Once a bustling retail center, The Summit has limped along for years. But, just as The Summit's tagline suggests, to me it was "More than a Mall." I guess you can say The Summit is my Buffalo Memorial Auditorium . I will miss the Summit as much as you sports fans will miss The Aud.
In recent years, The Summit saw more mallwalkers than paying customers, but I always kept a soft spot for the mall in my heart. Some of my fondest memories were spent at the Summit Park Mall, standing on the bridge overlooking the giant fountain and tossing pennies into the water. I loved piling into the family car for a trip to KB Toys or Child World, taking the back roads through the side streets of North Tonawanda and Wheatfield to admire Christmas lights along the way.
Reaching the age when I was allowed to take the bus to the mall with my sisters was a huge milestone. I could spend hours in the arcade, Aladdin's Castle, or perusing I.O.U. sweatshirts at Attractions.
As an adult, whenever I would feel a little down, I'd head over to the Summit for a nostalgic stroll and a small, comforting, pick-me-up purchase. I will sorely miss my monthly pilgrimages to Leon's Pizza--the mall's lone food court holdout and makers of the best slice of cheese and pepperoni on the planet.
Rest in peace, Summit Park Mall. You gave it your best shot.
---Samantha Maziarz Christmann