“Wanna see an untouched 1970 gem? Look no further than me.”- Cascade Galleria
Amid the nonstop talk about coronavirus throughout the United States, I felt compelled to go on a little day trip to escape the scariness of the world. At first I just went on a drive like normal with no set destination or plan in mind. That decision rolled me through Youngstown, Ohio where I hadn’t been in years. I drove around downtown, by the YSU campus, and then I remembered how close I was to the Pennsylvania border. With this being the last time I could cruise around freely without being quarantined, I figured now is the time to go. After all my car Rosie had never been to PA (to my knowledge). So I ventured down SR-422 passing beautiful lakes with the pine trees whistling in the breeze. Eventually this lead me to New Castle PA. I had heard of a dead mall there called Cascade Galleria, knowing me, I had to go check it out.
P.S. This town is so old fashioned that there’s a Pizza Hut still operating out of one of their old buildings. I don’t think I’ve seen one of these in 5-10 years.
Intro and Mall Information:
Cascade Galleria, originally built as Towne Mall in 1970, is one of the cutest little city malls of all time. This is a fact. Surrounded by the old architecture of downtown New Castle, this place definitely stands out on its own. The mall originally had two anchors in Sears and murphy’s, filling up this tiny 1 and a half corridor mall. Successful through its first 20 years, Cascade Galleria began to slip into the ’90s and there was no turning back. In a small town like this, primarily housed by a dying industry of blue collar steel workers, there’s just not much of a clientele for a downtown mall. Regardless, Cascade Galleria remains open to this day, and houses one lone shop which has been here since the malls creation; Towne Mall Pizza.
The exterior I would never call gorgeous, but the inside is a whole different story.It almost looks like a massive unmaintained post office. I like this next picture because it shows you just how close this place is to the rest of downtown.The steep streets, and churches gave this city such a quaint vibe. Ok there’s more reasoning as to why it looks like a massive USPS.Let’s head onto the inside shall we. It’s truly an uncut gem.
Unfortunately I ate before I left so I didn’t get a chance to try that pizza place, but considering it’s been open since 1970 and has withstood the closures in this mall it has got to be good. I mean just look how original everything is.It’s just screaming 1970 at me. All of the other storefronts here are vacant, and some you can even see original light fixtures.I absolutely love that vintage charm. As you walk further down the main corridor you approach the center of the mall which features a grand fountain, and a large skylight that gives off the vibe that you’re by a waterfall in the middle of the mountains.
That fountain, and faint tunes of The Human League were the only noises throughout the entire mall.The marble floors in here with the glass block fountain is a perfect touch that should never be taken out nor replaced by anything else. To your right of the fountain there’s this half corridor I was telling you about before which has nothing but a few fake trees and some boarded up storefronts. At the end on your left though, is a set of steps accompanied by some vintage wallpaper which supposedly leads you to the mall offices.Through those glass doors is where you can see the wallpaper, take a look.I know for a fact my grandparents house looked exactly like this in the ’70s. As we venture away from that area, let’s give some more props to the light fixtures and leaky roof.Or how about the design as a whole. The combination of light stained wood, and painted brown wood gives that log cabin-esque feel.My next video will help give you a full understanding of just how small this mall is, and show you some behind the scenes to this place.
Well folks that’s the tour, I hope these pictures inspire you to go out there one day. After all, for someone in Northeast Ohio it’s just over an hour drive.
Having seen a video on Cascade Galleria before, I knew going in just how untouched and preserved it is, and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend getting out here someday, and not just for the mall, check out the cute town too. It seems like this community still has a nice retail scene in downtown, the people just didn’t want a mall anymore. Oh and try the pizza and let me know how it is, I’ll be back for that.
Mall Maniac Rating:
From a shoppers POV: 0/10
From an eaters POV: Well, there is a restaurant so 5/10
From my POV: 10/10
Rosie: “You know Michael I really liked my trip to Pennsylvania, think we could come back and grab a slice?”
4 thoughts on “Cascade Galleria (Towne Mall): A Forgotten Mall in a Forgotten Town”
I read your article awhile back. Thought of you when I heard there is a Holiday Market planned there for Dec 10-12. It is decorated for Christmas and the fountain is working! On Facebook try Hometown Holidays.
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Thanks, a well-presented article. New Castle is my wife’s hometown; I’m from Butler, and we reside in Rockford, IL.
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What a terrific article on my old hometown’s indoor mall ! Brought back lovely memories of this convenient shopping spot for everything from clothing to records to an Orange Julius & pizza to take home! Thank you so much !
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Thank you for reading!