Thursday, July 27, 2006

Coral Ridge Mall

Fort Lauderdale, Florida - circa 1970s

Need some data on the Coral Ridge Mall if anyone out there has any to share. Found very little online about it (at least around my usual haunts). I found no official website for it, nor do I know what year it was first opened--though I know it's still there and operating. Many thanks to Rob, for this great submission!

Please Note: Posting is currently a real struggle here this morning (and was yesterday too!), as Blogger is having some serious problems right now. I'll try to at least get something posted here in the next few minutes while I have time (if it'll let me), but basically, if you don't see much new here today, and if the site is hard to even get to load and you get weird errors, you know why. Hopefully they'll get it all worked out later today.

History: ? - present
Current website: none
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this picture! I lived 1/2 mile away from the Coral Ridge Mall and I spent so many happy days childhood and teenage years there.

There were so many great stores - McCrory's (5&10 store), Britts (an awesome department store), Mr. Pretzel, Lory's (clothing), and Lerner's. It wasn't an upscale mall, but very comfortable and just the right size. It's still there today, but it's really gone downhill (at least the last time I was there when I visited FL). Coral Ridge is now a very upscale area, so I imagine that the mall will be either torn down or upgraded soon.

The round building in the foreground is the Keenan Building. It's a very cool building that was redone a few years ago to modernize it, but they kept a huge mural (done in small tiles I think) of a big fish that ran the whole side of the building.

Thanks again for the picture!

Thu Jul 27, 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Simon Templar said...

I visited Florida in 1992 and stayed in Fort Lauderdale for some days. We visited one or two malls there, and this might have been one of them. I was only 13 years old back then, so I don't really remember what it was called. I do remember that it was a one level mall with a long long hallway leading to the stores. Macys was located there too.

Thu Jul 27, 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

That round building in the foreground looks interesting. Nice to hear that it's still there.

The only logo I can make out on the photo is Walgreen's. Was there any mall in the US which didn't have one?

Thu Jul 27, 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to say the left anchor is JCPenney and the right anchor is Burdines (later Macys).

Thu Jul 27, 07:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like "J. C. PENNEY CO." on the left anchor....and maybe Burdines on the right? I see a big red letter that could be a "B," but I'm not sure about their past logos.

Tres cool. I love the round building, and that one across the street from Penney's on the left reminds me of the terminal at Dulles.


Thu Jul 27, 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats me above btw....

I did find this:

Coral Ridge Mall Go Shopping

Address: 3200 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale

Directions: Map your route

Regular Hours: Mon - Fri: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sat: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Phone: (954) 537-2732

Anchors: T.J. Maxx and Marshalls

Thu Jul 27, 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also found this:

Thu Jul 27, 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, to the left right in front of Penny's is a Publix supermarket which is still open. Move further down in the picture and you will see the old Plitt Theatre (saw King Kong in '76 there), which was a nightclub last time I checked. I have never seen another building, much less a theatre, that had this great architectural concave at the top of the roof. Very art deco-esque.

You can barely see the huge round clock outside of Britt's in the photo. This picture was definitely taken in the 70s. Wow.

Christ Lutheran Church is just out of frame on the bottom of the picture. I was a member there in the 70s/80s.

Anyway, about the mall.. The interior had these wonderful skylights which let in ample yet understated lighting on a bright, sunny day. The ceiling was in a wave-effect pattern which only added to the mall's beauty.
Britt's was truely a remarkable store for it's time. It was almost a clone of Burdine's. You could buy fresh peanuts and fine chocolates at this little counter they had. I also remember a small arcade where I saw Pac-man for the first time! (It was on the left corridor exiting Penny's in the mall). They've since built a bigger
arcade in almost the exact spot, but it wasn't as magical as the original. They put an AMC Theatres in the North parking parking lot during the 90s along with the Baha-Beach-Club (in the former Britt's)
which I feel was the start of the malls death spiral. When the mall started popping up with kiosk venders, you knew things were changing for the worse. There

was this little wonderful little hole-in-the-wall that served the best soup, I forget the name, but it had an awning over the storefront and chairs in the mall where you could sit and enjoy your meal.

As for the round Keenan building, I believe it had a restaurant at the top of it, but later turned into a gay nightclub. Just going on rumors here now, I can't confirm this.

