Thursday, June 30, 2005

Fountains of Youth (series 1)

A Study of Vintage Mall Fountains

Cinderella City Mall, Colorado

Oxford Valley Mall, Pennsylvania

The Mall, New York

Winter Park Mall, Florida

Cherry Hill Mall, New Jersey

Walt Whitman Mall, New York

Palm Beach Mall, Florida

The Mall (Pontiac), Michigan

Plymouth Meeting Mall, Pennsylvania

Monroeville Mall, Pennsylvania

Lloyd Center Mall

Portland, Oregon. 1950's

The Lloyd Center is still around today--ice rink and all. Visit their current site here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Escondido Village Mall

Escondido, California. 1960's

Some wild psychedelic colors here, and a really ambitious (and busy) lighting array! I would've loved to have seen this baby lit up in the evening. Bet it was sweet.

Sadly, this colorful mall is no more. Like so many others, it's now a strip mall. According to info on the web, it had been extensively remodeled in the 1980s, so the incredible view you see here, was probably gone after that (if not before).

When it opened in 1964, officials boasted that it was the first fully enclosed mall in the state "where you can stroll from one store to another without touching a door--or even seeing one."

Malls of America on TV!

I was very pleasantly surprised to discover yesterday (Tuesday) that this humble little blog was on the tube this week! Yep, it appeared on the G4/TechTV cable channel on Monday (why didn't anyone tell me this?), as one of the beautiful, Sarah Lane's, "Gems of the Internet" segment on the ATTACK OF THE SHOW program! I'm truly honored and jazzed about this, and want to send out a heartfelt thank-you to Sarah for digging this blog and choosing it for the show! What can I say, the girl has great taste. :)

If anyone would like to see the segment (all 30 seconds of it), it will air again next on July 3rd @11am on G4.

Thanks to everyone out there who have been passing this blog around (you know who you are). I really appreciate it! Let's continue to hang out here together, in the internet's first climate-controlled, air-conditioned blog! It's a great way to beat the summer heat!

Why shop anywhere else when the sales are a-poppin' right here!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Nanuet Mall

Nanuet, New York. '60s or '70s

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Edgewater Plaza Shopping City

Biloxi, Mississippi. 1959

Welcome to the Jet Age! I really like the bright, "modern", open-air feeling of this shot. The creamy earth tones, mixed with those wonderful colored hanging light fixtures and the complimenting birch trees (or whatever they are), really give this mall court an elegant look. Note the cool gold chalice-style fountain anchored there in the middle behind the trees, too. Nice.

Here's a closer look from another angle, of the garden and neat-o light fixtures. This photo via.

Plymouth Meeting Mall

Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Early '70s

Man, isn't she a beauty! Nice clean look and layout. Love the hanging plants on the upper floor... and that fountain! Wow. Now that is a great fountain!

And for what's it's worth, it was going on 2pm in this photo. Yes, I'm way into the details. :)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Got Boing Boinged!

...and (among several others), so that, coupled with the weekend and all, put me behind on the comments here and my sudden influx of e-mail the past couple of days. So many new visitors with wonderful post comments that I needed to respond to just now. At least I'm caught up with that part of it.

I won't get a chance to post anything new till later, and if I haven't returned your e-mail yet, please bear with me and you'll hear back soon. And above all, thanks for digging the blog, too, if you're here and digging it! :)

Till later!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Park City Mall - "Spring Mall" wing

Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Early '70s.

This is some far-out color design! And I'd love some carpet like that. Be cool to do your basement in this whole look, wouldn't it? Really groovy.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Belden Village Mall

Canton, Ohio - 1970

God, is this nice.

PS: If anyone can help identify this mall, I'd be much obliged (and I'd really like you). Update: Thanks for identifying this one, Crashlog! The next soft pretzel and coke is on me.

