Sunday, January 22, 2006

Edison Mall

Fort Myers, Florida - 1960's

Loverly old shot of the Edison Mall, bathed in that wonderful incandescent and neon glow of a shopping mall! Looks pretty inviting to me.

Woolworth's storefront zoom detail.

Above is some magnified detail of that cool looking Woolworth's window. Check it--you can make out the mannequins, shoe displays, clocks, and
everything in the backround! We can almost walk right into the picture now. :)

Simon-owned mall is still there today. Their website is right here. Of course, like pretty much every mall in the nation these days, it's currently undergoing renovations (for probably the umpteenth time since the '80s or '90s I'd wager). Oh well. Progress, huh? What is it good for?...


Anonymous Matt said...

I can just smell that "5-and-dime variety store mixed in with the food from the red lunch counter" scent now, flowing into that classic late 60s/early 70s concourse as I walk by there in my mind. I swear I heard the faint sound of classic Muzak too. Great shot.

This is another great example of what the word 'mall' meant in the era. Nice subdued fluorescent lighting with a low ceiling clearance, with a consistant storefront design, giving things this straight-lined/boxy (perhaps, cold), yet cozy feeling.

Sun Jan 22, 11:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inviting...maybe not, interesting...definately. It looks like they stuck alot of shops in an undercover parking lot (in the kindest way possible). Its funny us all getting excited at these malls, while to people then they were so mundane...much like we call malls today, 'generic' and 'boring'. Perhaps we should start taking photos of shopping malls for an era when they become rare...

Mon Jan 23, 06:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ican still smell my eg sald sandwish mother use to buy me for lunch in that old 5 and dime, some 55 years ago.

Mon Jan 23, 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Being reminded of the Woolworths that I think existed at the Woodville Mall near Toledo. Hardly ever been to that mall much in my lifetime, but it used to have that "classic" look I didn't see at other malls.

Mon Jan 23, 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I know this mall that you have a photo of like the back of my hand. Where that Woolworths in the picture is is Now an Aeropostale a Footlocker and an express for men and women and part of a New york in company as well. This woolworths was so large its now four stores. But beleive it or not this mall has changed very little even through the renovations of the past it added a new wing in the 80s and now is being renovated again in 2006 as we speak. The entire front of this mall is a construction zone and they will soon be renovating the exsiting interior but this old mall is still kicking and still has an enormous amount of patrons. Pretty amazing isn't it.

Sun Feb 12, 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too know this mall, in fact I worked there in the early 1990s. As the earlier post said, the section of this mall shown in the postcard is still there. The Woolworth was there until the chain folded in the 1990s ... I remember the going out of business sale. The Anchors of the original section (shown) were Sears at the opposite end, Maas Brothers in the middle, and JC Penney's right behind where the picture was taken. A new wing was built in the 80s with Burdines (now Macy's) and Dillards as the anchors. Interestingly, when Burdines took over Maas Brothers in the 1990s, they kept both stores in the Mall, so there were actually two Burdines Anchors.

Sat Jun 03, 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous John Ruskin said...

Anonymous' comment about Woolworths was there until they folded, (which was the the case at malls near me too), brings up the question; If the chain survived, would they still have mall locations, or would they be forced out by mall managment or market trends.
As a guy I find the lack of a well rounded store selection at the mall disturbing. 90% of the stores are womens clothing or jewelry. Yes women shop more, and while I will look at dresses with my wife, me and the rest of the many guys that are there need more stores.
There is no hobby store in South Hills Village, the drug store left in early 1990s, the florist left a bit later, and the vintage 1960s bank moved to a new outparcel and the mall location became another jewelry store.

Fri Feb 23, 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous John Ruskin said...

Anonymous' comment that Woolworths was there until they folded, (as was the case at malls near me), begs the question; If the chain survived, would they still have mall locations, or would they be forced out by mall managment or market forces?
As a guy, the lack of stores that men like keeps me away from the mall. Its all womens clothing and jewelry shops. While I will look at dresses with my wife, what is there for me and the many other men I see when I am at the mall?
On a happier note, I love the vintage malls and shopping centers, the mosaic tile and quirky light fixtures at the malls, and the huge neon signs for the centers especially.

Fri Feb 23, 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous John Ruskin said...

Sorry for the double comments. I clicked "publish" and got sent to an error page, so I reposted.

Fri Feb 23, 10:45:00 AM  
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Wed Nov 23, 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Leah said...

Hey Keith,

I work for the Edison Mall and we would love to use your photos for our website. Could you please email me at Thanks!

Fri Dec 01, 04:46:00 PM  

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