Here is a current arial view of the mall in almost the exact frame:

Notice all the new condominiums that have popped up over the years. As Barbara said in the first post, this section of Ft. Laud is extremely affluent and ritzy, not to mention the property value has gone through the roof since the 70s. It's a realtors dream.

Going a little off topic now:

Go North up Federal Highway about a mile and you'll find the world famous Mai-Kai restaurant. There was also a teen nightclub during the 80s called Nepenthe further up Federal on the left. I use to go there on the weekends.

They used the interior for an episode of Miami Vice. I forget the name of the episode, but they featured the dance floor with the neon lights and "I'm so excited" by the Pointer Sisters playing.

Take care everyone!

Fri Jul 28, 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The url got cut off above in the previous entry. Here's a fix:

Fri Jul 28, 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall is still around, but it isn't really upscale. Britt's was torn down to make way for a Target, and a T.J. Maxx and Marshalls make up where J.C. Penney was.

Fri Jul 28, 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Target opened there and I believe it has been de-malled. Still has a Marshalls/TJ Maxx and a movie theater. It looks a lot different than it did years ago.

Sat Jul 29, 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the real lowdown on Coral Ridge - I grew up going to this mall, worked there in my teens and still visit it on a regular basis.
I'm estimating that the mall opened around 1956 - J.C. Penney and Britts were the anchors(Burdines was never there). Britts was a local chain - very much like Burdines - as stated. Some of the other tennants in the mall were 'mom and pop' businesses - Gall's book store, The Happy House card shop, Sounds of Music, Broward Sports shop, Dipper Dan's Ice Cream, and an travel agency that had large aquariums in the entranceway - probably about 30 shops in all - in addition to McCrory's and Walgreens - both with lunch counters. Never the most upscale(nor the worst), the mall went through the usual decline in the 80's and early 90's - as Britts closed, and J.C.P. and Walgreens left in the early 90's. The mall probably would have indeed been in the assumed death spiral, but it was revived when Target opened on the site of the Britts (and Baja Beach Club) anchor in 2001. Target is attached and open to the mall, which features a Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Einstein Brothers, FYE and Home Goods, as well as the Publix. Surprisingly, many structural features are quite intact from the 50's - yet the mall blends quite nicely now with the upscale Coral Ridge area surroundings.
The beautiful round building across the street - the Kenann building, which was once the home of a radio station (Y-100), and did have a gay bar for a time in the 80's in the top floor panoramic restaurant(once called Chateau Madrid). Gutted and remodeled in the 90's, a nice shot of the current building is found at the architect's website:
Thanks for the great website!

Sun Aug 06, 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great to see this old view of Coral Ridge Mall. I started going when it was in its decline when I moved to South Florida 12 years ago. It was my favorite mall nonetheless because it had character. They had a pet store and McCrory's was still there when I first started going there. My husband's father owned the barber shop that was there from the 60's on and he still works in the barber shop that is still there to this day. I am going to show him this shot and blow his mind! It brings back alot of great memories for myself, my hubby, and most of all, my father in law...thank you for that!

Sun Jan 21, 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some bits left out by the others. When I arrived in 1983, the Britts had been converted to a TJ Maxx and a J Byrons. I'm assuming the old Britts was a 2 level store encompassing both of those newer stores. There was an escaltor near the far right of the mall, right in the center of what would have been Britts. By the time I had arrived, the 2nd floor was no longer in use by either J Byrons or TJ Maxx as both were only 1 level stores. The escalator was sometimes closed off, but I did go up there once or twice. There was a mall office there in the mid 80's. McCrorys was in the center east side of the mall, replaced by, I don't exactly remember, but I think it was a Ross. There was an ice cream parlor closer to Penneys, however it was been closed for some time when I arrived in 83. I looked in the window wondering if it would ever be open. I saw red and whipe candy strip designs and a counter and such, but that's all I remember. I think there was a water fountain outside of McCrorys. There was something outside the store at least. The US Post Office which used to be on the east side near Penney's moved further south near the old Britts and current, at the time, J Byrons. The food court at the time was relatively small, but included a Cozzolis pizza, still there last time I was there, a Silver Fox cafe, Godiva chocolates(i think it was Godiva, but could have been another name) and another eatery, a deli of sorts I think that had a few arcade games. Almost across from the food court was some kind of 5 and 10 I believe. Not McCrorys or Walgreens. There was a French Bread shop, a shoe repair shop, a gaming shop specializing in games like Chess and other such board games. At one point, a Specs opened and rather quickly, closed. That was in or right next to the old ice cream parlor. Out in the parking lot, you can see the bank and to the right of that a bit, near the corner of Oakland and Federal was a fish restaurant, then became Who Song and Larry's mexican. Federal highway here looks to be a 2-4 lane road, however by 83 it was 6 lanes, and those parking spots you see on the west side of Federal/east side of the old movie theater and the round building are now lanes.

