal. I’d hate to have them tear it down and put an outdoor town center there, which is what I think they planned on doing….Its too cold in the winter for that in my opinion…Ditto for shopping at Prime Outlets in the winter too! They (Prime Outlets) would have been better off enclosing their center like a shopping mall..that way they’d get more foot traffic in the winter. I don’t know if anyone remembers the Blue Ridge Outlet Center in Martinsburg, WV…that place was really cool….all of the stores were indoors in renovated former textile factory buildings. When they built Prime Outlets, everything packed up and moved there, I would assume because of it’s proximity to I-70…..Here’a a link detailing the demise of it I’d forgotten until I looked at that a minute ago the specifics of the demise….quite sad. Anyways, I haven’t been up that way in a few weeks, but I’m going to head there in the next few days, so If I know anything else, I’ll post it here. I hope that someone finds all of this useful.

    Comment by Dan — February 5, 2009 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

    • I really don’t get it, why they would want to tear down the only indoor mall on that side of town, and especially one as meaningful to the area as FTM. I still remember when that mall opened, it was a huge deal at the time, the first mall in Frederick. I would much rather shop at an indoor mall than a strip shopping center any day, especially in the winter. Developers are kidding themselves if they think making it outdoors promotes walkability, I just get into my car and drive around to the next store I want to go to at an outdoor shopping center, if I am shopping at an indoor mall, I shop all of the stores and just take my junk out to the car and come back in. This makes it more likely that I will browse all or most of the stores, instead of targeting specific ones and spending the gas to pull my car around to the next one. While I can understand that to build a new mall today, it might be less expensive not to enclose it, it certainly makes no sense at all to me to tear out an already enclosed mall. To leave the three anchors just standing around by themselves in the middle of the parking lot certainly isn’t going to encourage me to browse them. I will go where it is most convenient to hit several stores at one time, and leaving the anchors standing out there like that will just have me targeting whatever store I want to go to and ignoring the rest of them. Wandering around the inside encourages me to browse the anchors more often. The more I browse, the more likely I will see something I like and buy it. The mall where Joanne’s is now, or maybe it’s the one where Burlington coat factory is now, my memory is fuzzy, that one was also an indoor mall originally, I don’t know why they turned it into a strip shopping center. The only thing that I can figure is that is what they needed to do in order to attract larger stores, granted it was a very small mall as indoor malls go, and the stores within were small, so maybe they just decided to go for larger stores, and decided the space would be better used turning it into a strip mall. It’s definitely not an issue of the mall’s location, there are plenty of shoppers parked at all the other shopping centers around FTM. FTM management just plain doesn’t care about it. They used to have special events and crafts shows to bring in shoppers, and they used to advertise, they do neither anymore, and why should they when their goal is to kick out the stores and raze the middle. It would surprise me if they even bother to decorate for Christmas or hire a Santa this year. I don’t know if this is something that is contributing to the situation or not, but one thing that bothers me is the neighborhood seems to be declining somewhat since the state police pull out of the barracks down by Joanne’s. I always liked knowing they were close by. The mall has all these signs around now that basically seem to indicate that they think anyone hanging around there is a gang member or something, and even outlaw wearing a hoodie with the hood on your head inside the mall? WTF is that all about , gee, I really feel warmly welcomed by the mall management when I shop there these days….

      Comment by uh-uh — October 19, 2009 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

  7. I was researching trying to find archives on the Mccorys that was there. I used to spend alot of time at the Timeout arcade that was in that mall. I am afraid that when I was about 9, I accidently set the Mccorys store on fire. Me and a young childhood friend were playing with matches in one of the isles and poof; a fire. I was actually arrested and taken to the station. Anyway I cant remember what year it was, I was young and my mother moved alot, but if anyone could find the newspaper clipping that would be great.

    Comment by Robert Lloyd — December 5, 2009 @ 10:29 am | Reply

    • Robert:

      I actually vaguely remember the McCroys fire incident but my grandmother told me about it from the newspaper. What year was that?

