A Pictorial Blog of Things I Make,
Items I Collect, Architecture I Love,
and Other Stuff

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yet Further Selections From My Collection of Mall Post Cards

 New England's first two-level enclosed mall, the Rhode Island Mall in Warwick opened in October 1967 with 60 shops. These days there are four: LensCrafters, GNC, First Place Sports and The Toy Vault.

 Opened on April 10, 1962, Midtown Plaza in Rochester, N.Y., was the first downtown indoor mall in the U.S. Locked shut permanently on December 31, 2008, and demolished in late 2010, it was designed by Victor Gruen (1903-1980), who--because of his pioneering and contagious mall scheme--has been termed the 20th-century's most influential architect.

 The focal point of Midtown Plaza was the Clock of Nations, where shoppers flocked each hour and half-hour to witness mechanized marionettes cut loose to the music of 12 countries (one of them being Puerto Rico). Designed by Geri Kavanaugh, the clock now has a home at the Rochester Airport. 

 Orlando's Mall at Colonial Plaza Shopping Center opened around 1960 as the area's first enclosed air-conditioned shopping venue. 

 Here's another view of Colonial Plaza, described as a "Tropi-Colonial" setting. Along with palm trees, there were lanterns hanging from the ceiling tiles and iron-work around the fountain--nods to the Colonial? The mall closed in 1995. 

Southdale Center in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina opened in 1956 as the world's first fully-enclosed mall and was designed by the aforementioned Victor Gruen. An immigrant from Austria, Gruen lamented the lack of European-manner meeting squares in his adopted land and modeled the mall after them--a rendezvous point where suburbanites who had disconnected from downtown could congregate to eat and drink, rub shoulders, go to a movie and, of course, shop--all in American-style climate-controlled comfort.

 This 1960s mall in Hollywood, Fla., is nowadays filled with offices, including a 90,000-sq.-ft. call center.

 Original named simply "The Mall," this mid-century agora is located between Elmira and Corning, N.Y., and is today known as the Arnot Mall. It is three times larger than when this image was captured in the early 1970s.

 When it opened in 1963 northwest of Philadelphia, King of Prussia Plaza was just a modest open-air shopping mall anchored by J.C. Penney. Greatly expanded, the King of Prussia Mall (as it's now called) is the largest mall on the East Coast and has three Sunglass Huts, three Auntie Anne's Pretzels, two Coach stores, two Body Shops, two Victoria's Secrets, two H&M's, three Talbots, two Starbucks, two General Nutrition Centers, three AT&T stores, two Teavanas and two GameStop stores. Ah, America.

 Opened in 1962, Thomas Mall in Phoenix is long gone but in its heyday had aquaria and bird cages (like the one on the right) to engross its visitors--especially male ones.
To look at more malls, visit: Selections From My Collection of 1960s Mall Postcards: "Waiting for Godot" Series & Selections From My Collection of Mall Postcards: Water Feature Series & More Mall Postcards: Stairs and Balconies & Still More Selections From My Collection of Mall Post Cards