Marley Station Offers Reward To Faces In Mall Mural

February 20, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer

Marley Station mall is searching for a few construction workers, some teen-agers and a young couple with a cocker spaniel.

The mall isalso on the lookout for a skipjack captain, a tobacco worker and a Renaissance Festival performer.

Five years have passed since the residents were photographed at work, play or home for a wall-sized, color photo mural hanging at the Glen Burnie shopping center.

Jim Pickerell, a photographer for Life and National Geographic, shot thousands of photos that year for "Chesapeake Style," a photograph and slide presentation that marked the mall's opening.

"It's kind of like a portrait of our customers," said Roni Septoff, the mall's marketing director. "It's a little bit of everyone who shops here."

For its fifth anniversary, Marley Station wants to find the people in the 32-by-8-foot mural and reward them for their part in the photographic sculpture. Those who contact themall by Friday will receive a shopping spree worth $100.

When Pickerell shot the photos, over several months, his subjects signed releases but didn't provide addresses or telephone numbers. So far, mall managers have found 45 of more than 100 people shown in 63 photos. Insome cases, neighbors or relatives of photo subjects have called themall.

Those captured on film include softball players, ChesapeakeBay sailors, families posing for portraits, firefighters next to fire engines, a little girl on her father's shoulders, fishermen at the old Severn River Bridge, senior citizens knitting and painting, mothers feeding ice cream to toddlers in strollers, and people eating hot dogs, picking crabs and shucking oysters.

The mall opened Feb. 24,1987, the morning after a major snowstorm, with anchors Hecht's and Macy's and 84 stores.

Mary Hall, manager of First National Bank, recalls the day as hectic, with managers scurrying to open their new stores.

For the first year or so, few shoppers seemed to know aboutMarley Station, Hall said. But walk-through traffic picked up each year after that, she said.

Over the years, Marley Station gained more merchants than it lost and grew to 150 stores, said Ed Ladd, mall manager. Total mall sales have increased each year, he said.

The center plans to add a 133,000-square-foot J. C. Penney by early 1994, with construction starting late this year.

In the wake of the R. H. Macy Co. reorganization, the company has given no indications that it will close any stores, including the Marley store, Ladd said. Macyfiled for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code Jan. 27. The department store was unable to pay its suppliers after a slow Christmas season.

While the recession has battered many retailers and centers, the mall has fared well by appealingto customers throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area, adapting toshoppers' needs and requests, and offering a warm, inviting environment, Ladd said.

"New stores are not haphazardly appearing," he said. "It's being done with a sincere effort to answer what the customeris asking for."

To claim their prizes, residents who spot themselves on the photo mural must contact the mall's marketing coordinator,Betty Berdine, by 5 p.m. Friday.

At a five-year anniversary reception Monday, prize winners will be asked to autograph their photos onthe wall and pose for a group photo shot by Pickerell.

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