Monday, December 19, 2005

Macon Mall


Macon, Georgia - '70s or '80s

I'm not really sure exactly yet which mall this JCPenney shot is from, but I know it was taken at a Macon, Georgia shopping mall at any rate. And that it's swanky-cool looking!

UPDATE: I've adjusted the date here (it's not from the '60s as I first posted), and I now know it's the Macon Mall. Thanks for the help, guys!



30 Comments:

Blogger Cora said...

I love the ceiling with its many lightbulbs. It must have been hell to maintain, but it looks really cool.

Mon Dec 19, 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

That picture's from at least 1975, and it was taken inside Macon Mall. The circa '71 logo gives it away.

Mon Dec 19, 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The JC Penney photo from a Macon, Georgia mall looks more 1970's to 1980's.

Mon Dec 19, 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

This pic still looks cool, even 'if' this Penney location isn't the vintage 'Penneys' we're used to seeing. JCPenney really started taking hold of the malls in the 1970s-1980s anyways, so the "JCPenney' insigna is/was more common then as it is now, than the older 'Penneys', or 'J. C. Penney Co.' types, I seen in past postings on this blog.

Actually my eyes caught the ceiling of the mall first. Neato, but I wouldn't want to be the one up there changing maintaining the lights. Yikes!

I was just in Madison WI today. West Towne (1970, Enclosed), East Towne (1971, Enclosed) and South Towne (1981, Enclosed originally, big-boxed in 2001), plus Westgate (1960, opened as a strip, enclosed in the mid '70s). The JCPenney stores at E. and W. Towne are of vintage appearance yet to this day, though the display windows and signage have been altered or removed.

Mon Dec 19, 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Yep! I SOOO knew in my gut this was probably more recent than the '60s (as it was marked)! Dang, I shoulda' went with my instinct on it. Sorry guys. Oh well, I'm gonna break a few eggs once in a while. :)

Anyway, thanks all, for the date correction and the mall name. I'll update the entry when I'm done with this message (I'll give it a wide date-swath this time to cover my bases! heh).

But yeah, either way, I love the shot, too, so it's all good I guess.

Tue Dec 20, 01:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Keith,
Great site. Stumbled upon it Goggling something entirely different. Great premise. Great photos. There is something about obsolte shopping mall decor that has a really odd appeal- but I certainly know I'm not alone in this. Def linking to my blog.
Nice work!

Wed Dec 21, 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaaargh. I got dragged to that mall a few years ago while my wife and I were visiting some of her friends. I could swear the light bulb lined ceilings are gone. However, I do like the oddball fact that to get from one side of the mall to the other, you have to walk through the JC Penny. Seriously. It's in the middle of the building.- Patrick Dean

Tue Dec 27, 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger todd said...

I was there once, a few years ago, on the way to Orlando ....we stopped to eat. All I remember was that you do walk through JCPenney to get to the rest of the mall, and a food court where my kids could run around and we could all eat what we wanted.

Fri Dec 30, 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Peach up in Easton, PA said...

I used to work for JCPenney Co years ago and they switched from the "Penney's" to the "JCPenney" logo in the mid 70s, I think for a new "look" for the Bicentennial era. I am positive it was changed by 1977 at the very latest, at least up north here.
MACON ROCKS!!!!
Former homebase of The Allman Brothers Band!!!!!
A Peachhead forever.......

Sun Jan 15, 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to college near Macon. I'm pretty sure the mall was built in the mid to late 70's. This looks like an early shot. The mall was remodeled in the 1980's. Many sky-lights were added, light-colored tile, and pastel paint, etc.

Tue Feb 21, 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm...yea..I have to agree with the last anonymous blog. I go to school at Mercer University and have visited the mall on a few occassions and must say that if the light bulbs are still there I have yet to notice them. They have however put up sky lights, etc. as anonymous said. Overall though, it's not a bad mall...and yes, Penney's is still in the center... :o)

Fri Mar 17, 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous R Weissinger said...

I am a native of Macon, and I can remember my first trip to the Macon Mall. My older sister (who was 6 at the time) got separated from us on that first visit. I believe we were in the Sears store. Just to set the record straight, the initial anchors were Sears, J C Penney, Belk-Mathews, and Davison's (which later became Macy's, then Federated started the shenanigans with Rich's and Macy's and Rich's-Macy's, so I'm not sure which they call it now). Anyway, J C Penney was originally on the opposite end from Sears, but when the mall was expanded in the 90's they decided to add on to the other side of Penney's. A pretty strange concept, but it has probably benefitted Penneys. As a result of this unusual layout, some retailers have two separate stores in the mall, one on the Dillard's side of Penney's and the other on the Sears side. That's a great picture! Thanks for letting me reminisce.

Wed May 03, 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Chad Gibbs said...

I'm from Macon and, WOW, this photo brought me back to my childhood! As a small child, my mom shopped relentlessly and drug me along with her. I remember when the mall looked this way. It has changed several times since, but it did look nice back then!

Mon May 15, 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Macon and remember the look. I think the mall opened in 75.

Sun May 28, 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I was just in this mall about 5 days ago! HAHA. Got some really great sales there too.

