BEFORE: The construction of Loudoun Street Mall began in 1974. The mall was intended to help downtown merchants compete with suburban shopping centers, as well as to revitalize downtown.
AFTER: After decades of use, the pedestrian mall is set to have a facelift. Utility lines will be buried, fountains, entrances and public restrooms will be added. This view faces south. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
This is Loudoun Street, facing north from Boscawen Street, in 1964. That year, city leaders began a downtown revitalization with sweeping changes that eventually led to the 1974 closure of part of Loudoun Street to traffic and the construction of the Loudoun Street Mall.
Workers view the construction of the mall in front of the Valley Photo Center at 148 N. Loudoun St. in 1974.
Loudoun Street is blocked in 1974 as construction proceeds on the new pedestrian mall, which closed a 1,600-foot stretch of the street that was the main retail street in downtown Winchester. Merchants pushed for the closure as a way to revitalize the downtown area.
This is the parking lot between the Loudoun Street Mall and Indian Alley that will be converted into a splashpad water feature. Public restrooms will also be installed in this area. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
People dine al fresco on the mall. Most of its restaurants offer outside seating during the warmer months. The mall is credited with attracting popular restaurants and storefronts to downtown Winchester.
The mall draws visitors from around the region. Irvin Shendow of Bell’s Fine Clothes on the mall estimates that half of his business comes from customers east of Clarke County who are visiting Winchester.
Karen Helm, director of the Old Town Development Board, looks over the central intersection of the mall — Boscawen and Loudoun streets.