Northern Lights first opened as a "strip center" in 1956. On March 22, 1979 it re-opened as an indoor mall. Since then, it has returned to it's original strip mall design.
The following three photos are courtesy of Ken W. and were taken in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Click on any of these photos to see them full size. The first photo shows the view looking north, where Northern Lights would soon be on the right hand side. The stop light is the point where Brewerton Road in Mattydale divides into Route 11 and South Bay Road. This picture was also taken before Route 81 (or the "Penn-Can Highway", as it had been originally referred to) had been built. The second photo shows almost the same view a couple of years later, and includes Route 81. Northern Lights Plaza would also have been built by this time, it would just be slightly out of camera range on the right side of the picture. The third picture shows Northern Lights parking lot, looking north. Howard Johnson's restaurant is in the background.
There have been many stores in Northern Lights Plaza/Mall over the years (see the Newspaper Articles on the bottom of this page for more details). The rest of the photos on this page were taken in 2007.
One of my favorite stores at Northern Lights when I was a child was Two Guys. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of that store at the moment. If you have any photos you'd like to send to the site please write to the e-mail address at the bottom of the page. One of my favorite stores in Northern Lights as an adult was Media Play, which was open from 1994 to 2006.
The following newspaper photo was sent in by Mike Hepp. Click on the photo to see it full size.
Click on the links below to view some newspaper articles about Northern Lights.
10, 1976 - Two Guys article + full page ad (sent in by Dave M.)
March 22, 1979 - Part 1 - The following 10 pages are from a special on the "Grand Opening" of Northern Lights as an indoor mall.
March 22, 1979 - Part 2
March 22, 1979 - Part 3
March 22, 1979 - Part 4
March 22, 1979 - Part 5
March 22, 1979 - Part 6
March 22, 1979 - Part 7
March 22, 1979 - Part 8
March 22, 1979 - Part 9
March 22, 1979 - Part 10
October 21, 1981 - 'Two Guys' from Jersey head back to the city (sent in by Dave M.)
October 30, 1981 - Two Guys photo - Closing sale draws crowds (sent in by Dave M.)
October 5, 1990 - Part 1 - "The mall beat: Trying to save ailing roots"
October 5, 1990 - Part 2 - "Northern Lights looks at marketing"
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