Saturday, June 18, 2005

Westland Mall

Westland, Michigan. 1960's

West Court (above).

This is one of my favorite vintage mall photos. Like something out of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE! Man, if I could only live in a house like this... I'd never leave the house.

Utterly and severely beautiful.


Blogger f said...

Agree 100 %.

Mon Jun 20, 04:04:00 AM  
Blogger Art said...

Man, this is just beautiful. Great idea. I'll keep coming back.

Tue Jun 21, 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks, Art! Glad you dig it. :)

Btw, love your blog. Great idea!

Thu Jun 23, 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Joe T said...

Great photos. I grew up in Plymouth, and Westland was our default mall.

When I first saw the second photo on another website (forgot which already), I thought it looked familiar. Sure enough.

Also thanks for the Sir Graves Ghastly site. Someone needs to do a Bill Kennedy site next...

Thu Jun 23, 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Tony from Redford said...

Nice photos!

I recently visited Wonderland and
Livonia Malls...what a disappointment!
I'd love to see pics of Wonderland
from back in the old day when it was
an outdoor mall.

Great idea for a site!

Fri Jun 24, 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Dearborn kid. Westland was the spot until the Fairlane Town Centre! Everyone: take a peek at the photo of the West Court. You'll see a Raimi's store. Owned by Sam Raimi's mother (a lingerie store, if memory serves)!

Fri Jun 24, 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the right of the Raimi's was a butcher shop.

I lived within walking distance of Westland Mall.

Fri Jun 24, 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Joe: Glad you dig Graves! ;) I've got a little Kennedy thing I'm toying with...

As for more Wonderland pics, Tony, I'll see what I can do.

Gary: Thanks for noting Raimi's mother's store there! Didn't know that!

Sat Jun 25, 05:47:00 AM  
Anonymous chris said...

what are those dandelion looking things on the staircase?

Sat Jun 25, 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Not sure, chris, but they look like little ambient lights or something. If you zoom in, they look like lights that are glowing.

Either way, it's beautiful design. They did everything so cool back then!

And that glass elevator is just...just...awesome. What else can I say. I bet riding up in that thing, in this place, looked like the ending of WILLY WONKA! With a little luck, you'd burst right through that ceiling and fly away up into the bright blue Michigan sky of the 1970's!

Sun Jun 26, 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous chris said...

yeah good call on the elevator. that place would seriously be the most stylish pad ever.

i think i would convert the elevator to a bar.

Sun Jun 26, 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Sofi said...

This looks exactly like the Salt Lake City airport.

Mon Jun 27, 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Westland mall looks the same today.

Mon Jun 27, 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

It does??! Can't imagine that. I've recently heard from people who still go there and all lamented the fact that it's too bad it doesn't look like that anymore. I was told it, too, has had its share of updating and modernizing over the years, like most Amercian malls. I need to get out there myself sometime and have a look.

Chris: I was thinking that, too. That this area in the photograph would be a great place to live! Heh. I'd keep the cool elevator, though.

Amy: You don't say! I'll have to check out some photos of that airport then.

Mon Jun 27, 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger brandon said...

indeed a beaut! for me its the barbara hepworth-esque sculpture to the right

Tue Jun 28, 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Dearborn, but preferred Westland Mall over Fairlane Town Center for the arcade. :) The basic layout of the mall is the same today with the exception of a Sears which juts out of the side now. A rather unusual Sears location considering they are usually anchor stores rather than additions. To say that it looks the same isn't really correct however... the color scheme, some of the open ceiling areas, and some of the carpeting has been updated to look more modern. I preferred the old look. :(

Thu Jun 30, 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I knew there was no way it looked exactly the same today. :)

Fri Jul 01, 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hey this is a great Blog! I often think of the old Malls from my childhood days.I also grew up in the 70's.

I remember staring in wonder at the bird cages at Westland Mall. I remember riding the wrought iron elevator up to the Hudsons restraunt. My Nana would take me there for lunch. It was always a special occasion.

