Vintage photos of lost Shopping Malls of the '50s, '60s & '70s
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Cumberland's current website.
posted by Keith @ 9/28/2005
From the website:"Cumberland Mall, the first enclosed mall in metro Atlanta, when it opened in 1973, will undergo a $65 million redevelopment project over the next 18 months, the structural equivalent of an extreme makeover."They're planning to stay open! The circular balconies in the old pic are the kind of things that are "burned" into children's minds, and they never forget.
I was thrilled to see this one as I grew up in metro-Atlanta. This mall was one of my favorites as a teenager and I even spent some time working there in the mid-90's. I think this particular pic is from the center court where Macy's and Rich's faced each other and there was a glass elevator over the fountain in the center. What a great picture!
I also enjoyed Cumberland Mall growing up in the 'burbs of Atlanta, Today there's a starbucks / Hagen Das in the middle of the court that's shown in this picture. I think it looks better with the plants :)
It looks so futuristic. Or at least what they thought the future looked like in the 70s. So much better than the character-less malls today.
I am so glad that you finally put a picture of Cumberland Mall up! I remember when they opened the mall local 'experts' feared that it would suffer some sort of collapse because of sub-standard soil. Whatever...it is still standing 30-something years later.This is indeed the center of the mall. In the foreground is the elevator that was actually open and surrounded by plants. The colorful structure at top center was an open pad, that you climbed spiral stairs to reach, which had seats around it's quatre-foil shape. What isn't apparent in the picture is that the little vertical slats in the concrete pillars were actually filled in with plexiglass and water cascaded down them into the pool at the base. The pool surrounded the entire center court and was crisscrossed by bridges that connected and went into and around these pillar-like fountain structures. It really was something to see...very Logan's Run likeAs an aside, isn't it interesting that virtually every mall tried, at opening, to claim the title of 'first' or 'biggest' or something!. They all had to establish some type of supremacy over the other malls in the area..
Definitely Cumberland of the 70's ...we'd visit Atlanta to see relatives and I always loved the cool blue DAVISON'S logo (before being "macy'ed") ...Cumberland was big ...went there last year with my kids and was surprised it seemed so much smaller than it was 30 years ago. We used to go to Perimeter (very upscale even then)when it was smaller than today and Northlake. Anyone remember that place??
I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt the old 70s Cumberland looked very Logan's Run-esque. I spent many teenage years in the '80s in the Gold Mine arcade in Cumberland.I miss that central pillar with the seating saucer area up top. Bring it back, Cumberland!
Cool! Where did you find that great photo of the central fountain? More please! Great memories - I can almost hear an Abba song coming from the Franklins music upstairs. It was a big deal to go to Cumberland when it first opened. I was in 5th grade and the fountain area was my favorite. It had several 'secret' landings with waterfalls that my Mom and I would sit at to eat our Chick-Fil-A's. A mall was the only place to get them back then.
That pic nearly brought tears to my eyes!!!! How I've LONGED to see that again...and the Davison's sign. The center court was even more fantastic than I remembered it as a kid. It was in fact frightening to me and filled my dreams. The elevator door was typical 70's brown making the whole arrangement seem almost sinister, but the whole thing just seemed impossibly complicated. In 1989 they stripped that fabulous fountain, walkways and centerpiece away for a chinsy little elevator and plain center court. A Starbucks replaced that showpiece fountain. I would give ANYTHING to go back and see that the way it was again. It was hard enough when they demolished the old Davison's and converted Rich's to Macy's this past year. The major loss in the 1989 renovation was that the showpiece of Georgia suddenly looked so small and bland :( I hate them for what they did to my childhood mall.
Cumberland Mall is where I bought tickets to see Donna Summer in concert in 1978. I bought the tickets at the huge Rich's store. During the early to mid 80's Cumberland was one of Rich's highest selling volume stores along with Lenox, Perimeter, Brookwood Village in Birmingham, AL and Northlake.
We used to get drug to the mall, but loved hanging out at the Gold Mine. I hate to think about how much money I spent there. Hard to believe it is now just a cookie cutter store box with none of the character it had when I was a kid.
I used to play in that round balcony as a child in the late 1970s. That picture brought back so many happy memories, including one of the old Ruby Tuesday there where my dad used to take me for Shirley Temples on the bridge overlooking the mall (another vintage mall icon you no longer see).
Wow! I worked there in the 80's at Record Bar. That Mall definitely had character - it sure doesn't now. (sigh)
I have happy memories of going to this mall when I was a kid. It was such a treat to go to the mall at that age, and Cumberland still stands in my mind as the "best" mall, and the renovation it went through a few years ago makes it look like every other mall in Atlanta. I remember the fountains and elevators distinctly, and it's nice to be brought back. If you find more photos, please post them.Maybe it's being an adult, but it's boring to go to the mall these days. They're all the same. I would love to find a list of malls that haven't been renovated just to be able to walk around and take in all in before it's destroyed or brought up to date.
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I know this is an old blog, but I just had to put my 2 cents in..i worked at Davison's, helped stock the store and was there opening day, July 23rd 1973... I miss that place and Davison's, who gave me great opportunities to 'move up' the ladder, they were a very good store to work for back then, I remember when I started out, I worked in the handbag/costume jewelry area on the bottom level right at the 'waterfall'..on slow/dead days i'd stare at it and just listen to the water-once I was standing so still a customer came up and rubbed the material on my sleeve,when I turned to look at her, she screamed, she thought I was a mannequin! it was so funny . ..Cumberland Mall itself Officially opened on August 8th, 1973..even though some of the stores had already opened for business..they had the little old lady there that had owned all that property before the developers purchased it from her, it was her old farm land, her hubby was gone and she was in a wheelchair, but very proud of the new mall and she gave a great little speech.. some really GREAT memories... glad I stumbled on this blog!
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