Biloxi's Edgewater Plaza Shopping City

A 1960s aerial of the Mississippi coastline mall. The center shared its site with the Edgewater Gulf Hotel (1927-1971). EL CON CENTER {in Tuscon, Arizona} also had a grand 1920s hotel in its periphery.
Photo from Malls of America Blogspot

In a vintage exterior view, we see the mall's Gayfer's anchor store and the freestanding Plaza Restaurant, which was adjacent to its southeast corner.
Photo from "Explore Retro Design, Mississippi, and more!"

In our first vintage interior view, we have the north end of the South Court. The Hobbyville shop is seen on the right.
Photo from Malls of America Blogspot

The Gayfer's mall entrance is in the background of this South Court view. On the left is Hobbyville and Gordon's Jewelers. Far off, on the right side, is the Walgreen's store entry.
Photo from Malls of America Blogspot

An early '60s  layout of the 395,400 square foot shoreline shopopolis. There were three major stores; Gayfer's, Goudchaux's and J.J. Newberry. The Food Center supermarket would be converted to a Jitney Jungle grocery in July 1966.

The adjacent hotel was knocked down in 1971, providing space for a mall expansion. The addition (shown in gray) housed forty-three inline stores and a new Sears, which included a freestanding Sears Auto Center. A twin cinema, the first of two that would operate at -or within- the shopping center, was built in its northwestern periphery.

J.C. Penney assumed a vacant J.J. Newberry spot in 1979. Gayfer's was enlarged in the late 1980s. A Food Court took the place of Goudchaux's in 1993. In 1996 and '97, the mall was expanded (in light gray). A fourth anchor (McRae's) and parking garage were built. Penney's was also renovated, taking in adjacent store space.

An current exterior view shows results of a year 2000 outdoor face lift.
Photo from (Jim Wilson & Associates)

An early 2000s aerial view of the complex. Major expansions, in 1972-1973 and 1996-1997, had doubled the original GLA of the shopping facility.
Photo from (Jim Wilson & Associates)

EDGEWATER MALL took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Recovery was slow, but by late 2005 most stores were back in business. A substantially rebuilt Dillard's re-opened in early 2008, signifying the mall's complete recovery from the super storm. The complex now spanned 867,000 leasable square feet.

On the horizon is a total rebuild of the mall's southwest corner. The existing Food Court would be joined by an outdoor plaza seating area. Moreover, a multiplex cinema (the second to operate inside the shopping complex) would be built. These plans were being made as Sears was being shuttered. This could impact (or even delay) the prospective renovation.
Beach Boulevard / US 90 and Edgewater Drive
Biloxi, Mississippi

Mississippi's first shopping mall was located directly on the Gulf Of Mexico shoreline; built on a 40 acre parcel located 6 miles west of downtown Biloxi. Originally known as EDGEWATER PLAZA SHOPPING CITY, the single-level, fully-enclosed shopping center opened for business, with eleven stores, on September 21, 1963.

The Biloxi-based W.L. Holcomb Company developed the 395,400 square foot complex, which, at the time, was reputedly the largest interior mall in the Southeast. Eventually encompassing thirty-four stores and services, the 7 million dollar retail hub was anchored by a 1-level (84,000 square foot), Mobile-based Gayfer's and 1-level, Baton Rouge-based Goudchaux's.

There were also Walgreen Drug, Bookland, Hobbyville, Gordon's Jewelers, Thornberry's Toys, Lerner Shops, Dipper Dan Ice Cream Shoppe, Broome Studio, a Food Center supermarket and 1-level (55,000 square foot) J.J. Newberry 5 & 10.

The adjacent Edgewater Gulf Hotel was razed in 1971. Its area provided space for an eastward expansion of the mall. A 1-level (72,800 square foot) Sears held its grand opening August 9, 1972. Jackson-based Waldorff's apparel, and forty-one addition stores and services, followed in 1973. Gayfer's also added a second level, with its store being enlarged to 167,000 square feet.

A freestanding movie house, the Odgen-Perry Theatres Edgewater Plaza Cinema I & II, was built in the mall's northwest parking area. The venue showed its first features on June 7, 1973. An in-mall twin opened in the mid-1970s, which was known as the Edgewater Plaza Cinema III & IV. These theaters were in business until 1995.

J.J. Newberry had closed its doors in 1978 and was replaced by J.C. Penney, which opened for business January 24, 1979. By this time, the mid-century-ish EDGEWATER PLAZA SHOPPING CITY moniker had morphed into the more up-to-date EDGEWATER MALL.

During a late 1980s renovation, the mall's interior was modernized, with its "space age" design embellishments ripped out. Gayfer's expanded (to 224,300 square feet) with a southeast addition. A subsequent mall remodeling, in 1993, replaced a shuttered Goudchaux's with a 13-bay Food Court. The mall's exterior was also refurbished.