Wonderland Mall used to be super cool also. All the fountains and bridges. The big Monkey cages. I still remember the stench! LOL!

I also remember the fun to be had at Fairlane Mall in Dearborn. They had the ice rink and the monorail that we would ride to the hotel and back. My Aunt would take us there.

Re-reading all this makes me think perhaps I spent to much time in Malls? lol!

Sun Aug 14, 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous ben said...

I was a student at Radcliff Jr. high in Garden City and shopped at the mall the first week it opened.
In the fall of 1966 my parents took my younger brother to see Santa land in a helicopter in the mall parking lot. thanks for the great pictures and memories they brought back.

Tue Oct 04, 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous South Livonia Girl said...

Hey Gary, sorry Raimi's was a window treatment store or back then a place to buy curtains. My mom shopped there.

I remember the butcher shop. They used to sell chocolate covered ants!

I lived in walking distance too!

Sat Nov 19, 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I though I was the only one to hang on to strange memories of the past. I too recall the monkey cages of the once "outdoor" wonderland mall. And westland mall, well, as a child i was there alot..i remember the butcher shop "ALexander & Hoernung" where we found import german chocolate, and the toy section in the basement of Kresge. The mall looks nothing like it did back then and everytime im there it almost brings a tear that something can change so drastically in such a short amount of time, seems like so many things from that era are slowly light specials, Franks nursery, Perry drugs, redbell schools- maybe im just in serious denial that im getting older!

Mon Nov 28, 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith. I love this photo, thanks. I moved away from Michigan when I was a young kid, but my best memories involved this mall. Thank you!

Thu Dec 01, 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was specifically searching for photos of this mall! I grew up in Westland (now in Texas / Northpark does look the same by the way) and seeing these pictures is such a trip! I've always had blurry memories of the interior but this has brought a lot back to me. I remember in the lower level there was a record store but I can't remember its name. Hope to see more of Westland Center. The Quo Vadis movie theater was across the street. The theater was designed by the same guy who designed the World Trade Center.

Thu Aug 31, 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remember the kiddie rides at Wonderland Mall, and dime day Wednesday? I remember them being there all summer ~ my mom claims that's a distorted childhood memory.

Tilt-A-Whirl, Boats, Helicopters, the TRAIN, and of course the Merry-Go-Round and Ferris Wheel.

Anyone else remember? PLEEZE!

Mon Sep 04, 01:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember there was a octagonal aquarium in the main corridor that always had a greenish hue to it. My brother and I used to compete to be the first to find the catfish. I remember it being so huge to my young eyes. Most major changes were made in the early to mid 80's and they went crazy with popcorn stucco, added the basement Emporium etc. These photos bring a tear to my eye... you'll never see that kind of open space again. Take note of white tree of lights obscured by the stairway. Only one is visible, but there were rows of them along the sides. Simply beautiful!

Tue Mar 13, 01:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the original Westland Mall - it looked like the Krell from Forbidden Planet designed it. There was a massive "sculpture" opposite that glass elevator consisting of 3 or 4 giant elongated metal "points", all delicately balanced and higned so they were in constant, subtle motion. That was gone the last time I saw the poos place. And that elevator! My brother and I used to ride that just for the fun of it! Thanks for sharing!

Thu Jun 28, 06:11:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know one of the men who designed this mall, his name is McClune. He told me that this mall almost was not built because a rep from Hudsons could see the Detroit skyline from the site. He feared that it was to close to the downtown store.

Tue Sep 23, 07:43:00 AM  
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Blogger Pete S. said...

Designed by Victor Gruen. Technically he was the architect of record on Twelve Oaks, but the vast majority of the design there was done by another architect, Richard Prince, Jr.

That might explain why Westland and Twelve Oaks have absolutely nothing in common. So sad to hear about the Hudson and restaurant closing. It seems the ownership has their hands tied too as Macy's owns that building and apparently has no plans for it.

Sat Sep 30, 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a distorted childhood memory! Out front along Plymouth Road by the Red Barn restaurant.

Thu Oct 19, 09:36:00 PM  

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