Sun Mar 25, 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Wilder said...

Wow. I love this.

Yes... Dipper Dan's! First time I ever saw Spaced Invaders. And the Emporium I think?

The arcade was great. All my elementary school clothes I got at JC Penny's.

The French place had incredible almond Croissants. The smell was divine.

I remember seeing the first Nightmare on Elm Street at the old theater across the street. And all the kids in the neighborhood would catch early Saturday morning matinees.

Just.... wow. The memories are flooding back.

Thank you and to the other blog that cross referenced this at

Anyone recall when the upstair part of Coral Ridge was used as a Haunted House for Halloween?

Tue Jul 31, 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Critifur said...

I have lived in the area since the mid-80's.

There was no Burdines, there has never been a Macy's. These were/are located at the Galleria just south of the Coral Ridge Mall

The Plitt is now a "Gentleman's Club", stripper bar.

It is interesting that the residential areas around this intersection range from upper middle to upper class, there are so many downscale businesses operating there as well.

Mon Nov 10, 04:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to all the people who posted their memories of Coral Ridge Mall. I remember when Baker's shoes and a nut shop, Walgreem's and many more stores. It was a really nice place to shop.

Sun Nov 16, 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse1986 said...

I lived in Ft Laud from 1965 until 1985. If I remember correctly, this was originally an open-air shopping center (anyone know for sure?). My cousin worked in the credit dept at Penney's, and there was a great little luncheonette between Penney's and Publix. Before I started school, my Mom would take me there and we'd have lunch with my cousin. I remember the Plitt Theatres too. Originally one screen, it was later made into twins, and later a triplex (I think). I saw "American Graffiti" and "Benji" there. The Keenan bldg was actually much nicer architecturally (sp?) before the remodel. If I remember correctly, the sides were done in stucco, with little embedded pebbles. They really went with the mosaic. Very Fountainleau (Miami Beach Modern), and very, very 60's. In later photos, these are covered by mirrored panels. Very nice if it's your first time seeing the bldg, but sad for those of us who remember the bldg. as it was.

Sun Feb 15, 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger queerboi said...

Coral Ridge Mall is very much alive and well though, like many of the smaller shopping centers, it has become more of a neighborhood mall rather than a destination mall, like the Galleria down the street. I used to work at the Publix a half mile down Oakland Park Boulevard and the Coral Ridge store has consistently been the highest grossing Publix in the area. Area residents were thrilled when Target opened the SuperTarget in the mall.

And OMG! I had forgotten about the Keenan Building. I have only been inside once, twenty-five years ago next week--my first gay date was there to the Rooftop Bar, so I do have a fond memory of the place. But, gosh, I haven't thought of that place in so long. Thanks for bringing back the memories of the Keenan and Coral Ridge Mall.

Thu Jun 18, 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a 1983 news release I wrote for a Coral Ridge Mall promotion (along with releases for 3 other malls).

Tue Feb 02, 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please excuse chopped off URL in previous post. This should fit:

Tue Feb 02, 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow..I am so happy..I lived in Coral Ridge in 1963 in the houses behind that theater..Holiday Inn was in that area also..I worked in McCroys when I was 15? 16?..Shopped in that mall all the time..Lerners etc..ate some awesome pizza slices in some shop,just hung out in that mall all the time..I remember it all so well and now at almost 55 it seems I want to go back in time..That is normal I guess...I left Ft.Lauderdale in 1973 never to return again..well for a few visits..but I will never forget my upbringing in Ft.Lauderdale..those days it was clean fresh wonderful..the beaches..Jolly Roger just all of it..Thank you for this photo and all the comments..I remember everything about each store and that area and will all the rest of my days..
Mary Lou Kiely Tuxbury..I moved to that area in 1959 when I was small and witnessed so much change..Well I will keep this memory for all time and God Speed to all of us who are kindred spirits to this..Oh my older sister worked at Publix..what a hoot its still running..Kudos!!

