Monday, August 28, 2006

The Landing Mall

Kansas City, Missouri - 1960's

Probably one of the coolest shopping mall entrances I've seen! And even though I'm sure this great sign isn't still around, at least the memories, and photos like this, are (thanks to MOA reader, Doug Riley, for the tip on this shot!).

As for this mall, The Landing, I couldn't find much more than passing mentions of it online, nor could I spot an official website either, so I don't have a lot of info to add for it. If anyone else knows more, please comment or e-mail me.

Anyway, the above postcard comes from this Flickr set, and while I personally don't much care for Flickr as a photographic presentation platform (which is why I blog and don't choose to put my stuff on there, as some have requested I do), there are some nice vintage roadside photos in this collection, nonetheless! I'll note that I did do some overall spot-removal and cleanup on the original image, as well as some color/contrast adjusting, as the scan was a little too muddy. I think it looks better now.

Mall history: 1960 - present
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1


Blogger Famous Monster of Mpls said...

This may indeed be the coolest pic I've seen here to date! It has everything going for it - the space age font for the incredible looking sign, a beautiful suuny day, a beautiful happy shiny family with full shopping bags, a spotless family automobile, and a Kresge store that serves as a background for the entire ensemble! Life doesn't get any better than this!

Best, Terry.

Mon Aug 28, 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Middleton said...

That is a great sign. The mall is still there but it's sort of run down and not in a very good part of town. There are no major tenants and it caters to an urban crowd. Back in the 60's though, it was one of the major malls in Kansas City.

Mon Aug 28, 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot of bright blue!!!! I think I just got blinded. And the family is so cute all dressed up to go to, as what Mike referred to it as, a rundown place. It is very depressing hearing that current desciption considering how beautiful the picture is. The husband with the suit on though has to be my favorite. I can't even get my fiancee to go out to a nice resturant in a suit let alone the shopping mall.

Mon Aug 28, 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Middleton said...

It definitely wasn't run down then. My mom used to go there with her friends all the time when she was growing up. That sign on the postcard is long gone but there's signage on the other side of the mall with the same lettering style.

Mon Aug 28, 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

Swanky signage, cool vintage car and a happy 1950s/1960s family. What more can one ask for?

BTW, what is "urban" supposed to be an euphemism for in this context? Poor, non-white people?

Mon Aug 28, 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Middleton said...

Actually, the neighborhood is fairly racially mixed. It's in an older part of the city that has seen better days. There are much worse neighborhoods in KC. I didn't mean to imply anything when I referred to it as urban.

Mon Aug 28, 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That shot looks like the old Desert Inn in Las Vegas from the 50's

Tue Aug 29, 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am completly smitten with this photo!
I so want to be able to just walk into that scene and have a look around.
With my camera, of course.

Tue Aug 29, 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I can attest to Mike's comments about it being in a not very good part of town. I moved out of the area 4 years ago because of an increase in crime including my own home. I loved going to the Landing as a child and playing on the animal statues that use to be inside and throwing coins in the fountain. One of my favorite shops was Topsy's a local popcorn and icecream shop. They have the best cinnamon popcorn and cherry limeades!

Tue Aug 29, 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of interest is that the building to the right of the photo that is white was a Macy's and when Dillard's bought Macy's in the 80's it became a Dillard's but was quickly shuttered.

Sat Sep 02, 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger chunkybacon said...

what a great find. i love it!

a stunning , upbeat, optimistic photo with
the nuclear family, the cool car, the clear blue skies , and even the Mall entrance sign is pretty cool.. man , you cant get any more cheery than that.

in today's somewhat depressing post-911 world, i'd rather we had a lot more imagery like that. we really do need to recapture that 50s/60s optimism.

Mon Sep 18, 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was when the landing mall was the king back then.
man i can get paid to dump macy trash!

most the old sign are still up! accept they change the name To The New Landing Mall.
I still live right close the street from the mall!

Yell! has it up and down for the past couple years.

it still the only mall in kc that still open late on christmas eve in some case Intel midnight.

it still famous for it black SANTA CLAUS and it racially mixed.

Tue May 20, 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger womackphotokcmo said...

My family moved about 3 blocks away from the Landing, on Rockhill Rd., in the mid-sixties. I got to see it uncovered and covered. There were many cool stores, and I got many pairs of shoes from the Steves Shoes. Most of my clothes came from the Macy's there; too. The high school across the street(I graduated from there in 1980), was Bishop Hogan...the Rams, and they always posed the cheerleaders on the Ram statue. Gateway Sporting Goods, Musicland, SS Kresge, Cakebox bakery, Merry-Go-Round had everything I needed as a kid in the 70's and VERY early 80's! There was a barber shop on the North side, an office supply store near the barber. It was just a cool place to go before the "suppermalls" started sprouting. The Landing sign in the postcard was there long after the mall went bad, if I had known then what I know now about "googie", I would have taken photos of all the signs there.

Mon Oct 06, 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great memeories of The Landing as a kid. We lived in Independence, so going to The Landing was a real treat! We always had lunch at The Seafood Cafe...the BEST clam chowder ever. Plus, they had Manhattan (red) clam chowder, too. Cake Box Bakery, Musicland (where the last 45 singles I bought was Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland", Macy's, the animal statues in the main mall, and the Russell Stovers store that sat in the parking lot. Mom would wear her mink fur and go with Dad to the swanky "Leather Bottle" restaurant that was upstarirs where the video store last was. It was a J.C. Nichols mall, the same people who developed Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. Ah, better days!

