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90 Years in 90 Days: Higbee's at Severance Town Center

90 photos that define Cleveland Heights

Cleveland Heights officially became a city in 1921. Cleveland Heights Patch is by compiling 90 photos to create an album of the city's past and present. We'll run the feature for 90 days, one photo at a time.

The idea for today's feature came from a Twitter request from Phillip Germany II, who asked for pictures of in its heyday. 

Severance Center, Ohio's first indoor shopping mall, opened on Oct. 17, 1963, to much fanfare. In fewer than six months, it contained 52 stores and was doing $1 million in business a week. This photograph shows the mall in 1970, when Higbee's (pictured) and Halle's were the anchors. After falling on hard times in the 1980s and 1990s, the shopping center was remodeled to its present appearance. 

Source: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Mike Rotman October 21, 2011 at 09:17 PM
It's pretty crazy how quickly Severance was supplanted by newer, bigger malls further out in the suburbs, though I guess it makes sense that the first mall would eventually grow outdated. This site from Cleveland State has some more information on Severance, as well as more pictures from the 60s: http://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/197

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