Mon Feb 15, 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have spent alot of time in Ft. Lauderdale and I do recall stopping in this mall. Thanks for the memories....Memories are always good as they keep our souls alive!

Mon Mar 29, 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in the Fort Lauderdale area in the my youth(early to mid-70's) and do recall my mom and dad taking me to the Coral Ridge Mall and shopping at McCrory's and later working there when I was 16. I really do miss those years!! Nothing like memories, heh!

Thu Apr 01, 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Bermuda Riviera (subdivision across from Galt Ocean Mile) and used to ride my bike to the Coral Ridge Mall. I had a friend that worked at Dipper Dan's and the restaurant Who Song and Larry's that was mentioned by another poster was "The Brave Bull" back in the early 70's, an upscale eatery that our parents frequented and took us kids occasionally, too. Ah, those were definitely the good old days, the late 60's through the 70's when Ft. Lauderdale was a different place than today.

Sun May 30, 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone went to Ft. Lauderdale HS I early 70's please let me know, I trying to reconnect with some old classmates.

Mon Jun 07, 10:15:00 AM  
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Sat Oct 02, 07:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the name of the restaurant in the SE corner of the parking lot that looked like a castle? It's gone now.

Sat Jul 23, 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger The new number 2 said...

i remember winning an album contest from Y-100 and going to the big round building yo collect my prize, ( a copy of deep purples machine head...)

Thu Jul 28, 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of you all are confusing the Coral Ridge Mall with the Galleria Mall located about 1 mile further south on Sunrise Blvd near the Intracoastal bridge. Galleria is the more upscale mall which today has a Macy's, Dilliard's, and Neiman Marcus as its anchor stores and is thriving. Galleria formerly had a Jordan Marsh, Burdines, and I believe Lord N Taylor years ago.

Coral Ridge Mall is today a lower end mall, but in a affluent area. There is a very busy SuperTarget anchoring the mall. Also TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Old Navy, AMC Movie Theatre, and Publix as the primary tenants. The mall has actually gotten better over the last 2-3 years as some newer small stores have gone in such as GNC, Jamba Juice, and Einstein Bagels.

The interior of the mall is still in tact and probably looks identical to how it looked 20 years ago. Has a dingy outdated feel like they never upgraded anything. There are no interesting architectural features to speak of. The design is very basic and bland. But you do feel like you are stuck in a 1980's time warp when you enter the interior corridor of the mall.

As someone else pointed out already, this mall is not a destination mall. Just a local mall of convenience for nearby residents. There are so many other bigger better malls in the area these days like Sawgrass, Aventura, and Galleria. Broward County also exploded in population in the 80's and 90's and several malls opened in the newer western suburbs.

Sun Oct 30, 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing- Someone mentioned that the highway you see in the photograph is Federal Highway. That is actually Oakland Park Blvd you see. Federal Highway intersects with Oakland Park Blvd just to the right of the round shaped Keenan Building, but is hard to see in the photograph.

Today, both Oakland Park and Federal Highway are 6 lane highways and there is no street parking on the sides. Traffic is very congested on these roadways.

Sun Oct 30, 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone asked the name of the restaurant that was located out in front of the mall. It was called the "Round Table".

Sat Aug 04, 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it like now?

Wed May 29, 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is.....WOW. I've been in the same neighborhood for over 40 years and the cutest outfits I have ever owned came from my shopping trips at J.Byrons. (wish I could find that type of junior clothing today)! I often partied with friends at Baja Beach Club and can remember the tall stairs you had to climb from the outside parking lot to get to the top. Wonder where that bartender is that used to spit alcohol and light the "warrior" stick on fire? :o Even though I was a young adult at that time...I can also remember being "shocked" when I first saw some of the younger crowd coming in with their "clear vinyl (see through) mini skirts" and dancing on the dance floor!! Oh! And does anyone remember that on a certain night of the week, Baja would "showcase" the older senior citizens dancing? I can't remember if they competed or just were there for "show"? I loved that time in my life! Thanks for the site!!

Sun Feb 21, 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Does anybody know where was the Club Pizazz entrance? I heard that it was on the second floor of the mall, and the only place where could have been a second floor is above TJ Maxx.

Tue Aug 28, 11:49:00 AM  

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