Friday, January 27, 2006

Fairlane Town Center

Dearborn, Michigan - Early '80s?

This postcard just arrived today and I'm getting it posted right up. Just a stunning interior shot! There's no date on it, so I'm taking a (semi) educated guess and saying it dates probably to somewhere around the early '80s or so, give or take. I've done a blow-up detail, too, of that sweet light fixture ornament (I think I can make out tiny bulbs at the ends of the starburst rods. There's a Gap store visible here, too, on the upper level (not there anymore).

Back of PC reads: "This two-million square foot shopping center connected to the Hyatt Regency Dearborn by a 91-second monorail offers hotel guests indoor shopping in 180 different shops and restaurants."

Fairlane's current website is right here.

Mall Reader Bookshelf

Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces: Putting God in Place
by Jon Pahl
Amazon reviewer:
"The author takes the reader on a tour of the Mall of America, Disney World, and the suburban home and shows how each of these places communicate a whole world of desire."
Consume it!

Midtown Plaza

Rochester, New York - 1960's

Midtown Plaza sculpture and foliage in this picturesque Victor Gruen-designed marvel. This shot is a beauty. Oh-so-'60s, yet oh-so-happening (dig those wonderful decorative wall panels back there)!

Yeah, I'm with that guy--looks like a nice place to read and relax (if you can tune out all the mall noise that is). Here's Midtown's current website.

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?...

Malls of America on TV

Monday, June 27, 2005 (G4 TV)

For anyone out there who missed it the first time I mentioned this (probably most of you), here's the clip of Malls of America being featured as a "Gem of the Internet" on the popular Attack of the Show program on G4 TV last summer, soon after my launch of it. Thought you guys might dig seeing it.

Note: The above video is in FLASH format, so make sure you have that enabled to see it.

Mall Reader Bookshelf

People have been requesting that I do something like this for a while now, so I'm finally getting around to it. Here's the first offering, with many more to come. Hope these picks prove interesting or useful to someone out there.

Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream
by M. Jeffrey Hardwick

New York Times, Book Review, June 27, 2004
"An insightful account...Gruen believed that the self-contained mall would become 'the center of cultural activities and recreation.'"

Malcom Gladwell, The New Yorker, March 15, 2004
"Victor Gruen may well have been the most influential architect of the twentieth century. He invented the mall."

Amazon reviewer:
"A great read and remarkable that no one has written about Gruen before now. if American retail and architecture is your thing, this is a must have. Hardwick captures Gruen in an objective light, in his time, for the reader to judge."

Amazon reviewer:
"My first true mall shopping was done in a Gruen mall, although I was quite unaware at the time, of the fascinating story behind this complex man and his vision for America's public spaces. Thanks to this engaging work by Hardwick, I now feel enlightened as I prowl the mall that Gruen built. You don't need to be an architect or a social scientist to enjoy this book because the author makes the subject approachable for the inner shopper in everyone."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cherry Hill Mall

Cherry Hill, New Jersey - 1960's

There's been some discussion in the comments here about Bamberger's stores. Well here's another one, in the Cherry Hill Mall. Can't really see much of it (for the trees), but it is back there.

That aside, this is quite a spectacular shot! It's like we're on a tropical island--with a shopping mall built around it! Shopper's paradise indeed. :)

Vintage Ben Franklin dimestore ad

March, 1977

(courtesy of

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Chris-Town Mall

Phoenix, Arizona - 196o's

Nice exterior shots of Chris-Town Mall in its sun-washed glory days! There's a ubiquitous Walgreens on the right in the top photo, and it looks like a shoe store to its left, I think.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The "Center" Shopping Center

Omaha, Nebraska - Late '50s - early '60s?

Similar to the cool Northland shot I recently posted, here's one in Nebraska with more multi-tiered rooftop parking grooviness going on. As for stores, I can make out a "National Shirt Shops" store on top to the left, and to the right of it, a Thom McCann Shoes, it appears. There's an attached Texaco station in the lower right corner.

Anyone know if "The Center" is still there in Omaha? Didn't find it with a quick cursory check. Not sure that was even its actual official name, either, or just a local nickname for it. If it is still there today, I wouldn't be surprised to find the name changed by now.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Garden State Plaza

Paramus, New Jersey - late '60s or early '70s

Thanks a bunch to, William Berry, in New Jersey, for this beautiful and very colorful submission! The old opening from Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color comes to mind when I look at this photo! Remember the theme song? "The world is a wonderland of color...".

Anyway, Garden State Plaza's current Simon-owned website is right here.

Westroads Shopping Center

Omaha, Nebraska - 1960's

Now called, Westroads Mall, their current website is right here.

Northland Center

Southfield, Michigan - 1950's

Northland's current website.

Manners at the Shopping Mall

Children's book.

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