Norwin Towne Square on brink of rejuvenation
Growing up in the area, Norwin Shopping Center — as it was called in those days — was THE shopping center, way before we had Hills and Ames — gone and gone, obviously.
The shopping center meant fancy-lady clothes at Cox's — along with some birds and fish, which I never quite understood — and two grocery stores, with a variety of names such as A&P, Thoroughfare, Shop ‘n Save and Foodland throughout the years, and the sweet smells from string-tied boxes from Marilyn's Bakery, and the oddities at the This N That shop.
It meant the branch of the public library up in the corner near where the MedExpress sits now and if you needed paint or nails or just about anything else for your house, you could visit Action Hardware well before the days of Home Depot and who could forget Isaly's?
It meant spending time perusing vinyl at the Record Shop way back before Amazon and downloadable music. It meant Woolworth' and maybe using the little post-office window at the back corner of the store to buy stamps. And I think my graduation dress might have come from Fashion Hub.
Many a Saturday morning for me was lunch with my family at SenSim, way back in the arcade, and then walking to the branch library to get books and back in time to walk to the car after grocery shopping was done. There were parades through the shopping center back then, for Halloween and homecoming. Even Santa parachuted in at least once that I can remember, and there always was something happening with promotions and specials, sidewalk sales. Yes, I still shop there on occasion, but it isn't the same.
Over the years, the plaza has suffered from vacant storefronts. A few die-hard stores remained, but with a parking lot full of holes. Now it sits on the precipice of rejuvenation. Built in 1959 and remodeled in 1969, somewhere along the line it became known as Norwin Towne Square.
But it's still the shopping center to me!
Yes, it will change shape as new businesses are added and the design of it is reconfigured. And some folks will fuss about how different it is. But I'm just happy it's getting a new lease on life. Welcome back, old friend.
Barbara Flynn is the children's librarian at Norwin Public Library.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Property crime rates decline in North Huntingdon, Irwin
- Irwin council member blocks recording of public meeting