Monday, June 18, 2007

Mall Sign: Wonderland Mall

Livonia, Michigan

The super-cool Wonderland Mall sign (via as it looked a few years ago (before the defunct shopping mall was demolished), yet still reflecting its classic original retro design from the 1960s. I've always liked this simple, yet bold, power look. An interesting and solid sign design if you ask me. Here are a few notes via Dead Malls' Wonderland entry:
"Wonderland Mall, Michigan's third-oldest mall, opened in 1959 in the western Detroit suburb of Livonia. This 850,000 sq. ft. mall had Montgomery Ward as its original anchor. Later on Target, Foland's (a catalog store), Amazing Savings (formerly Mazel's), Dunham's Sporting Goods, and Office Max joined the anchor lineup. It also was the first mall in metro Detroit to offer kiddie train rides, and used that as a selling point in its promotions.

The layout of Wonderland was similar to a 'TTT' look. At the left end of the first 'T' were Wards and Amazing Savings. An AMC 6-screen multiplex was situated at the right end of the last 'T'. The three wings that spurred off the 'T's, from left to right, were Dunham's/OfficeMax, Foland's, and Target."
Mall history: 1959 - 2003 (dead)
Current website: n/a (archived site here)
Previous entries: 1

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your site, don't forget about the other department store on the west end. It was called Federal Department Store and I can't tell you how many time we shopped for Christmas presents with the Federal funny money that my parents get. The early precursor to charge cards. Then they would spend the rest of the year paying them off getting ready for next year.

Mon Jun 18, 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous mwhyte72 said...

I lived in the neighborhood behind it. I remember when it was open (best. arcade. ever) and then when they closed it up and made it an indoor mall. My mom worked there when she was a teenager and I worked there in my teens. I remember my Dad taking my brother and I to get haircuts at the Montgomery Wards.

It really went to hell the last 10 years or so of its existence and the rebuilding plan has people FUMING because it includes a new WalMart.

It's a shame, that sign was/is a landmark and they really should have kept it w/ the new design. They could have incorporated it somehow.

Love the blog. Long time visitor, occasional commentor.

Mon Jun 18, 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Great blue sign as big as the blue sky!

Anyone know what Amazing Savings was like. Sort of like a dollar-discount store of some sort? I know a couple of stores that were called Amazing Savings around the Chicago area a few years back. They then changed their names to Always Amazing and closed shortly thereafter. I am wondering if the same name is a coincindence or was it something national?

Mon Jun 18, 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the nice comments and memories, Anonymous and mwhyte72! I appreciate it. :)

Didi: I'm not sure about Amazing Savings myself. Never seen one here in MI (don't think we had 'em). I believe there's still a bunch of them in NY, but I really don't know anything about the chain and its history.

Mon Jun 18, 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but that photograph just struck me as being so mawkish.

Mon Jun 18, 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Blade said...

Wonderland Mall hasn't been demolished, or at least it hadn't been as of two weeks ago, when I drove by it.

Wed Jun 20, 01:52:00 AM  
Anonymous mwhyte72 said...

@ Blade - It was totally taken down to the ground w/ the exception of the Target store on the far West end which they just bricked off (what was) the mall entrance. They have been moving *very* fast w/ the rebuild but believe me, it all came down.

Wed Jun 20, 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Blade said...

Serious? I was literally by it just the beginning of June.

Another Wal-Mart? I thought they got by by being huge enough that they didn't need to build twenty of them in a 10 square mile radius.

I just saw a new one of those across from where the Meijer is that used to be the horse track. Then again, I haven't been out in Livonia previously for over a year until like I said, the beginning of June.

Fri Jun 22, 04:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Sticker Ninja said...

I was at Wonderland hundreds of times as a kid/teen. My Mom supported our family by working at Sanders when my Dad had a heart attack and couldn't work. Short story for ya. 3 Friends and myself walking thought Monkey Wards in the middle of winter. Myself and Steve in front, Kev and Mike behind. Unbeknown to me and Steve, Mike and Kev grabbed a handful of Brachs candy from the "by the pound" display and stuck it in their mittens. As we walked into the breezeway, my Dad walked in from the outside. Just then a store employee grabs Mike and Kev, and says "Your coming with me." My Dad witnesses this and asks me what that was about. I honestly had no idea, but there was no way he believed me. What are the odds that he would walk in just as mu friends get busted for shoplifting. too funny.

Wed Dec 19, 12:24:00 AM  

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