A major mall renovation was done in 1996-1997. A 2-level (160,000 square foot), Jackson-based McRae's, eight inline stores, and dual-level parking garage were added. Likewise, Sears had a second level built, for a total of 120,000 square feet.

When all of the construction dust settled, EDGEWATER MALL encompassed approximately 815,000 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and ten stores and services.

In September 1999, Montgomery, Alabama-based Jim Wilson & Associates assumed management and leasing duties for the mall's proprietors, the League, Texas-based American National Insurance Company. Gayfer's had been rebranded by Little Rock-based Dillard's in 1999.

In the early 2000s, J.C. Penney expanded into adjacent space on its west side. Originally a supermarket, the area had also housed a J.G. McCrory 5 & 10, which closed in 1996. With the store enlargement, Penney's encompassed 100,600 square feet.

EDGEWATER MALL took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. In the aftermath, the entire mall was out of business. Sears became the first store to re-open, on September 28, 2005. It would be 4 months before most retailers were back in business.

Stores along the beach-facing front of the mall had been the hardest hit. What remained of the outparcel Sears Auto Center and O'Charlie's restaurant were knocked down. Dillard's shut down just before the storm and was out of business indefinitely.

After 2 years spent haggling over their insurance claim, the Little Rock retailer gutted their building, demolished the front section that had been added in 1988, and built a small western expansion. The 2-level (187,000 square foot) structure was rededicated March 5, 2008. Meanwhile, the EDGEWATER MALL McRae's had been rebranded, as a Charlotte-based Belk, in March 2006.


The Sun Herald
The Biloxi Daily Herald
The Gulf Coast News
Malls of America Blogspot / "Edgewater Plaza" postings by Keith Milford / Comments by "David", "Cora" and "Wes W." (National Real Estate Investor) / Mike Rivest
"Edgewater Mall" article on Wikipedia

Sears, one of two original CORONADO CENTER anchors, operated a 185,500 square foot store at the shopping center.
Photo from

Another vintage view of Sears, with Pay Less Drug seen on the left.
Photo from / "Flickriver PhotoStream" / William Bird

Rhodes, which was the original mall's second anchor. The store was dedicated 7 months after the official CORONADO CENTER grand opening. The interior of Rhodes' CORONADO location was appointed with the very latest Spanish (a.k.a. "Mediterranean") decor.
Photo from "Explore New Mexico History, Rhodes & More!"

In this vintage CORONADO CENTER image, we see the Center Court area. Its focal point was the "Coronado's March" statue, which commemorated the Spanish conquistador's 1540-1542 expedition through (what would become) the Southwestern United States.
Photo from / "Flickriver PhotoStream" / William Bird

The footprint of the original single-level center. In March, 1965, it encompassed around 450,000 leasable square feet and housed twenty-nine stores and services. A Sears Auto Center was a northwestern outparcel.


SEARS (with Coffee Shop and freestanding Auto Center) / RHODES BROTHERS / FREMONT'S FINE FOODS / PAYLESS DRUG (with luncheonette) / Accents By Ann / Alcon Barbers / Bank of New Mexico / Berland's Shoes / Dan's Boots & Saddles / Dan Judd's Jewelry / Dorothy Gray's for Ladies / Fashion Fabric Center / Given Brothers Shoes / Weleck's Hallmark / Hardy Shoes / Henry's Fine Men's Wear / Kurt's Camera Corral / Lynn's Apparel for Ladies / Mandell's Sportswear for Men & Women / Margo's La Mode / Plaza Books / Red Carpet Gifts / Richman Brothers Men's Wear / Sewing Nook / Sweetbriar Shops Women's Wear / Unique Boutique for Ladies / Vip's Coffee Shop & Restaurant / Wyatt's Cafeteria / Zen's Gifts

The mall grew exponentially during a 1975-1976 expansion. The original 450,000 square foot center was doubled in size, making it into a gargantuan superregional complex. New The Broadway and Goldwaters anchors joined the tenant roster, which now listed one hundred and forty-three stores and services.

In a circa-1997 plan, we see the mall's first Macy's location, which had assumed the old Broadway Southwest (nee' The Broadway) space in May 1996. In addition to its stalwart Sears, CORONADO CENTER now featured Foley's, Penney's and Mervyn's anchor stores.

We continue our "visit" to CORONADO CENTER with two relatively recent interior views of the complex.
Photo from (General Growth Properties)

These snapshots were taken before a 2014 indoor-outdoor renovation.
Photo from (General Growth Properties)

New Mexico's largest mall, as it was configured in 2014. 2006 brought the conversion of Foley's into a new Macy's location. 2 years later, Mervyn's was shuttered. It re-opened -as a Kohl's- in late 2010. The Macy's in the western anchor space had closed in 2006. The building sat vacant for 7 years. Dick's Sporting Goods and Gordmans home & apparel set up shop in late 2013.

