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The main Graceland sign. From left to right, 1970, 2003 and 2005.

If you live in Worthington or Clintonville, odds are that Graceland Shopping Center has played a big role in your consumer life. Graceland was built on a former horse farm, named "Graceland", that was co-owned by a Columbus Bookmaker and his wife, a Madam. When the property came up for sale, the Casto and Gibson families purchased it for $100,000. The center opened in 1954, and had a good run through the 1980's.

Competition from Sawmill Road, Crosswoods, and later Easton and Polaris stressed the center. A low point was reached on February 8, 2004 when Big Bear closed, leaving only a handful of tenants in the empty center. In a vote of confidence for the area, Don Casto attracted a Target Store and invested big money to rebuild the center beginning in 2005. Today, the center is as busy as it was in the late 50's, and seems to have a solid future ahead of it.

Shirley Hyatt has written a fantastic book on Clintonville History with more Graceland pictures. She has a website on Clintonville History as well.

New!  I've added a video section to the menu on the left. Also, I have been following the tear down of the old Woolco (a.k.a. Burlington Coat Factory) building, and the construction of a nice new Urban Active Fitness Center. You can see the latest pictures on the Woolco Page

Please let me know what you think about this site, and if you have additional information, please send it along!

George Campbell
October 6, 2008

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