Well, here are two more ads for O'Neil - Sheffield Center, both from 1954 – the year it opened. Both ads ran in the Lorain Journal on November 22, 1954.
First up is the ad announcing Santa's arrival in a helicopter – same as he did in later years.
In the same edition of the Lorain Journal was this full-page ad trumpeting the arrival of Christmas at the center for the very first time.
Note that the Talking Christmas Tree had not yet made its appearance in 1954. Instead, a 40-foot live 'community' Christmas tree is promoted.
The full-page ad does a good job of making the case to go out there and check out all the wonderful holiday sights. The center's ideal location between Lorain and Elyria did indeed position it as the community place to shop (much to the detriment of Downtown Lorain) until Midway Mall was built.
I never did feel the same way about Midway Mall as I did about O'Neil's. Maybe it's because the mall was in Elyria and didn't have that connection with Lorain that O'Neil's did. Or possibly because it was such a headache to get to Midway Mall (still is) with having to go up and over Route 57 to get there.
We'll see in a few years whether the planned highway improvements in that area (and the removal of the bridge) result in a revival for Midway Mall.
Meanwhile, the 'reimagined' Centre of Sheffield remains. Even in its new configuration, it still brings back holiday memories for many local Baby Boomers.