Ellsworth Place Mall: Where History and Modernity Meet in Silver Spring, MD

The Historical Journey of Ellsworth Place

Ellsworth Place Mall has a rich history that dates back to 1947 when it was initially a Hecht Company department store. This was the first suburban Washington, D.C., branch of the Hecht Company, which was a significant milestone for the retail landscape of Silver Spring. The department store served the community until it closed its doors in 1987, paving the way for a new era.

In 1992, the mall was born anew as City Place Mall, opening its doors in April. The mall was designed to be an “upscale” discount center, featuring original tenants like Nordstrom Rack and Ross Dress for Less. It was a significant addition to the downtown Silver Spring area, attracting shoppers from various parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The early 2000s saw the mall undergoing a series of redevelopments. A row of street-level shops was added, including PNC Bank, Chipotle Mexican Grill, MOD Pizza, and Ben & Jerry’s. These changes were part of Silver Spring’s broader urban renewal and densification efforts, lasting from 2005 through 2020.

The mall was rebranded as Ellsworth Place, a name change reflecting its evolving identity and role as a retail, dining, and entertainment hub. The rebranding was more than just a name change; it was a transformation that aimed to make the mall a cornerstone of downtown Silver Spring’s revitalization.

The Architectural Layout

One of the standout features of Ellsworth Place is its six-story structure, offering a total retail floor area of 350,000 square feet. The design is unique for a shopping center, providing an enclosed vertical power center that stands out in the urban landscape. The mall’s architecture is not just about aesthetics; it’s designed for functionality, with each floor serving a specific purpose.

The mall features an atrium from which five levels can be seen. This open space adds to the shopping experience, making navigation easier and providing a sense of spaciousness. It’s a place where shoppers can take a moment to relax, perhaps enjoying a coffee or snack from one of the mall’s many eateries.

The architectural layout of Ellsworth Place is more than just a building; it’s a well-thought-out space designed to enhance the shopping experience. Every architectural element serves a purpose, from its vertical design to its convenient public transit access and open atrium.

Ellsworth Place Mall
Ellsworth Place Mall” by Farragutful is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Current Tenants

Ellsworth Place is home to a diverse range of tenants that cater to various needs and preferences. Anchor tenants include Michael’s, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less, DSW, Dave & Buster’s, Burlington, and Five Below. These stores offer different products, from clothing and footwear to entertainment and home goods.

In addition to the anchor tenants, the mall features a variety of other retail stores. Foot Locker, GNC, Shoe City, and Rainbow are just a few of the names shoppers will find here. These stores offer specialized products, from athletic footwear and nutritional supplements to arts and crafts supplies.

Service-oriented businesses also have a presence at Ellsworth Place. PNC Bank and TD Bank offer financial services, while Phenix Salon Suites provides beauty and grooming services. These establishments add another layer of convenience for visitors, making it possible to accomplish multiple errands in one trip.

The tenant mix at Ellsworth Place is carefully curated to offer a balanced shopping experience. From anchor stores to smaller retail outlets and service providers, the mall aims to meet the diverse needs of its visitors. It’s a one-stop destination for shopping, dining, and personal care.

Dining at Ellsworth Place

When it comes to dining options, Ellsworth Place offers something for everyone. Auntie Anne’s and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream are excellent quick bites and snack choices. These eateries provide the perfect pit stop for shoppers needing a quick refuel.

USA Quiz

How many questions would you like?

Your result:

The mall features popular restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill and MOD Pizza for casual dining. These establishments offer a relaxed atmosphere where families and friends can enjoy good food without the formalities. The menus are diverse, catering to various tastes and dietary needs.

A recent addition to the mall’s dining scene is the construction of a new Outback Steakhouse. This restaurant will offer a fine dining experience, adding a touch of luxury to the mall’s already diverse food offerings. It’s an exciting development that promises to elevate the culinary landscape of Ellsworth Place.

So, dining at Ellsworth Place should be on your list if you’re pondering things to do in Silver Spring, Maryland. From fast food to fine dining, the mall offers a culinary journey that caters to all tastes and preferences.

