Monday, May 14, 2007

Edison Mall Shopping Center

Fort Myers, Florida - circa '60s or '70s

beautiful vintage postcard view of Edison Mall, baking under the hot Florida sun in the sixties or early-seventies (not exactly sure on the year). This is a shot of the mall's main entrance, with Woolworth's sitting to the right of the photo, a Penneys anchor to the right of that (not sure what store's on the immediate left of this courtyard), and a Maas Brothers store straight back behind this entrance foyer. Check out the "previous entries" below. You can just make out this entrance in a couple of them.

Mall history: 1960s(?) - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3

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Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Is it me or is this mall incredibly dull?

Wed May 16, 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Incredibly dull? No way! Just look at the sheer geniusness of the modern use of architecture. It resembles a golden palace for a goddess.

Although it could use some nicer shrubbery or flowers.

Sat May 19, 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger John Tillis said...

Here's more information about The Edison Mall:

I, John Tillis, was president of The Edison Mall, 1972-1974.

The Edison Mall opened in 1965 with a historical first - THIS MALL WAS THE FIRST SHOPPING CENTER IN THE UNITED STATES TO CONTAIN stores of BOTH retail giants - SEARS ROEBUCK AND J.C. PENNEY, who had always been retail rivals. Once convinced by the developer, George Sanders, to partner in a mall, the success was so awesome that the two retail giants continued their "mall partnership" to this day. The retail genius of George Sanders is multi-faceted and legendary.

In this photo, to the immediate left, was Walgreens and the Sears store was at the far left end of the 1/4 mile long mall.

While the shrubbery was just getting hold in this early photo, as time progressed, lush landscaping of palm trees and tropical flowers set the mall apart as one of the most beautiful shopping centers in The United States.

Remember, in 1965, there were only a handful of enclosed shopping malls and great & beautiful architecture, including skylights, water fountains, etc. had not yet been developed. Today, The Edison Mall is a tribute to longevity, adaptation, and beauty.

The mall is named after Thomas Edison because he had his winter home, gardens and labrotory in Ft. Myers and worked every winter on his famous inventions there.

Also, Edison imported many tropical plants, flowers and trees from Central & South America to his beautiful gardens. Edison's good friends, Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford had their winter homes right next door to Edison's.

If you are ever fortunate to find yourself in S.W. Florida, be sure to visit both The Edison Estate and The Edison Mall. Both represent beautiful and inspiring beginnings.

Thank you for your interest, John Tillis

Sun Jul 22, 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! So much has changed in Fort Myers it is great that you have these photos to show the past.

Fort Myers Leap Year Photography

Sun Nov 11, 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We lived in Fort Myers in the late 1960's and I used to love to ride the escalator up and down in the Maas Brothers store. I have such fond memories of the mall and the store. I also attended Edison Park Elementary School.

Wed Apr 21, 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger wjack1 said...

I remember the Edison Mall very well. I didn't really know George Sanders, but I remember him. He was a character. He had a big Yacht called the "Pilgrim II" at the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin. When I was a kid I loved boats, and liked to hang out at the Yacht Basin. I use to talk to the First Mate of the Pilgrim II, and remember thinking he had a great job. He called Mr. Sanders "Colonel Sanders", and I first thought he was the KFC Colonel Sanders, but found out he wasn't. When Colonel Sanders wanted to go out for a cruise on his Yacht, he'd call the First Mate up, and he'd go pick him up in a Jeep, and the Colonel would ride in the back seat. He sort of reminded me of Burl Ives, but that might be my overactive Imagination. I remember every time I seen him he would be dressed like he was going on a Safari.

Wed Mar 30, 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Viagra Online said...

this is one of the most ancient buildings in the city, inclusive I can remember when it construction was announced so many years ago.

Wed May 18, 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the name of the grocery store outside of Sears, where the food court is now?

Tue Mar 11, 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Bradley said...

Great post, I really like the picture. The Van reminds me of my college roadtrip.

mall plants Sherman Oaks

Mon Dec 29, 05:59:00 AM  

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