The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing shirt, hoodie, tank top

The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing shirt, hoodie, tank top

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The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing shirt, hoodie, tank top

Susannah Sudborough | The Taunton Daily Gazette TAUNTON — Though demolition work has started at the Silver City Galleria, it is clear that it will live on for a long time in the hearts of Tauntonians, Rhode Islanders and others in the area for many years to come. To make sure it is never forgotten, we have collected locals’ best memories of the mall. From family and friend hangouts to treasured workplaces, the mall was a home for so many. More: End of an era — Taunton Silver City Galleria mall to be demolished More: ‘Our mall forever’ — Taunton’s Silver City Galleria vandalized nostalgically Dick Shafer, economic development director Dick Shafer was the economic development director for the city of Taunton at the time the mall was built. He not only helped the mall get through the permitting process, but saw it from conception through completion. According to Shafer, The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing shirt, hoodie, tank top the land the mall was built on was originally zoned for industrial development, and there was a plan to built another industrial park on the site in the late 1980s. But the developer for the industrial park did not have the money to pay for a sewer extension to the land, so the project was dropped. Soon after, Shafer said, the land was picked up by Pyramid Corporation, a national company known for developing malls, and they came up with the idea of building a mall on the site. They were able to afford the sewer, as well as bridges and roads for the mall, and completed the project.

A farmhouse on the property had to be moved to Old County Street to build the mall, Shafer said. He said the woman who owned the house was a gracious woman and served the men moving the house cookies and refreshments from her porch. “We had the opportunity to walk through the mall with her pre-opening night with the Chamber of Commerce in the little tour group that was going through the facility in the basement of the first level of Filene’s,” he said. “She guessed where her house used to be, and she professed that she never thought that a store like Filene’s would ever be in Taunton.” In 1992, the mall opened its doors with a huge celebration. “The doubting Thomases in Taunton said it would never be a first-class mall. It would never attract the big stores,” he said. “And of course, it opened up with Filene’s, which later became Macy’s. Sears, JC Penney, The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing shirt, hoodie, tank top all mainline stores, including also Bradlee’s came out from downtown.” At the time, Shafer said, an economic development study of Taunton found that 70% of Taunton residents’ disposable income was being spent outside the city. The mall, in addition to providing 2,000 jobs and $2 million in tax revenue when it opened, he said, also resulted in much more money being kept within the city. “I think everyone felt strongly that for at least the first 15 years, the mall was the place to go for entertainment, dining and shopping, especially seasonal holidays and such,” he said. “We had always been very successful in industrial development with the Myles Standish Industrial Park and the Liberty and Union Industrial Park across from the mall. This was the first large commercial venture in the city.” Shafer said the mall drew people from all around southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with over 600,000 people living within a 15-minute drive.

It’s sad, from a developer’s perspective, to have such a large, important facility become obsolete,” he said. Diana Shearstone, President of Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce Shearstone was the president of the TACC at the time the Silver City Galleria was built. “It was very exciting, and we just couldn’t wait for it to open,” she said. “People said this would put Taunton on the map.” The chamber held a “hard hat” tour of the mall before its grand opening. Shearstone said hundreds of people attended. There were so many, she said, they had to have a second night of touring. At the time, Shearstone said, people were afraid the mall would cause downtown Taunton to turn into a ghost town. Instead, she said, not only did the galleria have an office downtown, but the mall held a show for local vendors every year and provided grants for facade improvement for downtown businesses. Shearstone said she hopes that whatever replaces the mall provides people jobs, as it is a great spot for development. Sonya Howland, 79, Taunton Sonya Howland was the store secretary for Lechmere department store, one of the anchor stores in the mall when it opened. At the time, she said, it was easy to get a job at the store. She said she interviewed in a tent just inside the store and was given a job right away. Opening night was exciting and memorable, Howland said. “We had a piano player — she actually was my teacher. She came up from Sandwich and she supplied the music,” she said. “There was a large buffet that we served right there in the customer service area.” From there, Howland watched the store and the mall grow. The workers at Lechmere were like a family, she said. They still keep up over Facebook.

 

 

 

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