We wrap up our New Mexico shopping center section with a diagram to help clarify the CORONADO mall's anchor merchandising musical chairs over the years. With Macy's switching places and Foley's coming, going and then coming back again, it could get confusing! 
Click on image for a larger view
Menual and Louisiana Boulevards, Northeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Chicago-based Homart Development built New Mexico's second shopping mall. CORONADO CENTER, Homart's third retail center project, was located one half mile northwest of ABQ's WINROCK CENTER (1961).

The 450,000 square foot CORONADO CENTER was situated on an 84 acre plot, located 4 miles northeast of downtown Albuquerque. Open-air in format, the shopping hub was officially dedicated March 17, 1965. A 1-level (185,500 square foot) Sears served as its north anchor.

Charter tenants included Wyatt's Cafeteria, Hardy Shoes, Pay Less Drug and an Albuquerque-based Fremont's Fine Foods supermarket. A 2-level (118,000 square foot) Tacoma-based Rhodes, anchoring the mall's southeast corner, opened for business October 1, 1965. CORONADO CENTER now contained thirty stores and services.

A major expansion was built in the mid-1970s. The existing open-air structure was fully-enclosed and a 2-level addition built on its west end. A 2-level (106,000 square foot) Phoenix-based Goldwaters and 3-level (159,400 square foot), Los Angeles-based The Broadway came on board as third and fourth anchors.

The 40 million dollar addition was formally dedicated February 16, 1976, when over seventy new stores opened for business. When the West Wing was fully-completed, CORONADO CENTER spanned 970,800 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and forty-three store spaces.

Commonwealth Theatres built a freestanding multiplex in the southern periphery of the shopping hub. The Coronado 4 Theatres showed its first features June 15, 1977. On December 13, 1985, the venue re-opened as the Coronado 6 Theatres. The movie house was shuttered in 2004.

Some years before, a second mall expansion had added a 2-level (135,000 square foot) Dallas-based Sanger-Harris. This store began business on August 2, 1984. The facility now encompassed approximately 1,105,800 leasable square feet, confirming its position as the largest shopping center in New Mexico.

Four of the five anchor stores at CORONADO CENTER would be rebranded, some on more than one occasion. Rhodes was promoted as a Liberty House / Rhodes in the early-to-mid 1970s and became a full-fledged Liberty House on August 8, 1977. The store became a Hayward, California-based Mervyn's on November 11, 1978.

The Broadway came under the Phoenix-based Broadway Southwest banner in 1979. Sanger-Harris operated as a Houston-based Foley's between April 1987 and January 1989. It became a J.C. Penney on January 31, 1990.

Goldwaters was rebranded as a Denver-based May-Daniels & Fisher (May D & F) on May 7, 1989. A 10 million dollar store remodeling got underway in August 1990. The building was gutted, expanded and rebuilt into a 154,000 square foot structure. A grand re-opening was held October 3, 1991. In April 1993, this May D & F became the mall's second Foley's location.

The July 1996 completion of COTTONWOOD MALL {8.3 miles northwest, also in Albuquerque} did not effect CORONADO CENTER. With the decline of the adjacent WINROCK CENTER in the late 1990s, the CORONADO property was repositioned as the preeminent shopping venue in Greater Albuquerque. Chicago's General Growth Properties acquired the mega mall in July 2003.

Macy's, which was operating in the old Broadway building, initiated a going out of business sale in January 2006. Operations were moved to the Foley's structure, which was rebranded as a Macy's on September 9, 2006.

The vacant Broadway had been acquired by Minnesota's Target Corporation in July 2006. For years, it was postulated that Target would raze the structure and erect a new store. However, plans were eventually announced for a new Target; this to be built on a pad adjacent to WINROCK CENTER. The new Target welcomed its first shoppers in March 2013.

Meanwhile, anchor alterations continued at the "CORONADO MALL". Mervyn's was shuttered in December 2008. The building was thoroughly remodeled and re-opened, as a Wisconsin-based Kohl's, on September 26, 2010.

After sitting vacant for 7 years, the Broadway building was repurposed. Omaha's Gordmans home & apparel chain opened a 1-level (52,600 square foot), upper level store on September 19, 2013. This inauguration was followed by one for a (47,700 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods, in the building's ground level, which was held on October 11 of the same year.

A face lift mall remodeling, the first since 1995, was conducted between February and November of 2014. The project added new lighting, paint, signage and polished porcelain flooring. Moreover, mall entrances, restrooms and the Food Court were updated.

