A View from Holly Hill...things that aren't there anymore....

McKnight Road and things that aren't there anymore....where did all the fun go?

The other evening, I got caught up in a trivia game on Facebook.  The subject of choice for this trivia game....McKnight Rd.  The first question was "Who can tell me where the waterslide was on McKnight Rd and what store it was next to?"  Some of you may be surprised to learn that there WAS a waterslide on McKnight Rd at one point....many MANY years ago.  It was located in the spot that Office Depot now occupies, back when the current JoAnn Fabric store was a Children's Palace (toy store).  I was quite little at the time and have very faint memories of the waterslide, but it stuck in my mind because it was something fun to do.  Imagine that...something fun to do on McKnight Rd.  These days, the only thing there really is to do on McKnight Rd is to shop or eat.

That got me thinking....there are quite a few things that have disappeared from McKnight Rd, and the surrounding area for that matter, that were entertaining for everyone.  The Bed Bath and Beyond used to house the McKnight Bowling Lanes (we actually have one of the bowling pins sitting in our garage...I have no idea where it came from, it just came with my husband).  The building that Staples is in used to be a movie theatre and there was another theatre in the spot that is now occupied by Panera Bread (I saw Disney's Fantasia at that one).  Speaking of theatres, there was also the Super Saver Cinemas in Northway Mall.

Northway Mall holds a lot of memories, even though it is now a shell of what it used to be.  If you grew up in the area, you remember the birdcage that sat outside of Woolworths and the smell of Mama Lucia Pizza as you walked the lower hallway that was mixed with cigarette smoke. 

There was a Putt Putt course where the Wendy's is now and Flynns Tire used to be a roller skating rink ( I think it was called Skate Key). 

Who can forget West View Park?  It closed before I got to really enjoy it but the shadow of the park hung around for many years after the closing and the ghost still haunts West View Plaza to this day.

And who can forget the arcades?  Today's kids probably have no concept of what an arcade is/was and how much fun/trouble they were.  I remember the arcade at North Hills Village....it was back that long hallway to the left of Gimbels/Hills.  There was also an arcade at Ross Park Mall and I remember scrounging for quarters to spend there on a Friday night.  These days, the only arcade around that I know of is at The Pittsburgh Mills Mall and pales in comparison to the arcades of the PacMan era.

I guess the building and opening of Ross Park Mall began to transform things.  I still remember when RPM opened in what used to be a great big empty space.  I remember heading over to Shop N Save (what is now Home Depot) before a trip to the mall to stock up on candy.  I will never forget my all time favorite RPM store.....Cheryl's Cookies.  It was always a treat to get one of the fabulous cut out cookies when leaving the mall for the evening.

~Sigh~ It always seemed like there was something to do in this area when I was a kid.  Now it seems like the only thing to do is to shop or to get something to eat.  Laser Tag is still on McKnight Road (it was a favorite haunt of my husbands a long time ago) and of course Kniesses Miniature Golf.  That's about it these days.  The rest is left to shopping, eating, or creating your own entertainment.

So that was my view from Holly Hill today.....a trip down memory lane...or in this case, a trip down old school McKnight Road back in what was MY heyday....

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Mike April 05, 2013 at 12:35 AM
The plaza that now is home to Panera not only had a theater, but also had an arcade and one of the first monte cello restaurants. A smorgasbord was also there at one time and the zayres department store and a tastee freeze. I remember a Roy Rogers restaurant by what is now First National Bank at the entrance of Ross park mall. There was a Red Bull Inn at that plaza at the other end of Mcknight near the 279 on ramp.


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