Friday, October 21, 2005

Willow Lawn Shopping Center

Richmond, Virginia - 1960's

Yeah, not a "shopping mall" per se, but man I just can't resist these beautiful nighttime shopping photos!

And Willow Lawn's still there, too, healthy and thriving, from what I hear. Though she's expanded, modernized, and re-invented herself over the years, of course. Here's the shopping complex's (now called, The Shops At Willow Lawn) current website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here I thought I was the only one who dug the old 'retro' architecture of past malls. Today's designs are so 'loud' and trendy. I've been relishing in these old photos the past couple nights. How I wished I was alive before malls started getting loud and trendy, and many malls are dying and being replaced by Wal-Marts and Home Depots.

The image of this strip reminds me of my younger years, when my mother had to make a stop at the old Fox Point S/C in Neenah WI whenever we were up in the area. ( This was back in the early 1980s. I wasn't bought unto the world until 1978..a bit late, I know). Anyways Fox Point was an 'L"-shaped plaza that was lively right up through the mid 1980s, and boasted a big S.S. Kresge at the center of the bulding (Still recall that big neon red "KRESGE" sign above the canopy that could be seen from the highway). I'd say it had around near 25-30 tenants at its peak in the late 1970s/early '80s.

My hometown (Fond Du Lac) has its own share of older malls. Southtown S/C (strip, opened 1965) and Forest Mall S/c (Enclosed, opened 1973), of which I have no images of or I would contribute them. Forest S/C has gone through two remodels, one in 1985 and one in 1998. I got to see the latter metamorphesis...very cool seeing things get ripped out, but the new look is already tired. Bring back the old muted 1970s appearance....I'd love to see images of that. Those would really bring memories flooding back to my mind.

Keep those memories coming. Good stuff indeed.

Fri Oct 21, 07:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this by complete accident and I'm overjoyed that I did. My grandparents used to live very close to Willow Lawn and we would walk there almost every day when I'd visit.

There were so many wonderful stores: Miller & Rhoads, Eljo's, Fanny Farmer, Giant/Safeway, and People's Drug to name a few. I seem to remember that many smaller shops were owned by families; the Willow Lawn of today has become a pretty vanilla offering of the standard mall fare.

Walking outside in Richmond could be warm in the summer, but I remember the great feeling of strolling into the supermarket and letting the cool air wash over me as we stopped in the produce section.

And to have so many stores within walking distance was a great convenience for my grandparents, who continued to get exercise well into their 80's (and good reflexes, since they had to cross Staples Mill Rd. without a crosswalk or stoplight!).

Thank you so much for bringing back some great memories of a remarkable place : )

Mon Oct 24, 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my my my, "Wonderful Willow Lawn". This mall is truly a survivor, It has managed to stay open in spite of competition from Regency Square and Short Pump Town Center.

The mall was built in in the late 1950's as and outdoor strip mall consisting of: Penny's, Miller and Rhoads and a variety of other stores. The owners enclosed a portion of the mall in the late 1980's.

Unfortunalty Willow Lawn did fall on some hard times during the 1990's, both Penny's and Miller and Rhoads closed their doors and Dillard's, which was the mall's last department store shut down operations in 2004.

However, a brighter day is on the horizon. The enclosed portion of the mall has been demolished, and a new outdoor wing will be constructed and occupied by many national chains including Golds Gym.

Tue Oct 25, 11:45:00 PM  
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Yup, another Ghost World moment

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