New tenants included Bonefish Grill and a (22,800 square foot) H & M. Cheesecake Factory was also added to the south side of CORONADO CENTER. This restaurant began business February 23, 2016. With its completion, the mall encompassed 1,111,700 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and thirty-eight stores and services.

Sears, in retail retreat, downsized its store into a 78,100 square foot operation and shuttered its freestanding Auto Center. The remainder of the space was carved into fifteen inline stores, with the largest being an (18,000 square foot) The Container Store.

A grand re-opening was held by Sears on December 11, 2016. The Container Store welcomed its first patrons July 8, 2017. Other stores and services leasing space in the reconfigured Sears area included Lids, Sunglass Hut and Aerie (a fashion accessory retailer).


"Albuquerque's Environmental Story, Educating For a Sustainable Community, The Built Environment - A Sense of Place Mid-Heights" / by Phyllis Taylor
Malls Of America Blogspot / "Winrock Center" posting / Comment by "Mapper"
The Albuquerque Journal / Mike Rivest
"Foley's" article on Wikipedia
"Macy's" article on Wikipedia
Bernalillo County, New Mexico Tax assessor website (General Growth Properties)
Comment post by "Max"
Bismarck's Kirkwood Plaza

A vintage aerial view of Bismarck's first regional-class retail complex. The original mall housed thirty-nine stores and services, with Woolworth, Montgomery Ward and Herberger's as it anchors.
Photo from State Historical Society of North Dakota Archives

An interior view, also from the early '70s. The mallway entrance of Osco Drug is seen on the left, with a Woolworth's nameplate visible far in the background.
Photo from State Historical Society of North Dakota Archives

In our first layout, we see the unique, Y-shaped floor plan of the mall. The original KIRKWOOD PLAZA spanned 422,000 leasable square feet and was officially dedicated in May 1971. 

By 1985, the shopping hub was known officially as KIRKWOOD MALL. A southward expansion (indicated in gray) was built between 1977 and 1980. It added Target and J.C. Penney. The existing Herberger's had been shifted westward and enlarged, with half of its former area becoming part of an extended mallway.

That well-known Minneapolis merchandiser opened a newly-built store at KIRKWOOD in November 2006. It took the place of the old Dayton's.
Photo from

KIRKWOOD MALL, circa-2012. This plan shows the final footprint of Herberger's, which was expanded, for a second time, in 1994. Scheels moved into a larger store, in the former Target, in July 2007. The cinema, which closed in 2001, re-opened as the Mid Dakota Clinic.

KIRKWOOD MALL, circa-2017. The big news, in the spring of 2013, was about a newly-expanded Scheels store, which had taken in a good deal of adjacent mall space. Shoe Department Encore assumed a vacant drug store spot in the fall of 2014. Swedish high-fashion retailer H & M dedicated a KIRKWOOD location in the fall of 2016.
East Bowen Avenue and South 7th Street
Bismarck, North Dakota

One of the nation's more unique mid-century shopping malls was built in the Peace Garden State. Originally known as KIRKWOOD PLAZA, the fully-enclosed complex was designed in a curving-concourse "Y" configuration.

Ground was broken at a 48-acre site, located 1.7 miles south of the North Dakota Capitol, in November 1968. Developed by Bismarck's Paul H. Wachter, under the auspices of the Wachter Real Estate Trust, KIRKWOOD PLAZA was named after Robert Campbell Kirkwood, Chief Executive Officer of the F.W. Woolworth Company between 1958 and 1969.

The first operational KIRKWOOD store, a 1-level (72,900 square foot) Woolworth 5 & 10, opened its doors March 18, 1970. Montgomery Ward dedicated a 2-level (133,600 square foot) location September 23, 1970. The Mid-Continent Theatres (MidCo) Plaza Twin showed its first features October 30 of the same year.

The mall's third anchor, a 1-level (52,000 square foot), St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Herberger's, welcomed its first shoppers March 23, 1971. KIRKWOOD PLAZA was officially dedicated May 14, with its namesake in attendance. Mr. Kirkwood was accompanied by John S. Roberts, President of F.W. Woolworth, and C. Walton Backhaus, the company's Vice President.

Encompassing 422,000 leasable square feet, KIRKWOOD PLAZA housed thirty-nine stores and services under its roof. A few of the original inline tenants were 4-B's Cafeteria and a (17,000 square foot) Osco Drug. It is also possible that there was a Fargo-based Herbst junior department store in the original mall. 

By the late 1970s, a major expansion was underway. The mall site was expanded southward, taking out a section of East Arbor Avenue and bringing in an additional 20 acres. Herberger's was shifted toward the west and expanded into a (58,800 square foot) store. Half of its original area became part of an extended north-south mallway.

