Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Greengate was built on land that had been part of a farm and summer home owned by the appropriately named John S. Sell family. (The place even had a name: Sellcroft.) This was an era when a lot of the fresh milk sold in Greensburg came from local dairies and dairy farms. The farm was just west of the town of Greensburg, along the two-lane Lincoln Highway, adjacent to the Mount Odin drive-in theatre.

Then the new four lane Route 30 was built through there, having bypassed the Greensburg downtown. The highway spawned new commercial and housing development, meaning that beginning in the early 60s, it bypassed downtown Greensburg. An early indicator was the K-Mart shopping center that replaced the Mount Odin drive-in.

Then came the first enclosed shopping mall in the county, Greengate Mall. Designed by Victor Gruen, the architect generally considered the inventor of the enclosed mall, it opened in 1965, and after decades of dominance and several troubled final years, it turned off the climate control in 2001 and closed. The building was demolished and a new Wal-Mart opened on the site in 2005.


Margie said...

Couple of things--to my knowledge Greengate wasn't the first enclosed mall in America...Eastland in North Versailles and East Hills in Pittsburgh (which was partically covered) both opened before Greengate.
Also, the property that the mail is situated, when it was being built was owned by Rathgeb Dairy. On of my dearest friend's family bought all of their dairy equipment when they closed up to sell to the mall developers.

Captain Future said...

Hi Margie--Greengate was the first enclosed mall in Westmoreland County. The first enclosed mall in America is generally acknowledged to have been Southdale in Minnesota.

You may be right about Rathgeb--I remember that name. But at some point before Greengate was built, that was Sell land, according to the Greensburg history in the Images of America series.

Thanks for stopping by.