Biloxi, Mississippi - circa 1960s
Bird's eye view of Edgewater Mall (originally known as Edgewater Plaza), and the Edgewater Beach Hotel just to its right, sitting along the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans is up the coast to the West.
I really enjoyed the following informative Edgewater Mall comments by MOA reader, David, a while back, so thought they deserved to be shared in this entry:
Edgewater Mall opened in 1963, a development of the Holcomb Company of Biloxi. It was sold many years later to what was then ANREM (American National Real Estate Management), a division of an insurance company.Mall history: 1963 - present
When the mall opened, Gayfer's (opening their third suburban location from their headquarters in Mobile, Alabama) and Godchaux's (a very rich apparel store from New Orleans) were among the merchants, along with a Walgreens that had a terrific lunch counter/restaurant.
The complex was originally called "Edgewater Plaza Shopping City" named for its location both on the beach and in close proximity to the famous Edgewater Park Hotel. Newberry's opened in the North end of the mall in the late 1960s.
The mall was expanded in 1972-1973 with the demolition of the Edgewater Park Hotel. Sears moved from downtown Gulfport to anchor this addition, along with a Jackson store called Waldoff's, which wasn't open for that long. So, at it's peak, Edgewater boasted five anchors: Gayfer's, Newberry's, Godchaux's, Waldoff's, and Sears.
The mall has been renovated a few times over the years, but Gayfer's was the lone holdout, never changing the outward appearance of the store from its 1963 opening. Even the annex of the former William Tally House restaurant-Sherwin Williams store in 1987 was finished with the exact same old exterior.
Gayfer's, as it has been noted before, was purchased by Dillard's in 1998, right along the same time that McRae's came to the mall. Godchaux's went under during the early 1990s, and the space was taken over by a food court. Waldoff's simply went away. JCPenney took the Newberry's space in 1978 (I remember the closing day there), and annexed the grocery store space next to them a few years ago. Sears finally added a second floor to their store.
When speaking with Dillard executives, I asked them what would become of the original Gayfer's store. "The damage is unreal," I was told. I'm hoping that Dillard's will bulldoze the original structure and build a new store. Both Biloxi and the mall could use it.
Developer: Holcomb Company
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3