The movie theater moved into newly-built mall space and was renamed the Plaza 3 theater. At the end of the new South Wing were a 1-level (98,000 square foot) Target and 1-level (105,600 square foot) J.C. Penney. This store welcomed its first shoppers on January 16, 1980. With this addition, KIRWOOD PLAZA housed ninety stores and services.

Apparently, the Woolworth store was converted to the Woolco banner in the early 1980s. It was shuttered in January 1983. The shopping hub was sold in 1984 to the Prudential Insurance Company of America and renamed KIRKWOOD MALL.

During the same year, Fargo-based Scheels Sporting Goods opened a (29,000 square foot) store in the mall's South Wing. The vacant Woolworth-Woolco re-opened, as a Minneapolis-based Dayton's, in 1985.

Herberger's was enlarged (to 92,000 square feet) in 1994. Montgomery Ward shuttered its store in early 1999. The space sat vacant until 2002, when it re-opened as a Minot-based I. Keating Furniture World.

Dayton's had been rebranded by Chicago-based Marshall Field's in August 2001. This store closed in mid-2005, and was demolished. It was replaced by a 1-level (137,800 square foot) Target, which opened in November 2006.

The old Target, on the southwest corner of the mall, was refitted as a much larger Scheels All Sports. This new location was dedicated in July 2007. With these modifications, KIRKWOOD MALL encompassed 850,000 leasable square feet and housed ninety stores and services.

CVS (nee' Osco) Drug closed in January 2010. The store relocated to a freestanding building northwest of the shopping hub. New York City's Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, who had acquired the mall in September 1987, sold it to New York City's Radiant Partners in April 2011.

Chattanooga's CBL & Associates Properties also had a stake in the shopping center. They bought out all joint venture partners in December 2012, establishing 100 percent ownership of the property. Management had been handled by Chicago's Urban Retail Properties since 1994. This job was assumed by Jones, Lang, LaSalle, also of Chicago, in 2011.

A modest refurbishment of the property was underway by September 2015. The project improved roadway access, installed new landscaping and brought in new tenants, such as Zumiez and Blue Hawk Audio & Video.

A freestanding Panera Bread, built on a pad southeast of the mall proper, made its debut on November 15, 2015. Swedish high fashion retailer H & M (Hennes & Mauritz) set up shop in a 1-level (22,000 square foot) space in the South Wing and opened for business on September 22, 2016.

Sources: / Randy Hoffman
The Bismarck Tribune
The (Provo, Utah) Daily Herald
Burleigh County, North Dakota Tax Assessor website
"Kirkwood Mall" article on Wikipedia
Comment posts by Keri and "TenPoundHammer"
"Dayton's" article on Wikipedia
"Scheel's All Sports" article on Wikipedia


The photographs from The State Historic Archives of North Dakota illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the images does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the images in any way. The images are being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and their use is not believed to detract from the original images in any way.
Portland's Maine Mall 

A circa-1971 advertisement promoting the Pine Tree State's MAINE MALL.
Graphic from the Bangor Daily News

Beantown-based Jordan Marsh opened a freestanding South Portland location in August 1969. A fully-enclosed mall was added to the south side of the store 2 years later.

A physical layout of the circa-'71 center. Maine's third shopping mall opened for business as the largest in the state. It originally encompassed approximately 510,100 leasable square feet and housed over sixty stores and services.

A circa-1994 layout. A 1982-1983 addition appears in medium gray. Alterations done in 1994 include a reconfiguration of an existing Food Court and newly-built Lechmere. Now encompassing around 1,099,000 leasable square feet, MAINE MALL is twice the size of its nearest size-wise contender, BANGOR MALL.

Twenty-first century signage announcing THE MAINE MALL. After more than 40 years in business, the complex has retained its status as largest shopping mall in the state. Even after a late 1990s expansion, BANGOR MALL is still over 400,000 square feet smaller.

The epicenter of the 1971 section of THE MAINE MALL. This view is looking toward the northeast, into the Macy's Wing.
Photo from (General Growth Properties)

An aerial view of the sprawling retail hub. That's a J.C. Penney on the far right. On top is the Jordan Marsh / Macy's. Sears appears in the lower left corner.
Photo from

A circa-2014 site plan. Filene's Men's, which assumed half of the Porteous spot in 1996, has been replaced by XXI Forever and H & M. The main Filene's spot, vacant for 7 years, was retenanted by The Bon Ton, whose grand opening took place in September 2013. The store space would be vacant again in 5 years.
Gorham and Maine Mall Roads
South Portland, Maine

The history of the Pine Tree State's preeminent shopping hub begins in the mid-1960s. Bernal B. Allen convinced the City of South Portland and its Chamber of Commerce to acquire the 137 acre Dwyer's pig farm for potential development as a retail center. The plot, located 4 miles southwest of center city Portland, was adjacent to a section of the Maine Turnpike (Interstate 95) that had opened to traffic in December 1955.

