It was October of 1970, when Madison greeted its first indoor shopping mall. The new experience in shopping comfort and convenience, brought more than 60 businesses to the city's first all-weather conditioned, completely enclosed mall. It boasted more than 38 new stores, 5,000 parking spaces, and was the first in the country to use artificial lighting for the flowering greenery that included many tropical palm trees. Major stores in the mall included Sears, Roebuck and Co., J.C. Penney, Harry S. Manchester and H.C. Prange. With the smaller stores, it gave the center over 800,000 square feet of retail space. When West Towne opened, it was one of the largest shopping centers in the state, comparable in size to Brookfield Square in Milwaukee, the state's largest at that time.