There is so much I could say here. I was around for the second and final phase opening. And was lucky enough to have gone there over the 39 years it was open until it's closure. It was a stunning place. Considering it was the 3rd largest mall in the country at the time, you just didn't see many malls of it's scale.
Food courts were relatively newer at the time and C3 had the first one in the Pittsburgh area. So it was a real treat being able to get an egg roll with a burger and maybe get a baked potato. I remember as well that the food court was divided with smoking and non smoking sections. Which at the time was also a pretty new idea.
There was red carpet everywhere. So it made you feel like you were going someplace extravagant. And the fountains added to the elegance. It made it feel like you were someplace special. One thing I remember specifically about the fountain in front of the old Montgomery Wards store was that it tended to splash water onto the floor in front of it all the time. I think that's probably the biggest reason it was filled in.
The mall had everything you could ever think of. Two arcades, two toy stores, multiple record stores, an over abundance of clothing stores and even a cutlery store. If you couldn't find what you were looking for there, there were several shopping plazas nearby. The only thing it was missing was a theater. Initially there was one before you drove up to the all but it was later converted to a Toys R Us. A theater was later built behind the Southland shopping center right next door. Sadly that one is now closed. There was another theater built in Century Plaza on the hill above the mall. It started out as a bargain cinema but now shows first run movies.
I have more thoughts about the place and memories. I'll be adding to this post from time to time. And if anyone has questions, feel free to ask them.