Boston's Julian Cohen, a philanthropist and real estate developer, bought the pig farm parcels and initiated construction of a 2-level (188,000 square foot), Boston-based Jordan Marsh. The freestanding department store was dedicated August 8, 1969.

Ground was broken for a fully-enclosed shopping center, built on the south side of the existing "Jordan's", in 1970. Designed by Boston's Sumner & Schein firm, MAINE MALL opened, with an initial twenty-one stores, in August 1971.

When fully leased, MAINE MALL housed sixty-two tenants. The 510,100 square foot complex was anchored by the aforementioned Jordan Marsh and 1-level (102,000 square foot) Sears. Charter inline stores included Krey's Disc Shop, Vogel's Hallmark, Waldenbooks, Lamey-Wellehan, Radio Shack, Spencer Gifts, an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and Gold Star IGA supermarket.

In 1975, the General Cinema Corporation Maine Mall Cinema III showed its first features. The venue, built as a freestanding structure, was located on a site across Payne (Maine Mall) Road from the shopping hub. The theater was expanded into a 7-plex in 1984 and was shuttered in 2002.

A major expansion of MAINE MALL was officially dedicated August 3, 1983. Over 500,000 square feet of retail space was added to the east side of the structure. Three new anchor stores joined the tenant list; a 2-level (120,800 square foot), Boston-based Filene's ["fiy-leenz"], 2-level (79,000 square foot), Portland-based Porteous, Mitchell & Braun and 1-level (80,000 square foot) J.C. Penney.

The mall now encompassed 1,043,100 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and twenty stores and services. A 7 million dollar renovation was done in the mid-1990s. A Food Court, installed as part of the 1983 expansion, was rebuilt into an 11-bay facility.

Moreover, new tile flooring and skylights were installed throughout the mall and a 1-level (55,900 square foot), Woburn ["woo-burn'] , Massachusetts-based Lechmere ["leech-meer'] was built at the west entrance. The shopping center, officially rededicated October 16, 1994, now had one hundred and forty stores and services under its roof. Its GLA has been enlarged to 1,099,000 square feet.

Porteous closed December 31, 1994. The building was subdivided. A (36,000 square foot) Filene's Men's & Home Furnishings store opened, on the Lower Level, October 30, 1996. A (40,000 square foot), Englewood, Colorado-based Sports Authority began business, in the Upper Level, in June 1997.

Jordan Marsh had been rebranded as a Macy's on March 31, 1996. Woolworth was shuttered in July 1997 and replaced, by a Clifton, New Jersey-based Linens 'N Things, July 2, 1999. Lechmere was shuttered in November 1997 and re-opened, as a Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy, October 16, 1998.

The turn of the century brought even more changes. The shopping hub, now officially promoted as THE MAINE MALL, was purchased by Chicago-based General Growth Properties in October 2003. 2 years later, the Filene's chain was dissolved in the Federated / May merger. Its two THE MAINE MALL locations closed in March 2006.

For years, reports circulated concerning a prospective lifestyle-type expansion of THE MAINE MALL. The vacant Filene's main store was to be razed and replaced by a 16-screen Regal multiplex cinema and open-air section of stores. This addition, to be known as MAINE MALL COMMONS, was to house a Barnes & Noble bookstore and five casual dining restaurants.

Best Buy was also to relocate into a newly-built outparcel store. The original location in the mall was supposed to be torn down and replaced by a new open-air section of stores. However, a lawsuit, The Great Recession, and financial problems at General Growth Properties caused these projects to be abandoned.

Nevertheless, several vacant spaces at the mall were filled. The old Filene's Men's & Home Furnishings was divided between a (25,900 square foot) XXI Forever and (17,100 square foot) H & M. These stores opened October 29, 2008.

The old Woolworth / Linens 'N Things space had been temporarily leased as a Gobeil's Furniture Gallery. This store was shuttered and divided between a (25,000 square foot) Extreme Family Fitness Center and (15,000 square foot) Super Shoes. These began business in October 2010. The Extreme facility was short-lived. It was replaced by an Old Navy store on November 16, 2011.

After sitting vacant for 7 years, the old Filene's at THE MAINE MALL was retenanted. York, Pennsylvania-based The Bon Ton renovated the 2-level space and held  a grand opening on September 12, 2013. The 19-year-old Sports Authority store was shuttered in mid-2016. In August 2017, The Bon Ton closed their THE MAINE MALL location, which had been in operation for nearly 5 years.


