If walls could talk, the Magic City Plaza would have a lot of stories to tell. In the past two editions of the Herald, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane. (See this week’s edition for Part II) The shopping center has seen stores and trends come and go and children grow up. It’s been through construction and demolition, fun and despair, wealth and poverty. Through good times and bad, the plaza has provided a lot of memories for the people of Barberton and surrounding communities. Robert Augustynovich remembers collecting orange crates from Acme and A&P to make homemade skateboards. Tammi Bieri said, “I have many memories of the shopping plaza. From the bowling alley, to the five and dime and shopping at Fashion Bug.”
We’ve put together a timeline, based on information provided from the Barberton Historical Society, Barberton Library and the Barberton Herald archives. We apologize if something is missing- we can only report on what has previously been recorded. We’ve also included photos of old advertisements from some of the retailers. As Marshall’s liked to tell us back then, “Pull on your panty hose! They’ll put a smile on your face!” Enjoy!
The Magic City Shopping Center was built. Some of the original stores included: Acme #9, Woolworths, A&P, Farron’s Shoes, Gray’s Drugstore, Arvalan Gifts, Abby’s Menswear, Magic City Lanes and W.T. Grant.
JC Penney, First National Bank, Purity Market, Lawson, Isaly’s, Nobil’s, Van’s Clear Sylk moved in.
Late ’50s – Early ’70s – Several events were held in the parking lot.
Halloween parties, a teenage “roadeo” driving contest, sled rides, Santa visits, beauty contests and square dancing.
JC Penney moved to Rolling Acres Mall
New owners came in and gave the plaza a much needed facelift. Woolworths announced they were not closing, despite rumors (All Woolworths were closed in Ohio by the end of 1989). Barberton Exchange moved into the plaza. Offering same day check cashing and pay advances, long lines of people began gathering at the plaza, leaving trash and vandalism behind.
According to our readers, the following stores also lived in the plaza at one point in time (no records are available):
D&K, JoAnn Fabrics, The Food Connection, Joyce’s Beauty Nook (’70s), a video store, Little Caesars Pizza, a jewelry store, a five and dime store, The Skillet, Fanny Farmer and Fashion Bug.
2022- There are currently 14 merchants (prior to the arrival of Marc’s):
Big Lots (and Big Lots Furniture), Armed Forces Career Center, Rent-A-Center, Rainbow clothing store, Save a lot, Dollar Tree, Super China, Boost Mobile, Cosmo Pro, U.S. Bank, Metro PCS, Famous Hair, Tobacco Vapor and Advance America.