The Downtown Cumberland Mall came into existence April 30, 1975 when local merchants and the Mayor & City Council began discussing the possibility of a Downtown Mall. The outcome of this discussion led to the hiring of professional consultants for the purpose of analyzing the feasibility of such a revitalization approach.

The professional consulting team consisted of the firm of Beyer-Blinder-Bell, P.C. Architects and Planners from New York, Hammer Siler George, Economic Consultants from Washington D.C. and Alan M. Voorhees, Traffic and Transportation Consultants from McLean, Virginia.

The results of the study indicated that if a pedestrian environment were created in Downtown Cumberland, shoppers would stop their more often and no other type of improvement would have such a positive impact on shopping habits as a physical renewal of the public environment in the form of a pedestrian mall. It was further concluded that this new pedestrian mall would act as a catalyst for encouraging future growth in the overall commercial economy of Downtown Cumberland.

With this as a background the merchants and Mayor & Council agreed to a special taxing district as the vehicle to fund the new pedestrian mall. On May 15, 1978 George Construction Company began work on Downtown Cumberland Mall.

1979 Mall Dedication
1979 Mall Dedication

October 21 and 22, 1978 saw 20,000 area residents come to a sneak preview of the Downtown Cumberland Mall. They enjoyed the results of more than three years of dedicated work on the part of many citizens.

One year later, work was completed and preparations were made for the Grand Opening. The Grand Opening took place during the week of October 15-20, 1979. Throughout the six-day period, thousands of persons were treated to a number of special activities. The week was culminated with Proclamation Day on Saturday, October 20, when the Governor of Maryland, Harry Hughes headlined a cast of celebrities in officially opening the New Downtown Cumberland Mall. The Governor referred to it as the “beautiful and very functional Downtown Cumberland Mall.”