East Towne Mall
East Towne Mall Hours:
MON - SAT 10 am - 9 pm
SUN 11 am - 6 pm
89 EAST TOWNE MALL,
MADISON, WISCONSIN 53704
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East Towne Mall Store Directory
The mall opened for business October 14, 1971 with a small ribbon cutting ceremony, a year after West Towne Mall. The two malls are only separated by around 11 miles (18 km) straight line, but the geography of Madison with its two main lakes creating bottlenecks for traffic it takes much longer to travel between the two than the mileage suggests. East Towne was Madison's largest enclosed mall, and initially had four large anchor stores, Sears, J. C. Penney, H.C. Prange Co., and Gimbel's. Prange Way and Aeropostale took up a large section at the back of Pranges' space, so it could be considered a fifth anchor.
Developed by Jacobs, Visconsi, and Jacobs Co. of Cleveland, Ohio construction of the center began September 18, 1970 under the supervision of project manager Stan Smith. Originally, the 1,600 sq ft (150 m²) mall area contained eight water pools and sunken lounge areas. Artists Clarence Van Duzer and Joseph McDonnell were commissioned to create art work for the mall. McDonnell created four sculptures, one was a 3,000 pound metal yellow rhinoceros with red polka dots made of half-inch steel plates and another was a 35'x22' chandelier-like work suspended above one of the entryways. The chandelier was multi-colored and according to McDonnell, it was inspired by a game of pick-up sticks and designed to resemble "a galaxy of light" from outside the center. Van Duzen was responsible for the large central area with its 30-foot (9.1 m) ceiling and four contemporary pillars. In the center was a large three-level pool with waterfalls, a 15-foot (4.6 m) fountain and flashing lights all synchronized to music. The main entrance was also flanked by sculpted stone blocks in relief with irregular shapes and sizes. All the water sculptures and sunken lounge areas were removed in the late 1980s and the main entrance was completely redesigned with the addition of the food court.
The parking area was designed by Stone and Robinson Associates, Inc. and was originally 2,100,000 square feet (195,000 m²) with a capacity of 6,000 cars and an average, maximum car-to-store distance of 350 ft (110 m) The parking are has since been reduced in size to hold less than 5,000 cars by various construction projects on the perimeter and expansion of the main facility.
East Towne Mall was constructed near the intersection of U.S. Route 151 and Interstate 90/94, but was virtually alone when built on over eighty acres of farmland. Now it rests in the center of a large retail area with a number of banks, restaurants and numerous chain big-box stores ranging from Best Buy and Circuit City to The Home Depot and Menards.
Gimbel's would become Boston Store in 1987 upon Gimbels' collapse a year earlier, and closed in 2003. This space was razed, and the area was rebuilt in 2003-2004 with the Boston Store name moving replacing Younkers. It is now a Dick's Sporting Goods, Gordmans and new mall space. Gordmans opened in September 2004 and Dick's Sporting Goods grand opening was at the end of October, 2004.
Prange's switched to Younkers upon the buyout of the chain in 1992. Before this buyout, Prange Way closed, allowing Younkers to expand into the large section the discount store had originally taken. Younker's would be switched to the Boston Store nameplate at this, as well as the West Towne Mall and Regency Mall's locations in 2003 when then-owners Saks Inc. decided to consolidate all southern Wisconsin stores into one banner. They had closed both Milwaukee-area Younker's stores at Northridge Mall and Southridge Mall in 2000 previous to East Towne's location.