Monday, July 02, 2007

Winrock Shopping Center

Albuquerque, New Mexico - circa 1960s

Winrock Shopping Center interior in the sixties--before falling on hard retail times in more recent years. This classic, but now-defunct shopping mall's ultimate fate seems to be in limbo these days according to a December 2, 2006 user submitted entry on
"About two years ago stores started closing up in Winrock. It seems the owners had decided to redevelop it as an open sky, town center style mall so they were not allowing tenants to renew their leases. One by one all the stores closed (except for Dillard's who owned their space).

Unfortunately, during this time another developer created a third open air mall across the street. Now the Winrock owners have decided not to redevelop their mall. Winrock now sits empty, rotting in the sun."
Mall history: 1961 - present
Architect: Victor Gruen
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Resource articles: 1, 2. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3

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Anonymous didi said...

These dumb ass owners/developers. You think they could have checked with competition before they hurried to move everyone out? I mean it couldn't have been that hard to figure out that someone else might beat them to it especially if it is across the street. Because of their stupidity a Victor Gruen gem is rotting to waste. Oh yea, I have real sympathy for them not getting the deal. This makes me so angry.

On a lighter note, I didn't know that Walgreen's reached the southwest in the sixties. Southeast/Florida yes. but not New Mexico.

Mon Jul 02, 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

Okay, those developers were just plain stupid. Though I suppose that the redevelopment would have destroyed the charm of the mall anyway.

Though I'm surprised that Walgreen's did not operate nationwide in the 1960s. They're so ubiquitous, I always took them for a national chain.

Mon Jul 02, 06:25:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Cora, it took a long time for Walgreen's to become national. I think they had to pull out of the southeast after the sixties. If you go to the main Walgreen website, they have a history page that explains it all.

Mon Jul 02, 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

Thanks for the link.

Well, Walgreen's certainly was around in the Southeastern US in the late 1970s, because my parents used to shop there. And I have seen Walgreen's in every part of the US I visited, so I assumed they were a national chain. However, I'm not really familiar with the Western half of the US, so things may well be different there.

Tue Jul 03, 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger pancer said...

Yep it's huge building, but if the next is no activity in it, it will be ground zero on that. Everything can be functional, isn't?

Tue Jul 03, 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

I was born and grew up in Ohio until I moved to Chicago in 89 and encountered Walgreen's for the first time. Now Ohio has Walgreen's as well as New York (which I visited often in the 90s and don't remember seeing) mostly because they have really expanded themselves within the last five to ten years.

I wonder when they offically became national and I wonder when they started expanding in the southwest. I guess it was all a slow process.

Wed Jul 04, 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

I clearly remember visiting a Walgreen's store in New York City in 1994 and buying a bottle of Aspirin there, so New York must have had them by the 1990s.

Wed Jul 04, 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Tony in Albuquerque said...

Winrock Mall is in bad bad BAD shape. Three stores (Bed Bath and Beyond, Dillards & Sports Authority) have leases that expire in 2008. Other than that, there is nothing else. What happened that isnt in the main description is that the city wouldnt clear a couple of zoning changes for the developers to change Winrock back to an outdoor/indoor shopping center. So they decided to pull out of the project. Now we have ABQ Uptown right across the street....and Winrock is on its last leg.

Albuquerque got it's first Walgreens in 1953 according the city records. It was downtown. Both Winrock and Coronado Mall had one...both have since closed.

Thu Jul 05, 04:07:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

I am sure NYC had(it says so on their website that they had some locations in NYC long ago) them but other parts of New York state that I visited didn't starts to get them until some years back.

I am guessing that their expansion was spotty. They would expand here but not there and then come back to what they didn't do later on. But I still clearly remember reading that they had expanded some place back in the fifties and sixties to pull out again later on and then re-enter the market more recently. Just don't remember what region in the US it was.

Thu Jul 05, 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Retro Attic said...

This story seems to be pretty common- when the mall starts emptying out the public is told that new leases aren't taking place because the mall will be redeveloped and then the redevelopment never seems to happen!

Sat Jul 07, 03:03:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Thus paving the way for the disrepair, abandonement and eysore comments!

Sat Jul 07, 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Is it just me or is Walgreens in a LOT of these photos?

Wed Aug 22, 12:19:00 PM  

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