Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lakeside Village Shopping Center

Elyria, Ohio - 1950's

Couldn't find any info at all on this old shopping center (wouldn't that make a great PBS show?), so I have no idea if it was a little strip mall type deal, or an actual enclosed shopping mall (I'm guessing strip mall, though), but I just dig this signage photo so much that I thought I'd ad it to the archive either way. I think it's pretty kitsch-tastic myself! Truly some classic '50s sign design there!

Midland Mall

Warwick, Rhode Island - Early '70s

Love this cozy looking shot inside Midland Mall. Midland was Rhode Island's first enclosed shopping mall. Vibrant in its early years, it fell on harder and harder times when, in 1970, the larger and much slicker, Warwick Mall, opened right across the expressway, almost a stone's throw, to the East. Many stores (and shoppers) made the slow exodus over the next several years, from Midland to Warwick Mall.

Midland eventually (haven't pinpointed exactly when yet) changed its name to, Rhode Island Mall (anyone know when?), and underwent some cosmetic updates and renovations in the 1980's, thus effectivley killing off what had been "Midland Mall", forever.

Mall history: 1968 - ? (dead)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Colonial Plaza

Orlando, Florida - 1963

Here's a super-cool shot for your super-cool Saturday! This is a photo taken at Colonial Plaza (now the "Colonial Plaza Market Place") when it was still just a strip mall in the early '60s, before it was expanded into a full-fledged shopping mall soonafter. This picture is from a promotional book that was produced for the Minute Maid convention of 1963, entitled, "The Look of the Leader." And our mysterious "leader" appears to be on his way out of Colonial Plaza right now, striding confidently past the Howard store on the right, and the "Mode-O-Day" store on the left!

I really want to thank, Linda Bonvie, for e-mailing me this great photo, and the background details that go with it. I really appreciate the fun submission, Linda, thanks! And you're right; this guy does look like a CIA dude! Or a Man in Black. Maybe he had just taken care of some aliens in the mall. :)

Mall history: 1955 - 1995
Previous entries: 1

Lakewood Center

Lakewood, California - Late '50s or early '60s

Dang. That sign is one cool cat! And that's a May Co. store in the background.

Mall history: 1952 - present
Current website: here
Previous entries: 1

Greenbriar Mall

Atlanta, Georgia - 1965

Aerial shot of Greenbriar, which I'm guessing, was probably taken right around the time it first opened in August of 1965 (or just prior to?), as it certainly looks kind of bare and unfinished to me (not to mention a little messy). Parking lot's pretty empty, too, now that I look at it. Especially for a new mall.

Chick-fil-A restaurant in Greenbriar Mall - 1967

Many folks who frequented this mall in those days, also fondly remember the popular Chick-fil-A restaurant that opened here in 1967. This was not only the very first walk-in Chick-fil-A establishment anywhere (many more would soon follow), but also, one of the very first “front-counter” walk-up type mall restaurants, ushering in the now ubiquitous shopping mall "food court" concept, so common in nearly every mall today. Above is a photo of this very Chick-fil-A in Greenbriar Mall, which is still there today!

Mall history: 1965 - present
Current website: Here.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Retro Retail Video - "Shopping Can Be Fun"

Wonderful old 1957 public domain PR short, Shopping Can Be Fun: A New Concept in Merchandising, that chronicles the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, California. I thought it certainly deserved a permament home here, if anywhere. Hope those who haven't seen it before, enjoy this nostalgic trip back in retro retail history!

History: 1954 - present
Developer: David Bohannon (1899-1995)
Current website: Here.

Vintage Shopping District

Laredo, Texas - 1960's(?)

No mall here, just an old retail postcard street scene I really enjoy--similar to the Willow Lawn and Alpena ones I shared before. Here's a little stretch of a shopping district in Laredo, all aglow on a damp, rainsoaked Texas evening. A Three Sisters store is on the left, and a La Perla dept. store on the right (not familiar with those myself).

This photo kind of captures the magical, romanticized childhood memories I have of shopping centers, department stores, and the world in general, when I was a kid in the '70s. As well, my dad's from Tennessee and my mom lived in Texas for a bit, so growing up, we took many fun vacations "down south", and stopped at or drove through, many streets that looked just like this in those days. So this shot looks extra sweet to me.

Valley River Center

Eugene, Oregon - Late 60's or early '70s

Rustic aerial shot of the beautiful (in those days anyway) Valley River Center and scenic environs.

History: 1968 - present
Current website: Here.

Updated: added/adjusted the years.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Palm Beach Mall

West Palm Beach, Florida - 1970

Well. Just gaze upon this lush, painterly photograph, gang! Soak it all in. Do I really need to say anything more?

