It feels like the world is one giant throwback to the ’90s recently. So this week, we’re bringing back Throwback Thursday to celebrate an anniversary of outdoor shopping proportions. We’re going to party like it’s 1999 and celebrate the 18th birthday of “The Waterfront”.
The Waterfront is a super-regional open air shopping mall spanning the three boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead, and Munhall, and opened on September 9, 1999. The shopping mall sits on land once occupied by U.S. Steel’s Homestead Steel Works plant, which closed in 1986. The Waterfront was one of the earliest projects to help revitalize Pittsburgh and it’s surrounding areas. The outdoor mall houses everything from department stores, niche stores, restaurants, comedy clubs, piano bars, and much more. The Waterfront is truly a one-stop destination for all day fun.
Shopping malls have always been a popular spot for area youths, but The Waterfront gave us, in a way, our first “adult-themed” mall. It’s open air design and focus on bold stores and businesses became an instant with young adults and socialites. The Loews Waterfront Theater became one of the area’s most popular attractions, due to it’s state of the art cinema experience when it first opened.
At one time, this area was occupied by a steel mill headed by the US Steel Industry. At its peak, there were 450 buildings on the site. In its history, the Homestead Works produced more than 200 million tons of steel for use in railroads, armor, and beams. In its high point during World War II, an entire neighborhood of 8,000 people was razed to expand the mill even further. These stacks remain at The Waterfront today, as a symbol of the Steel City’s past.
If you’d like to read more before you head out for shopping, dinner, and a movie or comedy show, check out this fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal, written a couple months before the official opening of the unique open air mall!
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