Ford City Shopping Center

Chicago, Illinois - 1960's

Just look at that second shot. What a beautiful, butterscotchy dream of a vintage interior! In my mind I am so!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Shopping mall bird and monkey cages

Remember these? Many shopping malls in the '60s and '70s had a really fun tradition of housing indoor Aviaries (as well as monkey cages, fish tanks, and the like), so busy shoppers and rambunctious kids could take a break and watch the cute little animals do their things--which was generally to sit really still and stare back in total boredom. But hey, to us kids these were truly magical things, these mall cages! I know no trip to Universal City Mall in Warren, Michigan (my local "homebase" mall in the 1970's) was complete without a quick stop by the huge old bird cage near the main (West) entrance. I remember feeding the birds popcorn and stuff, too, when we had some.

Most animal cages are long-gone from today's malls, though I've heard that a few around the country still carry on the tradition. Good for them, I say!

Aviary in Cherry Hill Mall, in New Jersey, circa 1960's.

Thomas Mall monkey cage in the '60s. Phoenix Arizona.

Birds (or monkeys?) in Moorestown Mall, in New Jersey. 1960's

Bird cage in Walt Whitman Mall, in Huntington Station, New York. 1960's

Chris-Town Shopping Center bird cage court in 1964. A pop art masterpiece now!

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.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Regency Square Mall

Jacksonville, Florida. 1960's

Looks like the "tetris" motif.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thomas Mall

Phoenix, Arizona. 1960's

This colorful photo really captures the tacky '60s mall vibe! A lot of shopping malls still looked like this in the '70s, too.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Lake Air Shopping Center

Waco, Texas

For some reason, I just love the inside of this mall--sparse and pukey-colored as it may look! To me it's a thing of pure beauty. Wish I were there right now, the day this photo was taken. '60s or '70s.


Unknown mall interior. I do see a Ben Franklin store over there, though! Loved those.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Park City Mall

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

This mall is still going today. Though I'm sure the interior court doesn't look near as cool as this anymore. Wonder if the fountain is still there? Many malls cover those up these days to use as event stages and whatnot, or remove them completely so they can cram even more shops and stands in the place! Forget about beauty and ambience, nowadays it's only about the almighty dollar. Nothing else matters. So sad.

Randhurst Shopping Center

Gorgeous shot of the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company department store in the Randhurst Shopping Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

I just love the multi-colored lighting along the outside! Bet it was warm and toasty in there on this cold 1960's winter night.

Southdale Shopping Center

Edina, Minnesota

Southdale Shopping Center

Edina, Minnesota

Southdale Shopping Center

Edina, Minnesota

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Attention all shoppers!

Greetings fellow members of the consumer society, and welcome to the experiment that is, MALLS OF AMERICA! A celebration of vintage shopping malls of the '60s and '70s, through pictures, words (a few anyway,) and maybe the occasional sound, too (you'll see).

As a suburban kid growing up in Madison Heights, Michigan, in the 1970's, I certainly saw the insides of our local shopping malls a lot in those days. My family, relatives, and friends all practically lived there, and it was truly a part of the very fabric of life for us back then. Consequently, I now look back very fondly on those days of my youth, being dragged around those cavernous shopping malls and department stores by Mom and Dad, gazing in wonder at all the colorful delights that passed before my young eyes like a dream. It really was like a literal wonderland to my brothers and I! And those are now some of my favorite family memories from childhood.

Nowadays, most of those great old shopping malls are either closed altogether, or at the least, updated and modernized to the point of losing almost all of the charm and character they once had years ago. Shopping malls of the '60s and '70s had an incredible vibe and excitement that they just don't have anymore. And I really miss it. The way they used to be.

So, enter this Blog! This is going to be my virtual time machine to travel back to the glorious retro days of the shopping mall! I've been obsessively collecting vintage mall photographs and postcards the past few years, from wherever I can find them--online sources like ebay and Google, have been particularly useful in this endeavor. Now it's time to share some of my collection with the world! (or at least the 3 or 4 other people out there who might also be weird enough, like me, to appreciate and love this stuff, too)

I promise, if you'll just spend some quality time with each photo, and truly enter its space in your imagination, and hear the Muzak; you'll be transported back to a wonderful, magical time and place, when life, and the world, was much simpler, and malls a whole lot cooler!

A word of warning, though... Like me, you may not want to return.

Lost in Shopper's Paradise,
Keith Milford

To see more posts, click on the monthly links
in the "Archives" section of the sidebar.