Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rogers Plaza


Wyoming, Michigan - circa 1962

Cool vintage shot capturing a little of the Montgomery Wards anchor store in Rogers Plaza mall, which is now known as the Rogers Plaza Town Center, after a major 2002 renovation/redevelopment makeover. Pretty obscure little mall, actually.

Btw, time was very short for me this weekend (been away from the computer), so I couldn't post much the past couple days. Just have time for this one at the moment, but I'll get back in the swing and post lots more later today, so stay tuned groovy ones! :)

Mall history: 1960 - present
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none



21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is the facade of the Wards store cool, but just look at all those great old cars! Niiiiice. Wish I could walk into this picture and look around.

Sun Aug 13, 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Historical info time!

Original anchors: Wards, Kroger, Cunningham Drugstore, Kresge. Turn-Style was added to the east end later, possibly in the 1970s. TurnStyle was later split between mall space and "Roger's Catalog Showroom" (later BEST). When BEST closed, half of it became Big Lots, and the other half was more recently redivided. Office Max took a portion of the original TurnStyle; Kroger is now MC Sports. Wards was torn down for AJ Wright (attached to mall) and Family fare supermarket.

Sun Aug 13, 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

I love that Wards. Very funky!

Sun Aug 13, 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger M. J. said...

Wyoming is a suburb south of Grand Rapids. I remember shopping at Wards there when I was a kid. Rogers Plaza pre-dated Woodland, which soon became the bigger & better place to shop on the SE side.

Mon Aug 14, 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Looking at the aerial, it appears to be three-quarters a mall, which doesn't make sense. Was there a center walkway?
Scott

Mon Aug 14, 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is enclosed, always has been. In fact, here's a map:

http://tinyurl.com/plz7s

Tue Aug 15, 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Anonymous #1: I'm right there with ya!

Anonymous #2: Thanks for the great additional notes!

Anonymous #3: Thanks for the map link.

Anonymous #4...er, oh, there is no #4. Sorry, I was on a roll with the Anonymouses. :)

Tue Aug 15, 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Not only is that Ward's store cool, it's also called 'Ward's", at a time when the storefronts usually had the full 'Montgomery Ward' name with a m-over-w logo near it.

Monkey Wards didn't coin themselves officially as 'Wards' until the late 1990s, shortly before the chain up and went to the big mall in the sky.

That's what stuck out for me with this image.

Wed Aug 16, 12:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Montgomery Wards. Unfortunalty they dug their own grave by not rapidly expanding into suburban mall. Too bad, it was a great store with great bargains.

Wed Aug 16, 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous tkaye said...

And, it was "Ward Week," no less!

Thu Aug 17, 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad thing is, it seems that with every step forward this mall takes, another two or three tenants leave. Two-three years ago I loved to stop and shop at the Hallmark, KayBee toys, Fashion Bug (biggest and best in town complete with 80's neon signs above the fitting rooms) and bargain books which were all in the same wing. Now in 2006 ALL of those stores have moved out...and not much else is moving in...

Tue Sep 05, 01:04:00 AM  
Anonymous John Crawford said...

Rogers Plaza was one of the very first enclosed shopping malls in America, first opened in 1959. Since then, mall developers have realized that they need a much, much larger - and more SQUARE piece of land to center their malls in.

Retail, like many industries, is going through huge changes, with the advent of online sales and the like.

However, for a suburban or neighborhood shopping, it really is a cool place to shop, especially since it's been renovated so well!

The Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 8th Annual Taste of Wyoming event in the4 Mall October 25, 4 - 8 pm.

Sun Sep 10, 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the center concourse is covered, as mentioned. however, it is at a different height than the storefronts, creating clerestory windows all around the periphery of the center concourse--a modernist touch that wasn't designed out of the remodel a few years ago. There were a few other modernist touches that were covered or deleted, such as the Howard Miller clocks and the beautiful (but cracking) terrazzo floors.

Sat Feb 03, 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous saganhill said...

I grew up in Wyoming and hung out at Rogers Plaza in the late 60's through the late 70's. They had great stores there. I cool hobby store, "The green Apple" I think it was called that sold records. Then in the 80's it went down hill and then Wards went under. Now its mostly occupied by government agencies such as the USPO, Secretary of State, etc... It could be a great mall again if the current owners didnt charge such an astromical monthly rent.

Sun Aug 03, 12:11:00 AM  
Anonymous saganhill said...

I grew up in Wyoming and hung out at Rogers Plaza in the late 60's through the late 70's. They had great stores there. I cool hobby store, "The green Apple" I think it was called that sold records. Then in the 80's it went down hill and then Wards went under. Now its mostly occupied by government agencies such as the USPO, Secretary of State, etc... It could be a great mall again if the current owners didnt charge such an astromical monthly rent.

Sun Aug 03, 12:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Thanks to whoever dug this photo up. In the 1970s, I worked at a burger joint across the street called KumBak Hamburgs. It was right next to Stuart Noordyk Pianos & Organs, and Kinney Shoes. Also Rogers Department Store, Rogers Distributing, Baskin Robbins and the Butterwagon.

All gone. Good times.

Fri Nov 13, 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I remember Ward's! Our family got our first in-window air conditioning unit from there! It was even "Montgomery Wards" branded! It was a top of the line model back in the day complete with electronic controls with red LED indicators. Our family shopped there until its closing. I still remember the TV ads they ran just before the fall of the company.

Sun Apr 04, 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a picture of KumBak to post? Also what was the restaurant up by Miracle Lanes just west of 131 on the north side of 28th that had hot dog buns that were formed kind of like a boat, the hot dog sat in a little groove in the top of the bun. I think the building sat way back and was red and white and had a barn type roof.

Sat May 08, 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasnt Miracle Lanes, it was Holiday Lanes. My family owned that bowling alley from 1955-97. The restaurant next door was the Red Barn. A couple of the Red Barn restaurants were turned into XXX movie theaters, one of them is on 28th street near Madison.

Fri Nov 26, 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Montgomery Wards in Wyoming, Michigan is where I discovered Santa is a fake - around 1965. He had a chair in the auto dept., which became a toy-land at Christmas. I saw Santa tug at his fake beard, and forever after knew he wasn't real. This Wards also had a running vacuum cleaner running near the escalator's that forever balanced and spinning beach ball with it's air. Escalator's were rare around Western Michigan back then.

In the mall itself, the floors were sealed concrete, not unlike something you'd see today in a parking structure.

Mon Jun 20, 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to drive out to Rogers Plaza and Rogers Dept. store to shop. Then we went to McDonald's! and Ole Taco~!

Mon Jun 20, 06:45:00 PM  

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