The Portland Press Herald
The Maine Sunday Telegram
The Boston Globe / "A Study Of Retail Sprawl & The Lives of People In Greater Portland, Maine" / Kevin Burke (General Growth Properties)
Comment posts by "Pseudo3D", "GoNordike" and Edwin


The graphic from The Bangor Daily News helps to illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The image is of lower resolution than the original (copies made would be of inferior quality). The image is not replaceable with a free-use or public-domain image. The use of the image does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the image in any way. The image is being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and its use is not believed to detract from the original image in any way.
Rhode Island's Warwick Mall

A 144,600 square foot J.C. Penney opened at WARWICK MALL in March 1980. The store was added to the front entrance of the 10-year-old shopping hub. Its original anchors had been Boston-based Filene's and Jordan Marsh.

A circa-'71 site plan of WARWICK MALL The complex, which was the largest regional shopping center in the state, encompassed 840,000 leasable square feet.

The shopping center in 1983. In this plan, we see the aforementioned J.C. Penney. The mall's Outlet Company was shuttered in August 1982. The store has just re-opened as a Connecticut-based Caldor discount mart.

A renovation of the WARWICK MALL Filene's got underway in May 1996. The store, which had been enlarged by 77,000 square feet, was re-dedicated in August 1997.
Photo from the City Of Warwick 

Jordan Marsh became the Macy's seen here in March 1996. This store closed when Macy's took over the Filene's chain, in September 2006.
Photo from the City Of Warwick 

The Carousel Food Court was built in a vacated Peerless Company store between January 1991 and August 1992.
Photo from the City Of Warwick 

In a circa-1997 site plan, Macy's has overtaken Beantown's venerable "Jordan's" chain. The aforementioned Food Court, which has been a mall fixture for 5 years, is indicated in medium gray. The Woolworth 5 & dime went dark in October 1989 and has been replaced by Bath & Body Works.

An interior view, showing vaulted ceilings installed during a 1991-1992 mall-wide facelift.
Photo from / "Caldor"

A circa-2013 depiction of WARWICK MALL. In July 2008, a 140,000 square foot Target opened on the first level of the old Jordan Marsh / Macy's. It was followed (in mid-2009) by a 40,000 square foot Sports Authority, on the second level of the old store. Nordstrom Rack was built onto the mall's southeast corner. This store opened its doors in November 2012.
West Natick Road and New London Avenue
Warwick, Rhode Island

The completion of Interstates 95 and 295 through Greater Providence, in 1966 and 1968, created prime retail real estate. A land parcel at the junction of these freeways, located 7.5 miles southwest of the Rhode Island State House, became the site of MIDLAND MALL. This facility opened in 1967, as the Ocean State's first fully-enclosed, suburban-style shopping center.

A second fully-enclosed retail hub was built on a 59.8 acre tract, situated .3 of a mile northeast of MIDLAND MALL. WARWICK MALL was developed by Providence-based Bliss Properties. The 800,000 square foot, single-level shopopolis was officially dedicated in October 1970.

There were two primary anchors. A 3-level (309,000 square foot), Boston-based Jordan Marsh had opened July 29, 1970. It was followed by a 2-level (119,000 square foot), Boston-based Filene's ["fiy-leenz"], which made its debut September 21, 1970. It was the first Filene's built outside of Massachusetts.

WARWICK MALL also contained three junior anchors; there were a 2-level (120,000 square foot), Providence-based Outlet Company, 1-level (41,400 square foot), Providence-based Peerless Company and 1-level (30,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

Charter inline stores included Stowell's, Orange Julius, York Steak House and Kennedy's. The General Cinema Corporation Warwick Mall Cinema I & II opened in April 1971. The freestanding movie house, constructed in the east parking lot, was eventually reconfigured as a tri-plex. It closed in January 1999. 

Major shopping hubs in the WARWICK MALL trade area included the aforementioned MIDLAND MALL. In addition, there were LINCOLN MALL (1975) {14.7 miles north, in Town of Lincoln, Rhode Island} and EMERALD SQUARE MALL (1989) {16.6 miles northeast, in Town of North Attleborough, Massachusetts}.

A 2-level (144,600 square foot) J.C. Penney was built at the original WARWICK MALL Main Entrance. The store opened March 5, 1980. The Outlet Company closed in August 1982. It re-opened, as a Norwalk, Connecticut-based Caldor discount mart, on March 17, 1983.

The closing of the Peerless Company, in late 1990, was one of the contributing factors leading to a major renovation of the shopping center. The vacant Peerless space was rebuilt into the Carousel Food Court. Four eateries, out of an eventual eleven, opened for business August 17, 1992. These were Cafe Coffee, Au Bon Pain, Sbarro and Chopsticks.

