May 25, 2006

Demolition Begins at Westgate Shopping Center

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Left: Little remains of the Westgate Rite Aid; pictures by historymike

(Toledo, OH) While on my way to run errands I drove past the Westgate Village Shopping Center, which is being renovated to accommodate a new Costco store.

Demolition on the old southern wing of the center commenced this week, and crews are wasting little time removing the old structure.

I was able to snap a dozen photos before a patrolling security vehicle approached. I was politely told to vacate the area; I suppose my thick skull was not an adequate substitute for a hard hat.


I am normally a bit saddened by the demolition of an urban landmark, but truth be told this shopping center has seen better days in the past. I miss Boogie Records and Thackeray's Books, but these cherished local institutions were already victims of the growth of - and retail cannibalism by - national chains.

I have a few favorite Westgate businesses that still remian, such as the Coney Island and the Radio Shack. These are open in the west wing of the complex, which can only be reached by the Central Avenue entrance.

If nothing else the reborn Westgate should act as a magnet for commercial development in the Central-Secor area. I just hope that the city and the developers have a plan that will justify the millions given out in tax abatements.

18 comments:

liberal_dem said...

As a kid I watched it being built. How sad to see its demise.

Roland Hansen said...

Wow, how time goes in full circles. My uncle helped lay brick for Westgate Shopping Village when it was first constructed. I myself worked at the McDonald's on Secor and then at Nobil Shoe Store in Westgate while attending college. I also worked for the Wohl Shoe Company which had a leased department in what was then LaSalle's, later to be known as Macy's.
Oh heck, I even remember when the Showcase Cinemas were first built. Oh, my! I guess that really dates me. And, it seems like only yesterday. lol

McCaskey said...

Anyone know what year the Showcase Cinemas on Secor Rd. was built?

historymike said...

I moved here in 1989, so Westgate was already an aging center when I got here.

According to AREIS, McCaskey, Showcase Cinemas was built in 1964.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,

Soon to rise from the rubble, a spanking new Costco!

It would by only fitting if it were built (as a tribute to Carleton the Passionate) in the shape of a pig's head...

liberal_dem said...

in the shape of a pig's head...

Perfect!

Brian said...

Thackerays and Port Royale were my favorite places in Toledo. One is gone, the other soon to relocate.

I know Barnes and Noble has a huge selection of books, but I knew my way around Thackerays like I know my way around my own home. I just can't ever get comfortable in Barnes and Noble like at Thackerays.

I never mourned the passing of any retail outlet before Thackerays closed. It really wounded me to lose one of my favorite places.

Photodan said...

"I was able to snap a dozen photos before a patrolling security vehicle approached. I was politely told to vacate the area..."

*sigh* Yet another case of rent-a-cops who make up the rules as they go along. As long as you were on the public sidewalk and outside of their construction fence, you had every right to stand there and take as many photos as you wished.

This probably wasn't worth your time arguing about but it really bothers me to see (photo)journalists' rights trampled by Barney Fife wannabes who try to hide behind the tired excuse of, "I'm just trying to do my job."

-Dan

McCaskey said...

"According to AREIS, McCaskey, Showcase Cinemas was built in 1964"--

Thanks, HM

McCaskey said...

I think we all miss Thackeray's, Brian.

historymike said...

I sure will.

Beside the wide selection of books, the employees at Thackeray's were knowledgeable and - most importantly - well read.

Too many of the employees in the chain bookstores are very young and have narrow interests. I get discouraged and do not even bother with asking a Barnes and Noble clerk for help, as they are usually too busy adjusting their tongue studs.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Did you notice if any attempt was being made to salvage/recycle any of the building materials?

The blocks, in particular, looked like they were coming down clean and mostly intact.

Peahippo said...

Photodan, do we really need to tell you that you lose rights that you don't exercise, and particularly rights that you don't defend? You should have stopped listening to your internal William Whiner and stopped thinking about the inconvenience of interacting with security forces or law enforcement. You normally talk pretty tough, from the years I've seen you on ToledoTalk. Too afraid to walk the talk?

No real photographer just walks away from a few security pukes on public land when told to do so. That's all I'm sayin' here. :^)

Brian said...

Peahippo,

I hope we can count on you to keep your word about that last statement.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Though it's beating a dead horse which I don't like to do in blog posts of years past, I just like to say I'm not very fond of the new Westgate 'look' at all, yet I often laugh at hearing some snickering reminders of Costco not performing as well as they thought. I just miss the old Westgate I knew.

I only wish the cinemas was still open though. I'd love to buy out that and challenge National Amusements with my own 'Ma & Pa' establishment. I just hate not having competition or any variety in going out to a movie nowadays.

gigi1970 said...

I KNOW I'M LATE BUT I JUST WANTED TO SAY I MISS WESTGATE SO MUCH. MY FAVORITE CANDY STORE WAS FANNIE FARMER LOL! AND I LOVED EATING LUNCH AT CONEY ISLAND BEFORE GOING TO WORK, MY FAVORITE BEAUTY SALON WAS EVEN LOCATED THERE FOR A WHILE. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS! DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE CONEY ISLAND AND FANNIE FARMER RELOCATED TO?

Chris Sobieniak said...

I wish I did.

Anonymous said...

i bought my first prom dress at store next to the lion store. may have been a bridal shop or dress shop. was in the wing toward secor. does anyone remember the name of the shop? would have been 1960 or 1961.