      Comment by Jason — June 26, 2010 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  8. Update: The Bon-Ton is also slated to be closed in January, 2011.

    So, if I remember correctly, this will leave only Boscov’s at one end, and Home Depot (which isn’t really part of the mall at all) on the other.

    The article in the Frederick News/Post mentions that the property owners are confident that they can submit a revitalization plan to the city and have it approved in 2011, but what happens between now and whenever this plan is completed?

    I think it’s only a matter of time before Boscov’s gives up as well, and then FTM will be anchorless.

    The “Calendar of Events” on the web site hasn’t been updated in nearly a year, and in fact is about to lap:

    I’m going to be visiting family in Frederick this coming December; I intend to take my good camera and document the place while I can. (During the day, of course; I hear the surrounding area is sort of a hotbed for crime.)

    Comment by The 2-Belo — November 11, 2010 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  9. Does anyone remember Beef Steak Charlies or a bar named Dimples?

    Comment by — December 12, 2010 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, I remember Beef Steak Charlie’s, although I couldn’t say where exactly it was located.

      Comment by The 2-Belo — January 6, 2011 @ 10:41 am | Reply

      • Beefsteak Charlies was on the corner near Boscovs that eventually became Fashion Bug Plus. If you look around the corner there is a break in the brick wall that used to be one of the two entrances to Beefsteak Charlie’s. the whole place is kinda like a ghost town now.

        Comment by Myk S — April 9, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  10. Here is the set that I took in December, 2010.

    Comment by The 2-Belo — January 6, 2011 @ 10:41 am | Reply

  11. Just visited this mall for the first time on Saturday, 4pm – April 30, 2011. How depressing! Bon-Ton’s is gone leaving only Boscov’s, Radio Shack and Hallmark. The Radio Shack guy said he was so bored! I may remember this mall when I was very small from 1972-76. Someone should just take a match to this dump and put it out of its misery! I don’t see how it can stay in operation. I think this Golden Mile thing is a thing of the past and this mall and the surrounding area is screwed! Even the Giant food store nearby is leaving! I felt unsafe in there and it is creepy. I saw the signs outlawing hoodies and bicycles inside this crummy mall. I played a vintage arcade game circa 1980 – “Asteroids” – for 25 cents – probably the only thing that has value in this cess pit. How sad thatthe area and management ruined a fine 1970’s era mall. Bon-Tons was there for almost 40 years! I guess all malls are suffering because we online shop and use box stores. I read in Newsweek that in 2008 it was the first year in the last fifty that NO NEW MALLS were built! I think many residents go up the road to the Hagertown outlest and mall. Too bad FSK stole this malls thunder in 1978 and by 1990 this mall started to decline. From 2005 its been like a rapid decline from my research. Want a good mall – Visit Tyson’s Corner in D.C. / Virginia – they have a Steinway store. This mall was once great, but now its for drug dealers, criminals and illegal aliens! Too bad, so sad!

    Comment by J Dog — May 2, 2011 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  12. There was a Air walk shoe store and a Long John Silvers and a Waxie Maxies where the pocket change was.

    Comment by HowlinWolf21 — August 2, 2013 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  13. I used go there almost everyday until it closed.

    Comment by Ian Christopher Alexander — November 17, 2015 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

  14. Woolworth and Woolco were both in 7th Street Shopping Center as stated. Before it was Ground Round it was Pappy’s Pizza, we also had a Levi Strauss store KayBee Toys
    JoAnns was in the tiny strip mall they have a bigger shop there now i think at one time it was a Giant )Not the Giant that was at the one where Burlington is they moved there
    the Joanns and such was in the first shopping center behind the State Police at one time Rustler Steak house was there
    they redid that mall and made outdoor entering shops as that mall was not overly popular.

    Comment by brookysmom — July 30, 2017 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

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