During the 15 million dollar mall makeover, common areas were re-roofed with vaulted ceilings and skylights and floored with Italian tile. Early '70s-vintage interior decor was brought up-to-date, with a center court fountain replaced. Statuary and recessed seating areas were also removed.

A more ambitious expansion was proposed in January 1996, which would have added a fourth anchor store, multilevel parking garage and ice rink. This plan was never carried out. It had been conceived as a competitive measure against the prospective PROVIDENCE PLACE MALL {8.5 miles northeast, in downtown Providence}.

One of the owners of WARWICK MALL, had strongly opposed the PROVIDENCE PLACE project, beginning in 1987 and continuing until construction commenced in 1997. Nonetheless, the center city shopping, hotel and entertainment facility was built. It was dedicated in August 1999.

Meanwhile, at WARWICK MALL, Jordan Marsh had been rebranded by Macy's on March 31, 1996. In May, a 20 million dollar renovation of Filene's commenced. The store, which was enlarged to 186,000 square feet, was re-dedicated August 13, 1997. In May 1999, the Caldor chain went out of business. The store's first level at WARWICK MALL was leased as a (60,000 square foot) Old Navy.

A freestanding movie multiplex was built in the southeast corner of the mall site. Construction began in January 2001. The 12-screen National Amusements Showcase Cinemas Warwick Mall showed its first features June 22, 2001.

The Filene's chain went defunct as a result of the the Federated / May merger of 2005. Its WARWICK MALL store closed in 2006, with the Macy's (that had operated for 10 years in the old Jordan Marsh building) moving into the Filene's space. This store opened for business September 9, 2006.

The enormous Jordan Marsh / Macy's sat vacant while several plans for its reuse were considered. The first would have had the entire building leased to a single retailer. The second involved razing the structure and replacing it with an open-air "lifestyle component".

The third plan proposed that each of the store's 3 levels could be leased separately, creating 3 junior anchor spaces. This was, basically, the plan that was adopted. In late 2007, it was announced that Target would retenant the first level of the old Jordan Marsh.

The first 2 levels of the store structure were gutted, with a (140,000 square foot) Target opening in July 2008. A (40,000 square foot) Sports Authority opened, on a second level, in the spring of 2009. This was soon joined by Off Broadway Shoes. With these modifications, WARWICK MALL encompassed 1 million leasable square feet and housed over eighty stores and services.

The Pawtuxet River flooded its banks March 30, 2010 and inundated WARWICK MALL with 2 to 3 feet of water. A YouTube video of a trapped security guard being rescued from the Sports Authority store went viral.

The shopping center suffered major damage and was closed for several months. Sports Authority re-opened May 17, 2010, with Target resuming operation July 11. Other inline mall stores returned between August and November of 2010. Macy's was re-dedicated March 16, 2011.

Old Navy relocated within the mall. Its original store was leased to Taunton, Massachusett's Jordan's Furniture. This store opened, using both levels of the 120,000 square foot building, December 21, 2011. Later on, the southeast corner of the mall was gutted and rebuilt. A 1-level (37,000 square foot) Nordstrom Rack opened November 8, 2012.


The Providence Journal (City Of Warwick website)
"Warwick Mall' article on Wikipedia
"Jordan Marsh" article on Wikipedia / "Outlet Company, Providence" / Michael Bell
Juneau's Nugget Mall

The capital city's first mall-type shopping center opened its doors in late 1974. It was expanded during the late 1980s and renovated, as seen here, in 1997-1998.
Photo from / "57293989@N02/5299415248"

A provisional plan of how NUGGET MALL was likely layed out just after its completion, in January 1975. 

We zoom through the years, to a circa-2001 depiction of NUGGET MALL. At this time, it housed thirty-nine retail spaces. The east anchor space is occupied by California's Gottschalks chain...but not for long. The store would be shuttered in July 2002.

Above we have an interior view of the shopping hub. A GNC (General Nutrition Center) is seen on the left.
Photo from http//

The mall's Gottschalks space was leased to temporary tenants for several years. In 2011-2012, it was rebuilt into new Petco and Office Max stores. These incorporated all of the old Gottschalks, as well as an adjoining 8,000 square feet.
Drawing from the Irwin Development Group

A third big box store was created out of gutted mall space. Sportsman's Warehouse, which encompassed 27,800 square feet, opened for business in mid-2016.
Photo from (Capital Pacific)

We wrap up our Alaskan Malls section with a circa-2017 NUGGET MALL layout. Obviously, much has changed since the 2001 plan. The East Wing of the 149,900 square foot shopping facility is now composed entirely of big box stores. Another (Jo-Ann Fabrics) has been a West Wing tenant for 14 years.