Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Winter Park Mall

Winter Park, Florida - circa 1960

Just have time to pop in here for a sec, guys, but I thought this postcard would be appropriate for today. Also wanted to wish everyone a happy (and safe) 4th of July!!! Hope you're all enjoying the holiday!

Me? I'm off to eat some steak now and watch things go BOOM and stuff, but I'll be posting more retro mall goodness later, fear not. Later taters! :)

Mall history: 1950's - late '90s
Current website: here
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3


Blogger Steven Swain said...

Cool towers! I see a Walgreens and a Woolworths too.

Have fun tonight. My "July 4th" was actually on the 2nd. We had to work on the 3rd, so I'm taking today to recover from all that.

Tue Jul 04, 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger arfnotz said...

This got bulldozed a few years ago, and is now a very successful "town center" sort of place with a 20 screen cinema, a half dozen decent restaurants, and a few shops. The entry road is actually named "Gay Road," complete with a large glowing green street sign.

Wed Jul 05, 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Ahhh, instant town center. Just add people.

Wed Jul 05, 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 80's this was the preppy mall, Winter Park is listed in the "Official Preppy Handbook" as one of the most preppy towns in the united states and also sets some record for the most millionaires.

Wed Jul 05, 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think anyone ever sent this postcard? You can barely see the mall. What would you say on the back? Having fun looking at the pavement, wish you were here!

Wed Jul 05, 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

LOL! Good point, Anonymous #2. Surprisingly, there are even worse "far out" shots here if ya dig around a bit! I can see aerials, yes, but these shots from way out across the parking lot from weird, low angles that don't really flatter a mall (or show much of it!), always leave me scratching my head a bit.

Anyway, thanks, all, for the added info here! Good stuff. Have to say, though, when I was little, all the kids I grew up with would have had an absolute field-day with that "Gay Road" thing. lol. 'Course, I'm much too mature for any of those silly, childish jokes now (hehehe). Ahem...

"Ahhh, instant town center. Just add people." Well said, Scott. Sad but true.

Wed Jul 05, 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

It may not seem to make much sense today, but in its earliest days, one of the biggest allures of the mall was that it had free parking, and lots of it. The easy parking was part of what made the mall different from downtown.

I suspect the owners of Winter Park may have wanted this shot for its postcards so that out-of-towners could marvel at how much parking it had! Of course, it takes a lot more than free parking to make people go to a mall these days. Big box stores and "town center" type malls have parking lots too.

Wed Jul 05, 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Good point, Mitch. Postcards showing off the parking lot more than the mall itself, and on purpose, (again, there are even better examples of this elsewhere here), would probably have never occurred to me! :D

You're probably right--might have simply been a sign of the times. Makes sense when you look at it that way.

Wed Jul 05, 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger todd said...

Same here.... we live in Timisoara, Romania and "acres of free parking" (or maybe I sould say "hectars of free parking!!")is a huge draw. Parking here is cramped, hard to find and often expensive, so I understand the parking deal. So often I see that things here resemble things in the States in the 60's. This is another one of those things. Huge parking lots (a staple of American retailing) are a new idea here.

Thu Jul 06, 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cora said...

The whole composition and perspective of this shot is so strange that you wonder if someone didn't tinker with it. Take that oddly shaped (and apparently huge) tree on the left for example. Or the flag, which is somehow placed perfectly between those two column thingies at the entrance. And the flag looks huge, too, due to the perspective. Though I huge American flag is appropriate for 4th of July.

Fri Jul 07, 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ShopGeek said...

Oh wow man, thanks for this.

The problem with the Orlando metropolitan area is that all of that none of its malls date back further than the 80s.

If the Winter Park Village is any kind of example of what the towne/lifestyle centers can be than color me unimpressed. It should be noted that the Border's and one or two of the restaurants are in the parking lot and not attached to the center.

I don't understand the location for this towne centre really since Orlando's real hip outdoor shopping district is just down the street (also located in Winter Park). The shops and restaurants there were opened in the preexisting buildings which I assume were apartments or townhouse's, on a beautiful tree shaded street.

This towne centre is happening if not hip, which means they could have made this mall popular again if they had tried. Sure it was small, but it isn't like there are any other classic pre-80s malls in town that would show it up. It's too bad they couldn't have salvaged at least part of the building.

Whatever people think of this type of architecture nowadays, you have to admit that it very distinctly represents the place and time in which it was built. All this Spanish colonial and other more classic styles are just really generic by comparison. Mall designs from the 50s/60s on to the modern day have pushed architecture forward, they didn't just mimic what has been done for hundreds of years.

But alas, the day of the space age shopping center seems to have come to an end, at least as far as new centers are concerned. Except in China.

And oh yeah, there is no parking space in the new towne centre!


Sat Jul 08, 02:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shopgeek,

My grandmother used to take me shopping for my birthday here back in the mid 70's. I remember there being a cool toy store or Woolworths(McCrorys maybe). Fill me in. Yes, its to bad all the malls have been torn down(colonial) or renovated with no kitch value left. My email is trek222@verizon.net if you want to chat about old Orlando.


Mon Jul 10, 08:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They did manage to salvage the former Dillards store and turned it into lofts with a bunch of ground floor retail, including a Cheesecake Factory.

Mon Jul 10, 08:53:00 PM  

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