This is probably one of my favorite shots I've ever featured here at MOA. An ultimate vintage mall photo! From the cool Jordan Marsh store visible on the left, and the colorful late '60s fashions the shoppers are sporting, to the warm lighting, great indoor landscaping and foliage, and one of my favorite mall fountains, this shot has truly got it all! And the Palm Beach was the first enclosed shopping center in the Southeast, to boot!

History: 1967 - present
Current website: Here.
Previous entries: 1.

SouthPark Mall

Charlotte, North Carolina - 1976

Absolutely stunning interior view of a fountain in SouthPark Mall! What a work of art. Actually, this fountain kind of reminds me of the one from Winter Park Mall. This is a slimmer version.

History: 1970 - present
Current website: Here.

[image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room – Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County]

Northgate Mall

Seattle, Washington - 1961

History: 1950 - present
Architect: John Graham Jr. (1908-1991)
Current website: Here.
Previous entries: 1.

Friday, April 14, 2006

South Coast Plaza

Costa Mesa, California - Late '60s - early '70s

Ready to join the circus? Looks like that's where we're at here, doesn't it? What with those strikingly gaudy colors (including the clothes!), balloons, and that beautiful carousel. Wonderful old shots from this upscale Orange County shopping center.

Note, too, that great fountain on the left. Looks like another similar to the one in Topanga Plaza, with those illuminated fake waterfall tube deals running down from the cieling (glycerine dripping along filament line to appear like falling water). This fountain also reminds me a little at first glance, of the one in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, in Waikiki. The bottom portion anyway.

History: 1962 - present
Architect: Initial design by Victor Gruen (1903-1980)
Current website: Here.

[photo courtesy of: Yesterday LA]

Oakbrook Center

Oak Brook, Illinois - 1966

The peaceful, well-manicured landscape surrounding Oakbrook Center. This looks like a good spot to sit and contemplate the meaning of consumerism and our place in this great big shopping mall we call life. And our navels.

I was going to comment on how much this mall always reminds me of Old Orchard, in Skokie, IL, when I discovered the reason; same architect (Richard Bennett)! I had never consciously connected the two places together before, but always thought the malls reminded me of one another. Now I know why.

To the left you'll find of shot of this same fountain area as it looks today. Apparently, it's still very well taken care of, and still a sight to behold--especially in the Spring and Summer, when the flowers are all in bloom.

History: 1962 - present
Architect: Richard Marsh Bennett (1907-1996)
Current website: Here.
Previous entries: 1.

Retro Retail Video - Kinney Shoes

Vintage 1978 Kinney Shoe Store TV Commercial (found on YouTube), with Ken Berry. Boy I sure remember these spots growing up. That little jingle really takes me back. And best of all, this one was shot inside a shopping mall! I'm not sure which one, though, as you don't really get to see a whole lot of it for very long. Still, anyone care to play detective and take some guesses?

White Lakes Mall

Topeka, Kansas - 1960

Sprawling aerial photograph of White Lakes Mall, and surrounding environs.

Previous entries: 1

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Colonial Plaza Mall

Orlando, Florida - 1960's

The Mall and beautiful fountain at the Colonial Plaza Shopping Center. "The Air-conditioned Mall with a Tropi-Colonial Setting", as they boasted.

Mall history: 1955 - 1995

Harundale Mall

Baltimore, Maryland - 1958

Dazzling photo of what is now called, Harundale Plaza, this was the first air-conditioned, enclosed shopping mall east of the Mississippi River, and one of the first shopping centers to actually be called a "mall".

Of this picture, the photographer, Marion E. Warren, said: "A view like this is a real challenge because you have to wait long enough for people to get bored and stop looking at the camera. I covered every aspect of Harundale, from planning to construction to opening day, when they had me do a series of aerials all day even though it was raining, so they could count the cars and see what kind of crowd they had attracted."

As a related treat, click here to listen to a 2004 NPR interview with author, Joshua Olsen, where he talks about, Better Places, Better Lives, his biography of James Rouse, the man behind the Harundale mall and so much more. Fun listen!

Mall history: 1958 - present
Architect/developer: James Rouse
Current website: Here.

[photo courtesy: Maryland State Archives]

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fort Saginaw Mall

Saginaw, Michigan - Late '60s early '70s

Dreamy vintage mall photo showing a rather spartan interior section of the Fort Saginaw Mall. Love this one! It really evokes vivid memories for me of what it was like back in those days, to walk the malls with my family when I was little. It captures the mood and feeling perfectly for me. And if you're from Michigan in the '60s or '70s, seeing that Scotts 5&10 store should also make you smile!

