Preserved in Memory

Shoppers’ World in the 1960s with Stop & Shop in the foreground and the Jordan Marsh dome in the background. (Framingham History Center)

While the effort to preserve Shoppers’ World and its colossal dome did not succeed, there was a noble effort in the final weeks to document the mall’s history. 

Documents were gathered and photos taken. One local man shot a two-minute video preserving the mall’s appearance on film.  The emblematic Shoppers’ World sign was carefully dismantled and preserved by the group that had saved Boston’s Citgo sign.  There was recognition by many in the community that a part of their heritage was being lost.

Today, Shoppers’ World is gone but not forgotten. Thousands of Framingham and Greater Boston residents hold memories of the wooden soldiers, the Lone Ranger’s visit, windswept corridors and always — that enormous dome.  Retail historians understand the mall’s significance in shopping history.  Its impact is apparent in any modern mall that one cares to visit.  Indeed, eighteen years after its demise, an increasing number of locals seem to believe that which they did not in 1994: That the Space Age mall built on old Wyman’s Nursery six decades ago was truly what can now be classified as “history.”