Mon Apr 13, 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Olen said...

I grew up there in the 80's. I lived on 56th Euclid. Me/ my friends used to walk to the landing all the time. The music store, foot locker, Kressge, Payless shoes, Harold Penner, etc. I remember hanging out at the arcade break dancing. But around the late 80's, I avoided that place. I'd stop in briefly, but never hung out there anymore. And I usually had a gun with me even then. Always wondered if I'd be safe walking back to my car. Broken glass and trash in the parking lot, etc. I remember the Landing well!

Wed Mar 24, 11:09:00 PM  
Anonymous DennisP said...

I worked at the Steve's Shoes in the mid 60's. The animals in the mall were safe and kids played on them while parents shopped. The mall started out open to the elements--stores on two sides of walkway. They covered it later so it became an "inside" mall. Interesting the mall style is back to "outside" strip malls now. Christmas at "The Landing" was "the" place to shop.

Wed May 12, 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

It has been a while since I was in a mall. The last time I was watching a movie with my family. Since I got everything for the on-line retailers I don't do my shopping on malls.

Mon May 16, 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous patty wetmore said...

Sweet memories of a kinder/gentler time. I attended Bishop Hogan High School across the street from the Landing/graduated in 1967. My boyfriend/later husband worked in the stock room at Macy's. I wonder what happened to those animal statues that were there.


Sat May 28, 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous pharmacy said...

Great pictures, I remember my grandfather telling me about this mall.

Mon Aug 29, 03:36:00 PM  
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Fri Sep 16, 04:04:00 AM  
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Fri Sep 23, 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when the landing opened with one of the calling cards being the animals. I seem to remember there being severl more - a hippo and birds and such. My sister was climbing on the giraffes while mom was shopping. Got her leg caught between the two for about an hour or so. I was holding her up to keep the pressure off until some adults came by and lifted her off. The next week they were caged....

The Landing also hosted the Dancing Waters that had backed up a certain piano player (Liberace)at the New York Worlds Fair. Nothing like a warm evening with water misting all around ;-).

Sat Oct 15, 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

Shopped at the Landing as a child with my mother. There was a huge Noah's ark, raccoons on tree stumps, a whale, a swan, giraffe, and other statues. I think some of the statues are now on the Plaza during Easter. Used to be a pleasant place to shop in the 60's.

Sat Mar 17, 02:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Standard Carry On Luggage Size said...

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Fri Mar 23, 03:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have great memories of The Landing. My dear old dad was the manager of the Racket Merchandise store there. A lot of fun things to do at that mall in a simpler time. I really cherish those days, like working the tables at the sidewalk sales. Those really were the days.

Sun Oct 14, 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the Landing. I graduated from Bishop Hogan, in 1987 & me & my friends were their everyday at Music Land grabbing all the latest Whodini, New Edition & Michael Jackson albums, 45's & then the Cassette tapes! We saved our lunch money for Topsys popcorn to eat while lounging on the animals in the center of the mall..great times! "Go RAMS"

Sat Mar 15, 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, I remember the Landing very well. My mom worked at the Racket Store. I remember those animals too. What I remember most was one day we were walking home from school and went in and there was a stage and Buffy from Family Affair was there. Annisa Jones if I remember right. She just was on stage and we were all screaming. I got a signed pic and a kiss. She would be dead at 18 or so. Great memories. I know I have some Landing pics somewhere!!!

Mon Sep 08, 03:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss shopping there with my family growing up. I really miss the Cake Box Bakery! It was incredible! They had the best butter cookies in the world! I saw Paul Revere and the Raiders play in the parking lot once. And Russel Stovers had a white building on the corner where they made and sold their delicious chocolate confections. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Fri Dec 05, 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Used to go there as a kid. Loved playing on the animals from the Ark. Especially the Penguin slide

Sun Apr 17, 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When was there a Fountain in the Landing Mall??

Sat Feb 25, 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Are any other stores that u czn remember? Was there a pizza place there?

Sat Feb 25, 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Are any other stores that u czn remember? Was there a pizza place there?

Sat Feb 25, 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yea that was the time I used to go there damn those were the days lol

Sat Feb 25, 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

Use to be a great place to shop like the Bannister Mall, until people moved in those areas and started committing all the crime. Bannister mall and Super Wal-Mart and a lot of other stores and restaurants left those areas and the Bannister mall and surrounding stores for several blocks were torn down because people stopped shopping at them because of all the crimes from robbery to murder committed by African Americans!!!!!!!!!

Sat Mar 18, 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still go there I have love for the landing I grew up on 52 and Euclid don't forget the theatre at the landing

Mon Feb 12, 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a kid I had a few pairs of shoes from Steve's as well! (And some records from Musicland.) From 1964 through '72 my dad and I had season tickets to the Chiefs. Before each game we would drive to The Landing and catch an old funky city bus to Municipal Stadium. Afterwards if there was time we'd cruise across the street to NuWay and enjoy the only burgers in town that rivaled Winstead's. Good memories!

Fri Dec 23, 08:56:00 PM  

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