Towson Town Center
Towson Town Center is a large indoor shopping mall located in Towson, Maryland. It was the largest indoor shopping mall in Maryland prior to the completion of Arundel Mills in late 2000 in Hanover and the 2007 expansion of the Annapolis Mall.
Towson Plaza was an open-air mall built in 1952 on ground originally sold by Goucher College. Towson Plaza was built next to the Towson location of Hutzler's which has since closed and been redeveloped. Towson Plaza was one of the earliest multi-level shopping centers. and much of that original structure remains incorporated into the current mall as its two lower levels. The mall was enclosed in 1973, and renovated in 1982 with the opening of Hecht's across the parking lot. Lawrence Rachuba and the DeChiaro group were the developers.
Over the years, stores and attractions were added on to increase traffic in the mall and make it more competitive with other malls in the area. One memorable effort was "Gadgets," a theme restaurant with mechanical characters performing periodic shows on stage, which opened and closed in the early 1980s. Some of the original stores survived this era but later closed, including Hess Shoes, Loewmeyer's, and Friendly's. Formerly occupying the original center court on Level 1, now the GBMC Grand Court, was The Garden Cafe bar and lounge along with a fountain partially inspired by Robert Woodward's El Alamein Fountain. The center's first glass elevator was installed between the old escalators. During the 1991 renovation, the fountain was replaced with a smaller fountain, which was later removed in 2008. In 1999, the popular theme restaurant, Rainforest Cafe opened in the mall and was a tenant for the next ten years, closing in January 2009.Bistro Sensations took the place of Garden Cafe in 2000 and has since gone out of business. Other small fountains that were in the mall's domed courts have been converted into planters.
The third and fourth floors opened in October 1991 and included a new food court. While the third and fourth floors are directly above each other, access from the third floor to the second and first form a downhill pattern, as much of the mall property is on a slope. The 2007 expansion described below expanded the older first and second floors toward Dulaney Valley Road.