History: 1967 - mid '90s

Park City Mall

Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Early '70s

I've done the "Spring" wing of Park City already, so here's two more seasons, if you will. Above is the "Summer" wing, below, obviously, the "Winter". Not the greatest scans, I know, but I'm working on getting better shots. As well, whenever I find a shot of the "Fall" wing (don't have it yet), I'll repost them all, together, in one entry (the 4 seasons), so we'll finally have a complete Park City retro set!

Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Early '70s

For those not in the know, this mall has a rather distinctive design layout, with one central "hub" court in the middle, and 4 "spoke" sections radiating outward from there. In the early days of the mall, these wings were kind of themed, and named after the four seasons. Pretty cool idea! I've added a current map from their website (to the left) so you can see the unique layout.

In addition, it was mentioned in the comment section of another Park City entry here, that this mall also included, again in the early days of its life, these swanky "TV Pod" installations in each wing (or "TV trees", as someone referred to them). You can actually just see one in the first "Summer" shot above, off in the distance.

So check out these closer shots of 'em! Finally get to see these things! And it's pretty cool, huh? Very futuristic looking. Many thanks to MOA reader, John, for sending the two TV Pod shots you see here! This is some good stuff. I had to blow them up considerably, though, so with these, too, the quality is lacking. But I'll seek out better versions for sure.

If you click on the TV screen image above, you can make out what it was advertising at the time the photo was snapped--Hamburgers! Ha! Some things never change. :)

History: 1972 - present
Current website: Here.
Previous entries: 1, 2.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Eastbrook Plaza - W. T. Grant Co.

Columbus, Indiana - 1960's

Not a mall, but just an evocative vintage retail photo of a good old W. T. Grant dimestore (remember those?) glowing warmly as dusk falls on the Eastbrook Plaza shopping center.

Appears this little strip mall is still alive and kicking today, which is always great to hear if you ask me. Just for history's sake, if nothing else.

So here's a bonus pic for ya! An aerial shot of the place as it looks today--sans the W.T. Grant, of course, as the chain, sadly, is no more. I think Grant's went under about the mid-seventies ('75?), apparently, due to the fact that they were just too slow (chain-wide) in adapting to the swiflty changing retail trends and consumer needs, as suburbs began to blossom and boom across the U.S. throughout the '60's and '70s. Same thing happened to Korvette and Kresge stores. Kmart is still hangin on. Maybe one of them should have just thought to rename their chain, as, in hindsight, the "K's" seemed to be bad luck!

[top photo courtesy of: Historic Columbus Indiana]

Lakewood Center

Lakewood, California - 1959

Here's a little vintage retail bliss for your lazy Sunday afternoon. Enjoy this quaint shot along a breezy, sun-kissed promenade at the Lakewood Center. We've got a Woolworth store right next to a May Company, and some warm California sun. What more do you need?

History: 1952 - present
Current website: Here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Westland Center

Westland, Michigan - 1960's

If that aint Heaven, I'd sure like to know what is.

Westland's current website.

Hawthorne Plaza Mall

Hawthorne, California

You guys seemed to dig that other dead mall video, so here's another! I, too, am fascinated by them, these old abandoned malls of yesteryear, and at least through videos like these, we can vicariously have the experience of wandering around in them ourselves.

This time we take a weird journey through the "dead" Hawthorne Plaza Mall. Now this one's a little artsy and experimental in nature (dead malls seem to lend themselves to these sorts of themes), with some pretty kinetic camera work and editing, and a rather bizarre, pulsing electronic soundtrack accompanying the haunting visuals. I love it!

I found this music video on YouTube. It was done by, Derek Sajbel, with music by edIT. This was the short description:

"The video-processed post-apocalyptic remnants of consumerism"


Place Ste-Foy Mall

Quebec, Canada - 1965

Had another from this mall and figured now would be the perfect time to post it, following up on yesterday's. This is the Laval Court.

Place Ste-Foy's current website.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Place Ste-Foy Mall

Quebec, Canada - 1965

I'm broadening our horizons yet again today, with another non-American (but certainly not un-American, as it could easily pass for one of ours) shopping mall. This time we're taking a look at the beautiful, Champlain Court, in the Place Ste-Foy shopping mall in Quebec, Canada. This photo is circa 1965, and yep--we have another bird cage, folks! :)

Anyway, this shot was just so fantastic, that, even though it's not one of ours over here in the U.S., I figured I'd go ahead and share it here so we could all marvel at its groovy mid '60s Canadian coolness! I'm sure we can all appreciate a great looking vintage mall--wherever it comes from. I know I can.

Here's Place Ste-Foy's current website.

To see more posts, click on the monthly links
in the "Archives" section of the sidebar.