Who can’t forget getting an Orange Julius at the Orange Plaza Mall in Middletown back in the day. Yum!
The announcement of the mall being planned was published in the March 5, 1965 Times Herald-Record (which cost a mere 10 cents back then).
The grand opening of the Orange Plaza took place in October 1971. Wall-to-wall carpeting and fountains made this an award winning design. It was a project that included 60 stores including Sears, Sullivans and JC Penney.
Note the headline on the story saying “Route 84.” This was the now Route 211 which was renamed in the ’60s so as not to be confused with Interstate 84 which was currently under construction.
In 1977 the Mall announced that a second level would be added – underground.
The 50,000 square-foot lower level resembled pedestrian shopping malls in city subway stations with benches, street-style lighting and wall paneling. 20 stores were added to the new “Underground.”
Today National Realty & Development Corp. manages the Plaza. In the early 2000s they primed the then empty building for a comeback and it had thrived ever since bringing in names such as Wal-Mart SuperCenter, Kohl’s, Modell’s Sporting Goods and more. Even with the building of the Galleria at Crystal Run, the Orange Plaza continues to bring in businesses, customers and memories.
Seeking photos for Now & Then feature
The Hudson Valley is rich in history. Our museums, historical societies and libraries preserve our past. Now & Then takes a look at places, people and landmarks in our area from a moment in time. We are asking libraries and historical societies to send in copies of their historical photos (no originals please), but anyone can send one in. Please send in full details on the photo and the history behind it, if any. Please be sure to include the location (city, village or town) of the photo and the year, as well as a contact number or email if additional information is needed. Mail all information and photos to:
Now & Then
℅ Donna Kessler
PO Box 2046
Middletown, N.Y. 10940
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.