The Greater Boston area was a focus for some of the nation's earliest experiments in the design of regional shopping centers. These post–World War II centers reconstituted the traditional Main Street shopping experience for the auto-borne consumer, creating retail complexes with dozens of stores fronting open-air pedestrian malls and surrounded by acres of parking. The next generation of regional planned shopping centers, beginning in the 1960s, roofed over the pedestrian mall, resulting in the fully enclosed, climate-controlled centers commonly seen today. Since the late 1970s, most of the area's regional centers and malls have been substantially remodeled or demolished. By contrast, the Mall at Chestnut Hill preserves its original design to a remarkable degree. Its two tiers of stores organized around a central pedestrian mall is reminiscent of Framingham's Shoppers World (1951, 1994 demolished, since redeveloped), an open-air center and the first regional-scale mall constructed in Greater Boston. The two-story design makes the Mall at Chestnut Hill a significant survivor, apparently the oldest of the two-story enclosed malls in the area.
You are here
Mall at Chestnut Hill
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.