1 Car has posted a new item, 'In This Months Business Monthly'
When my family moved into the Bryant Woods neighborhood in Columbia in the
summer of 1968 there were model homes on our cul de sac making it a regular stop
for the Columbia tour buses. There was 7-11 store nearby with a snack bar but
the real action was up at the WildeLakeVillageCenter where, in addition to a
grocery store, there was a butcher, a bookstore, a cheese shop, a pharmacy with
a soda fountain, a womens clothing store and a record store. The village center
was the social and commercial hub of the community. One of the highlights of the
holiday season was when the village center would host an open house. As Columbia
residents visited the different stores, each merchant provided some type of
holiday fare. The punch that Columbia Bank and Trust ladled out was particularly
For some residents of Columbia, this was the embodiment of the Jim Rouse vision.
In the late sixties, Columbiawas still a small town with a population of less
than 10,000. A forlorn silo stood where The Mall is today.
Itdidn'tlast long. The true Rouse vision was to build a city ten times that
size. By the beginning of the seventies residents of the new city began to get
new places to gather. Oakland Mills village center came online in 1969
andHarper'sChoice got their own village center in 1971. WildeLake was no longer
something unique, it was simply one of three.
The biggest change for WildeLakethough came in 1972 when that lonely silo was
replaced with a regional mall. The bookstore and clothing store moved out of
WildeLakeand into The Mall. The slow decline of the centers fortunes had begun.
By the mid seventies memories of those early year holiday open house nights had
already begun to fade.
You can read this months column here.
You may view the latest post at