Did you know the original Westgate Center opened in 1954?
Located at the intersection of Center Ridge Road and West 210th Street in Fairview Park, Ohio, Westgate has gone through many changes over the years. Currently an outdoor shopping center, bordered by Rocky River, and featuring food, fashion and beauty, and much more to choose from.
The original Westgate was built on a 55 acre parcel of land just after the close of World War II, and was one of the first post-war surburban retail centers with department store anchors in the United States, and the first in the entire state of Ohio. Cincinnati’s earliest mall opened for business in 1956. Columbus, Akron, Dayton and Toledo wouldn’t have their first malls until the mid-to-late 1960s.
Some of the originals included Highbee’s, Kroger, and Halle Bros. Co.
According to Wikipedia, the “gate” in Westgate, along with the “gate” being incorporated in to the names of many other centers at the time derived from the fact that these shopping centers were the “gateway” between Greater Cleveland and the suburbs.
In the late 1960’s the first transformation began with the mall being roofed over in an effort to compete with its neighbors, and 1972’s addition of a four-screen movie theater.
As the ’70’s came to a close and the ’80’s began, the center again took on another look as redevelopment lead to the Promenade Food Court as well as a new six-screen cineplex, which replaced the four-screen theater of the ’70’s.
The 1990’s saw a decline in business at the center, as many businesses and customer began heading downtown to take advantage of a revitalized Cleveland. This led to store closings.
Never one to be kept down long, the current Westgate Shopping Center was opened in the Fall of 2007 as an outdoor center as it currrently exists today, featuring the likes of Target, Ulta, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, and more.
Do you know even more about the history of Westgate? Is there something we left out? E-Mail us here and let us know! We are always ready to update the ever evolving story of this great shopping center.