Where to shop in New England>>>>Legacy Place, Dedham, MALegacy Place, Dedham, Mass., Is High On Our Shopping List
New Boston Area Retail Mecca Bridges Modern Open Air Shopping Mall With A Traditional Downtown Look
Article and photo by Eric H.
Those modern-day pretentious "open air" shopping centers have never been first on my "shopping list."
And as much as I appreciate some of the retail chain stores our country has to offer, I've always preferred the traditional "mom and pop" shops -- all in the name of tradition and supporting local businesses and the hard-working families that own these stores.
So why do I like the contemporary outdoor shopping, retail chain mecca presence of the new Legacy Place in Dedham, Mass., so much?
The difference is that Legacy Place has been set up to almost look like a traditional downtown business district and that the impressive array of chain shops mimic the type of stores we had when growing up and visiting our once-thriving downtowns.
Back in the day, we frequented our local downtowns for the book store, ice cream and candy shops, Chinese restaurant, bowling alley, clothing store, movie theater, supermarket and bakery/coffee shop. Legacy Place, in its modern ways, has them all (and much more, see list of stores at end of article): Kings for bowling (amazing place!), J.P. Licks for ice cream, P.F. Chang's Chinese restaurant, Gap and L.L. Bean for clothing, Showcase Cinema de Lux, Whole Foods Market, Sugar Heaven (candy) and Au Bon Pain bakery. It might not be "mom and Pop" store nation at Legacy Place, but the 130 stores, the chance to (potentially) park right in front of the store you're shopping at (there's also a huge parking garage), attractive landscaping with various greenery, old-fashioned gas lamp streetlights and well-defined sidewalks and crosswalks. Summertime is great with many outdoor dining opprtunities, and its first Christmas season in 2009 looked simply splendid with beautiful designs and a real holiday feel. (Article continues below photo...)
Kings bowling at Legacy Place also features a restaurant and bar area (photo by Eric H.)
Yes, from some perspectives, Legacy Place looks like another typical oversized, soulless strip mall, but the lasting impressions favor a unique shopping destination that definitely "bridges" the new ways of retail shopping with a bit of a trip-back-in-time look.
Some might knock Legacy Place and its ilk for hurting our downtowns by taking away business. You can put that notion to rest, too, as downtown Dedham continues to look better and better each day with its well-maintained historic buildings, an impressive variety of shops and restaurants that share retail themes with Legacy Place -- the Dedham Community Movie Theater, Blue Bunny book store, Cathay Kitchen for Chinese food, Ron's Gourmet Ice Cream, and Mocha Java for coffee. Downtown Dedham even has an old-time pharmacy, HL Wardle!
So, the moral of this shopping story is that some modern day shopping malls are absolutely fantastic and they have little or no negative effect on the local downtown -- depending upon the vision and follow-though of your community planners. While I have a special place in my heart for downtowns like Dedham (and will frequent it as often as possible), retail destinations like Legacy Place will also be a mainstay on my "shopping list."
950 Providence Highway (Route 1)
Tel. (781) 329-3009)
Current list of Legacy Place shopping, dining and entertainment offerings
Whole Foods Market at Legacy Place is the largest of its kind in New England (photo by Eric H.)
Au Bon Pain
Bath & Body Works
Beauty and Main
Brooks Brothers Country Club
Citizens Bank ATM
Collections by Stride Rite
giggle - Opening Summer 2010
I Love Boston Sports
Johnston & Murphy
Legal C Bar
Lucky Brand Jeans
Merrell Shoes & Apparel
Met Bar & Grill
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
The Paper Store
Qdoba Mexican Grill
Showcase Cinema de Lux
Legacy Place Valet
White House | Black Market
Whole Foods Market
Wicked Fire Kissed Pizza
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