Sat Jul 22, 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish there were more pics from the 70's amd 80's I remeber there used to be a real train restarant inside of the mall when I was a small girl also there was a partial third floor with some type of foof stand. If anyone has more vintage Macon Mall or Westgate Mall photos I would really love to see them.

Fri Aug 11, 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the Macon Mall opening when I was a child and it was the weekend hangout for us when we were too young to drive. McCrory's used to be to the right of JCPenny's, but it has since been converted into a food court wing of the mall with a large carousel at the end. I remember that when the mall opened the carpet was brown with large squares with a darker brown "M" in it. I remember the train restaurant. I also remember the partial third floor. It was an open area with tables to eat at. On the weekend a lot of teenagers hung out up there and it got pretty rowdy. That's probably one of the reasons they did away with it. The first Chick-Fil-A in Macon was in the mall.

Mon Aug 21, 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Daniel Dod said...

I still describe the "old" Macon Mall to my friends as it was a great design to me: the brown tones, the third-floor in the middle area (as mentioned above), the train restaurant, the old Macon Mall logo of four M's. I was particularly interested in the stairs at the ends of the mall. You can see the stairs there on the left side of the photo. They would spiral around those angled walls there and orange lights would illuminate it from the middle. Then around the stairs would be calyx-type fountains. I recall the stairs to the third-floor would be an optical illusion since they were parallelograms; it would seem that the stairs were leaning or moving off to the side. The whole interior of the mall was redone in the late 80s, and it was never as appealing to me.

Wed Aug 23, 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger KAT said...

Hello
I loved going to Macon Mall. In high school and especially college I would see someone I knew. Mercer kids loved to spend time there in the Eighties.

My sister worked at Sears in the kitchen section on Third St when her store moved to the mall. She took us on a tour of the facility on opening day.

The elevator was smack in the middle of the mall and looked like the unit on "The Towering Inferno". There were two bookstores- Walden and B.Dalton. McDonald's was delayed for a year. I remember that Metropolitan Life was unhappy with Macon Mall's logo of 4 M's made into a cross. The carpet was changed out in the early Eighties.

Baskin-Robbins and Dipper Dan Ice Cream were near Sears. There was a shirt shop by the present Food Court and Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor was where Ruby Tuesday's is. It sold candy in addition to providing ice cream etc. It closed in the late Seventies.

Sears and JCPenney's had restaurants which went away by the end of the Seventies. Davidson's had a restaurant which lasted not even that long. Shoney's was on the upper level near the Post Office.

There was a Pappagallo (sic) and Casual Corner clothing store and a Body Shop clothing store which smelled like tires. In fact it had tires in it as part of its themeSteven's (later Kiralfy-Goldman) was near the Center Court.

One of my favorite places was an outdoors store on the lower level facing either Sears or Penney's court.

In 1993 or 4 a man crashed his vehicle into Sears' upper level and held hostages in the Briar Patch (house decor store near Sears, lower level). He later killed himself.

Today the mall is in danger of losing two of its anchors. It may end up in Deadmalls.com given another five years. At night nobody but hoodlums and bottom feeders go there. A new strip-type facility is being built north of Macon on Interstate 75.

The Macon Mall was built butt-up against a deteriorating neighborhood- almost like Regency Mall in Augusta. However the other sides of the mall were halfway decent neighborhoods. Today nothing in the city limits of Macon except part of North Macon is fit to live in.

I can see if I can scan pictures from my sis' old Southwest High annual. It has shots of Westgate Mall (ripped down in 1994 or so).

Sun Sep 24, 04:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, you said it. No part of Macon is fit to live in! I still have family there (they live in N. Bibb County). I too remember the mall of old. What memeories!!!!

Tue Mar 06, 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked as a part time receptionist in the Macon Mall's main office in 2005 and I can tell you for sure that it opened in 1975. While I worked there, they celebrated the mall's 30th anniversary and my boss, Carol Fouraker, had worked there since it first opened. The mall was bought out by Prime Realty while I worked there and Carol ended up retiring to work from home. Prime decided to cut back on office staff to save money and I was laid off along with several others, including some in management, who lost their jobs. The mall was already starting to struggle with closed stores and gang violence and I really felt at that time that the buyout and the changes they came in and made immediately would only hurt the mall in the worst way. I was right. Prime had no idea what they were dealing with in my opinion. My son worked as a security guard during the time that I worked there and there was a very bloody, violent incident on his first day there. A woman got into a fight with two girls about 15 years old and she cut them both up with a box cutter. She cut a huge Z in one girl's back. It was horrible. Another evening he called about 7 pm and told me that they had closed the mall because they had 2 huge fights within just a few minutes and the only thing they could do to get it under control was to close the mall completely down for the rest of the day. Most recently, someone used a cellphone to capture video of an apparent gang fight in the food court. Actually, most of the fighting does seem to take place in the food court because the gangs and kids come in and hang out there with the pretense of eating. I really think it is sad what is happening to the mall. I grew up in Macon and remember when it first opened. My mother and I spent many a day at the mall and I have happy memories of the way it used to be. Now, my mother is 86 and she lives with me. I have done my best to discourage her visiting the mall without me (she still drives). They have had car jackings and muggings this year in the parking lot and I'm afraid something might happen to her. I also remember the Westgate mall and I don't want to see the Macon Mall go down the tubes like that one did. I remember when I was like 4, around 1968, when my mom took me to Westgate mall to see Flipper. He was in a huge tank of water and if I remember correctly, they had him perform for us. I now live in Warner Robins and do most of my shopping at the Galleria mall but it can't hold a candle next to the Macon Mall I remember. Save the Macon Mall!!!

