Garden City Center
Garden City Center
HISTORY
Garden City Shopping Center has been a shopping destination of choice for five generations of Rhode Island residents. From visits with Santa to wedding photos at the gazebo, everyone has fond memories of their trips to the shopping center.

It started in 1948 when Italian immigrant Nazarene Melocarro recognized the emerging trends of the post World War II society: there was an abundance of newly-married couples, a scarcity of new housing, and a rapidly expanding highway system. Melocarro had the foresight to see in a large tract of undeveloped land the opportunity to create the American Dream, both for him and for hundreds of proud, young homeowners.

Purchasing 500 acres, including the former Cranston Coal mine, Melocarro developed what became one of the first planned communities in the country. Garden City, as it was named, was made up of single family homes on winding streets, apartment buildings, a school (whose site Melocarro donated to the City) and the Garden City Shopping Center, the state's first suburban shopping center.

By luring prestigious Providence stores to the growing suburb, such as the Outlet Company and Almacs, the shopping center revolutionized shopping habits in and around Cranston, making it the premier shopping destination it remains today.