Ellsworth Place Mall
Ellsworth Place” by Numan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Events and Entertainment

Ellsworth Place is not just about shopping and dining; it’s also a hub for entertainment and community events. One of the major attractions is Dave & Buster’s, which opened its doors in November 2016. This venue offers a variety of arcade games, sports viewing options, and a full-service restaurant, making it a popular spot for kids and adults.

Seasonal events are a big part of the mall’s calendar. For instance, free photos with the Easter Bunny are offered in April, and Santa Claus appears from November 20 to December 24. These events add a festive touch to the shopping experience and are especially popular among families with young children.

The mall has also been involved in community events in the past. One notable event was a free concert by Rihanna in 2005, which drew a large crowd and added a touch of glamour to the mall’s profile. Such events entertain and strengthen the bond between the mall and the community.

Ellsworth Place aims to be more than just a shopping center; it strives to be a community hub where people can shop, dine, and enjoy various forms of entertainment. The mall’s event calendar is carefully planned to offer something for everyone, making it a go-to destination for family outings and social gatherings.

Planning Your Visit

The mall is open from Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm, and Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm. These hours are subject to change during holidays and special events, so it’s advisable to check the mall’s website for the most current information.

Parking at Ellsworth Place is convenient, with multiple parking garages and street parking options available. The mall also offers handicap-accessible parking spaces, ensuring that all visitors can enjoy their time there without hassle.

For those new to the mall, it’s worth noting that Ellsworth Place has a code of conduct to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. The code covers various aspects, from appropriate attire to behavior, and is available on the mall’s official website.

Planning your visit to Ellsworth Place is easy, thanks to the wealth of information available online and the mall’s commitment to customer service. From operating hours to parking and the code of conduct, every detail is designed to make your visit enjoyable.


Ellsworth Place has successfully adapted to the changing retail landscape, offering diverse shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With its rich history, strategic location, and continual updates, it remains a significant part of Silver Spring’s urban fabric. It’s a place that evokes nostalgia while inspiring excitement for the present and future.

Comments: 2
  1. Avatar of Fund The Police
    Fund The Police

    LMAO…..Silver Spring is and always will be a money pit for the government as long as they do nothing about the crime! There are muggings and auto theft in the parking garages because there is no security. Yes Hecht, Sears, Drug Fair, Giffords, Hahn Shoes and Pennies all left along with many small businesses that were doing well as Wheaton Plaza, White Flint Mall, Lakeforest Mall, Tysons Corner, Montgomery Mall were all built. When they left the crime rate went up and even more shops closed and moved. During the initial redevelopment the county was told not to bring in all the discount stores into the area as it would not attract big name stores nor would it attract the people nor money they were looking to bring to the area. They wanted a movie theater however at one time there were 6 theaters in Silver Spring and 2 of those were large screens. They wanted live music so they went and gave money to a company from DC that had several of their venues shut down due to shootings (thanks to ike legget for this great move) and passes on The Birchmere who wanted to come here and open a venue and was willing to do it on their dime. Just another great vision of the county exec and council spending tax dollars when they did not have to. At the time of the “revitalization” in the 90’s I asked several of those on the committee why as they were targeting people my age and income would I come all the way from Rockville or Gaithersburg to shop and eat in Silver Spring when I had so many places near me and did not have to drive 30-45 minutes in traffic and then try to find a place to park and be in a high crime area? I told them I would pass better places to shop and eat and places a lot safer than Silver spring and not one person could give me an answer. Silver spring had a rich history and was a nice safe place to go but today I would not go there for anything and as for the food choices it is below average and you can get better in many other areas and not have to deal with the bad parking and crime!! The area may envoke nostalgia but it does not envoke a need to go to that area ever again!

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Your comment certainly paints a vivid picture of the challenges facing Ellsworth Place Mall and Silver Spring at large. It is a sobering reminder of the complexities involved in urban development. While the issues are multi-faceted, it’s through discussions like these that solutions can begin to emerge.

Add a comment

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: