Remembering Christmastime at the Old Eastpoint Shopping Center

An oldie but goodie from the Baltimore Or Less Christmas archives. Happy Holidays!

When penguins, monkeys, x-ray shoe measurements and Santa Claus in the basement made for a memorable Christmastime adventure

By Mark Birkelien (Dundalk Patch, 12/18/2010)

HESS MONKEY TOWN print by Charlene Clark

There was a time when the local, tired, poor huddled masses gathered together outside in frigid weather and took simple pleasure in watching penguins swim and play.

I’m talking about the Eastpoint Shopping Center before it succumbed to early 1970s modernism and was converted to the enclosed Eastpoint Mall we know today.

This was the old, outdoor Eastpoint Shopping Center that was anchored on one end by Hutzler’s and on the other by Hochschild-Kohn, each founded in Baltimore, in 1858 and 1897, respectively.

Eastpoint Shopping Center, Baltimore County Legacy Web, Photo by Blakeslee-Lane Studio, 1960

When I was a kid a trip to Eastpoint was a real event, not only at Christmas, but any time.

Penguins were on year-round display in a corner window at Hochschild’s, and real-life monkeys could be found gallivanting around at the Hess Shoe Store.

Continue reading “Remembering Christmastime at the Old Eastpoint Shopping Center” at


A little further down Eastern Boulevard, in Essex, Eastern Pet shop owner Herman Panowitz shows off Magilla the chimpanzee at a young age in the mid to late 60’s.

This entry was posted in Christmas, Dundalk, Holidays, Roadside Attractions, Shopping and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Remembering Christmastime at the Old Eastpoint Shopping Center

  1. Multielvi says:

    I remember them well. The monkeys were removed after numerous complaints about them gratifying themselves in front of the kiddies.

  2. George Drummond says:

    Thank you for this poignant look at the past. I lived just across Eastern Avenue from the mall. I remember riding my bike around the perimeter road as the mall was being built. And later my first job was at A&G Clothiers at the mall.

  3. Tony says:

    I just made myself a “club sandwich”, which my mother used to get at Read’s Drugstore’s downstairs diner. Then I started thinking about other things from that time, in the 60’s. I lived on Eastdale Road 7700 block. My phone number was AT5-3578. My grandmother worked at Hochschild Kohn’s and would get me clothes that I hated, but also got me my Boy Scout supplies, I’m assuming at a discount. There were Penguins in the back on the ground floor and a White Coffee Pot restaurant where it was a special night to go to. Later, after converted into a mall, I purchased my first 3 record albums, Deep Purple Machine Head, King Crimson Larks’ Tongues in Aspic and Todd Rundgren A wizard, a True Star. Across from that was a Spencer’s which had a basement with Black Lights, Black Light Posters Incense and many other “cool” items. Similes were big at that time as well, and many cool decals for my books at Halberd Jr Hight. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.