Sun Nov 18, 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger KAT said...

It's a shame- though I think age changes our attitudes- that Macon isn't what it was when I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties.

The mall now has a Steve and Barry's which is a cheap teenybop clothing store. I always say that if you see one in Heaven you either went to the wrong place or God sold it and moved down the street.

I see little hope for the mall given current events. Tourists won't sustain it. The best hope is to bulldoze it and make it a lifestyle center.

The Galleria in Centerville isn't too far behind; it has a few good shops but isn't very appetizing. It mostly caters to the bottom feeders. I do love shopping at Belk's and Penney's. I like going indoors to get a haircut. But that's it.

Mon Jan 21, 02:24:00 AM  
Blogger novobonbon said...

I have MANY wonderful childhood Macon Mall memories from the late 70's and 80's. If anybody has pictures of Circus World, Noah's Arcade, or any other "obscure vintage" Macon Mall shots please share them with us. Thanks, Midas Wilder (aka Cheaptoyman)

Sun Mar 30, 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey just letting you know this is the macon mall from the 70's the mall was remodeled in late 80's i know lol i shop there and my mom worked in the mall in 70's so has my dad

Tue Sep 16, 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived near Macon 15 years and I wish it looked anything like this picture. I was just there this past weekend and it's a mess. Many of the stores are gone and the ones that are left aren't that great. Even the 'good' stores like Macy's and Dillard's don't have the selection and quality they do in other cities. And now there is an email going around telling white women not to go to the mall because there is a gang whose initiation requires them to shoot a white lady. Granted, the local news station is calling it a hoax, but the fact that people thought there might be enough truth to it for it to circulate (I've gotten it from two different sources today) lets you know what kind of shape the mall is in now....
Oh, to go back to the times of this picture. It sure looks better than present day Macon Mall.........

Tue Sep 16, 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the mall opened in 1975...was remodeled and food court added in 1985..later expanded in late 80's..I managed the mall in mid 80's and hired Mrs. Fouraker in 1985,a very capable administrator and accountant.....even in the mid 80's it was a battle to keep the mall viable because of the walk in traffic from surrounding neighborhoods which were deteriorating at the time...the picture with the lightbulbs was taken prior to remodel in mid-80's...

Tue Oct 14, 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

Ah, the Macon Mall! I really hope someone can get in there and save it - the new "open air" outdoor mall in North Bibb County is kind of out of the way. I'd hate to be shopping there when it rains!

I miss the way the Macon Mall used to be, before the big pastel/skylighted remodel of the late 80's. I remember going to Tiffany's bakery with my mom to get cookies. I went to some store called Bojangles (sp.?) when I was 5 to get my ears pierced. Chick Fil A wasn't even in the actual food court, it was over by Sears, and so was McDonald's.

I remember thinking it was so retarded when they expanded it out through JC Penney in the 90's! We always referred to the different sides of the mall as the New part and the Old part, and I worked at The Icing, in the New part of the mall. People would come that were from out of town and ask us if that was all there was to the mall, then be confused when we'd tell them "walk through JC Penney".

I remember playing games at Aladdin's Castle arcade - that was in the food court, along with Long John Silvers, Arby's, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. They closed Aladdin's and re-did the food court so it would take up both levels. They gradually got rid of most of the regular fast food chain places and replaced them with places like Atlanta Bread Co., Hovan, Sbarro, and Bourbon St. Grill. I think even most of that is closed now.

A lot of places are owned by Middle Eastern people (including my beloved Tiffany's bakery). The places I grew up with, like the Briar Patch, 5-7-9, Gadzooks, the Body Shop, etc are long gone. There's so much empty space there! The space that isn't empty is occupied by a ton of urban wear stores. Dillard's is closing. KB Toys is closing.

We as a city need to save our mall! It doesn't have to die! The new Shoppes at River Crossing is mostly high price stores, the Galleria in nearby Warner Robins is cute and all, but is definitely not a good substitute - we need this mall!

Fri Dec 26, 10:04:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born in Macon, GA and grew up there in the 70s and 80s. The Macon Mall opened in the mid-70s ('75, '76, or '77... '78 at the very latest). That shot is definitely from the mid - late 80s. In the 70s, and early 80s, the floors were carpeted with a pattern carpet that had four "M"s facing each other at the bottom to where the "legs" of the Ms all touched to form a square. There were different colors of this carpet in different sections of the mall that matched the directory. The tile was installed during an "upgrade" to the mall sometime in the later part of the early 80s (apx. 82 or 83).

Mon Oct 19, 11:20:00 AM  

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