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               WESTRIDGE MALL: FERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA

Sam Woolever's Commentary:

Posted March 20, 2004 (user submitted)

I remember going to this mall while I was growing up, and have seen it decline over the years. The Westridge mall was built in 1978. The anchor stores were a Woolworth's, J.C. Penney's, Red Owl Grocery, and Herberger's. It also had many of the smaller stores that you would find in a mall. There were also quite a few restauraunts, such as a fast food place (the name escapes me) a sit down cafe (I never ate there, but I remember it being really dark and smokey) a snack shop/ice cream parlor, and a Godfather's Pizza. The mall also had a 2 screen movie theater. The Red Owl went out of business in the late 80's-early 90's and the store stood vacant for many years. Around 1996 a telemarketing company moved into the empty space, but I think they may have since left. The Woolworth's left around 1995, and that also stood vacant for many years. J.C. Penney's went out in 2001. They opened a catalog desk in the back of a baseball card shop, but the original store still stands empty. Herberger's, at the center of the mall, is the only anchor store left. The movie theater added on around 1996, turning into a 5 screen. As the other anchors left, the stores around them either quit or moved towards the center of the mall.

Today, most of the stores left are in the center of the mall, mostly between the theater and the Herberger's. The J.C. Penney's and the Red Owl stand vacant, and the Woolworth's wing was torn down in 2001, and a Home Depot was built there. What's left is the Herberger's, movie theater, a baseball card shop/J.C. Penney's catalog, Hallmark, sandwich/coffee shop, musical instrument store, jewelry store, walk in clinic, hamberger stand, Cost Cutters, and G.N.C. An early Childhood/Family Education facility is moving out this summer (2004) Other stores that have left are a shoe store, Godfather's Pizza (moved offsite), insurance company, eyeglasses store, a cafe, another jewelry store, a candy store, a couple of clothing stores (Maurice's was one of them), and a western store. There have been amny other stores aqlso, but these are the ones I remeber. There have also been some quick lived flea market type set-ups in some of the vacant stores.

Not too many people are in the Westridge Mall. You only really go there if you know what you want, and don't really bother to stop at any of the other stores. The hall is sparse and institutional like, with no color and lined with vacant stores behind roll-down bar doors. While it had a healthy heydey in the 80's and early 90's, now it probably wouldn't be a place to go on a first date (or any date for that matter.)

Links:

http://www.ottel.com/westridge/default.htm - Mall Home Page










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