Thursday, April 13, 2006

Colonial Plaza Mall


Orlando, Florida - 1960's

The Mall and beautiful fountain at the Colonial Plaza Shopping Center. "The Air-conditioned Mall with a Tropi-Colonial Setting", as they boasted.

Mall history: 1955 - 1995



21 Comments:

Blogger steffi said...

I like the idea of the "tropi-Colonial" atmosphere...trying to bring the North and South together. ;)

Thu Apr 13, 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a womans clothing store in this mall(clothes for large women)called Ednas. When I was about 14 my friend and I were being obnoxious and we walked in the store and said we wanted to speak to "Edna". A very large woman in a hot pink polyester shirt said in a very loud voice "I'm Edna" and we ran out.

Thu Apr 13, 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Must've scared you then 'anonymous', but now it's just one of those memories you can look back on and laugh at.

This is something I noticed about older malls, and I have seen it in person at several malls here in Wisconsin. To let natural light in back then, usually the 'skylights' (if they could even be called that), were on the perimeter of the raised roof as windows like in this image, rather than the 'rooftop' skylights one would find starting in the early /mid 1970s onward.

I personally felt side windows near the ceiling did a better job letting just the right amount of natural light in from outside, rather than true skylights. I do not like it when I walk from a dark spot of the concourse, only to be blasted with the bright sunlight beaming down from the ceiling. Not easy on the eyes, that's for sure.

Just one of those things I noticed in classic mall architecture that I miss.

Thu Apr 13, 06:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed then also but not until I was very far away from "Ednas"

Fri Apr 14, 05:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody know designed/built this mall. I know it was built around 1960. It was the first mall in Orlando.

Fri Apr 14, 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

steffi: I liked that term as well! :)

Anonymous: Thanks for the Edna story! LOL!

Matt: Excellent point about the skylights! I've noticed that, too, but never really stopped to actually think about it much. I definitely am always a big fan of more indirect, diffused lighting!

Mon Apr 17, 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Colonial Plaza is another one of many malls I'ved worked at and have seen several here. I worked at the Woolworth's snack bar in the mid 70's. I never saw it before it was a mall, would love to see it today. That place sure has been through the changes!

Sat Apr 22, 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sue,

Can you email me? I'm thinking about starting a mall zine and I would love to hear some of your mall stories. I grew up near Orlando and really miss the "fern bar" look of fashion square, its long gone

Todd
trek222@verizon.net

Tue Apr 25, 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this mall from when I was a kid. When the the preppy look was really hot in about 1981 they had a stationary store that sold tons of preppy alligator stuff, everything from the preppy handbook to preppy bags, pencils, pens, shirts, you name it.

Thu Apr 27, 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt I just have to say I totally agree with you. I've noticed that too in newer malls, how you the whole ceiling is a huge dome of glass. It may be impressive, if they're going for that "atmospheric" look, but it is absolutely blinding.

Fri Jun 09, 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having grown up in Orlando, I went to Colonial Plaza with my parents as a kid. They shopped religiously at Jordan Marsh, buying everything from clothing to housewares. The manager could have retired just off their purchases alone!

We also ate at Ronnie's the restaurant located at the front. It was a shame that it closed, too bad it couldn't have been relocated.

As an adult, I shopped there myself at some of the stores. I had two friends who worked at Belk's during the early 90s.

Neat to see that there are others who remember this mall, who knows maybe we were there at the same time!

BTW, Happy New Year to all!

Fri Jan 02, 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger DanceLeen said...

My friends and I were trying to think of the name of the department store that was not attached to the mall but stood where the former Just For Feet and currently the Total Wine store is now. I'm not sure if it was a chain, but I loved going there. Seems it had a Florida feel to it. Any ideas?

I used to take my little ones to this mall to visit Santa as it was less crowded.

Fri Jan 30, 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

danceleen, the freestanding store was originally a JByrons.

Mon Jul 20, 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Al said...

I took high school music lessons in mall probably around 1986-89?

I think just to the right where this picture was taken.

Tue Sep 28, 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeans said...

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Sat Oct 02, 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the store not in the mall was called O.G. Wilson's

Wed Aug 31, 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colonial Plaza Mall!Saturday shopping!Pants USA,Plaza News,Spencer Gifts,Walden Book Store,Toy King,Woolworth's,Record Mart(Front of the mall)Denmark Sporting Goods! Movies at the Plaza Theater! Ahh the memories from the late 70's & early 80's!

Sun May 06, 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toy King, I think that was a small chain, one in Cocoa Beach also.

Thu Jul 12, 07:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG I Loved that Mall. I lived in Kissimmee from 1974 til 1983, and that was My Fave place to shop plus Altamonte mall.

Tue Jul 24, 03:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And "The Infinite Mushroom" around the back!

Mon Sep 17, 05:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when we were in high school we use to go to rutlands in the mall to buy our london fog wind breakers and our gant shirts

Mon Jun 22, 04:20:00 PM  

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