ST. LOUIS MALLS 
& MAJOR SHOPPING CENTERS

1. NORTHLAND CENTER 1955-2005 / open-air strip complex / BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA ON THE BOULEVARD -2006 / open-air strip complex / City of Jennings

2. WESTROADS CENTER -1955 open-air strip complex / ST. LOUIS GALLERIA -1986 / enclosed mall complex / St. Louis County

3. CRESTWOOD PLAZA -1957 / open-air strip complex, enclosed 1967 & 1984 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CRESTWOOD -1998 / WESTFIELD CRESTWOOD -2005 / CRESTWOOD COURT 2008-2012 / CRESTWOOD PLAZA -2018? / open-air, mixed-use complex / City of Crestwood

4. RIVER ROADS MALL 1962-2006 / Greater St. Louis' first enclosed mall / City of Jennings

5. TOWN & COUNTRY MALL 1962?-1992? / enclosed community-class mall / OVERLAND PLAZA -1993? / open-air strip complex / City of Overland

6. SOUTH COUNTY CENTER -1963 / enclosed mall / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN SOUTH COUNTY -1998 / WESTFIELD SOUTH COUNTY -2005 / SOUTH COUNTY CENTER -2007 / St. Louis County

7. NORTHWEST PLAZA -1966 / open-air complex, enclosed 1989 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN NORTHWEST PLAZA -1998 / WESTFIELD NORTHWEST PLAZA -2005 / NORTHWEST PLAZA -2007-2011 / THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST -2015 / open-air / City of St. Ann

8. MARK TWAIN MALL -1967 / enclosed community-class mall / ST. CHARLES CENTER -1995 / MARK TWAIN MALL -2001 / City of St. Charles

9. WEST COUNTY CENTER -1969 / enclosed mall / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN WEST COUNTY -1998-2001 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN WEST COUNTY -2002 (rebuilt mall) / WESTFIELD WEST COUNTY -2005 / WEST COUNTY CENTER -2007 / enclosed / St. Louis County

10. CROSS KEYS CENTER 1969-2003 / open-air & enclosed community-class mall / SHOPPES AT CROSS KEYS -2004 / City of Florissant

11. WESTPORT PLAZA -1971 / open-air & enclosed entertainment, office & retail complex / City of St. Louis

12. JAMESTOWN MALL 1973-2014 / enclosed mall / St. Louis County

13. ST. CLAIR SQUARE -1974 / enclosed mall / City of Fairview Heights [Illinois]

14. PLAZA FRONTENAC - 1974 / enclosed specialty mall / City of Frontenac

15. CHESTERFIELD MALL -1976 / enclosed mall / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CHESTERFIELD -2002 / WESTFIELD CHESTERFIELD -2005 / CHESTERFIELD MALL -2007 / City of Chesterfield

16. ALTON SQUARE MALL -1978 / enclosed mall / City of Alton [Illinois]

17. ONE CITY CENTER 1985-2009 / enclosed center city complex / City of St. Louis

18. MID RIVERS MALL -1987 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN MID RIVERS -1998 / WESTFIELD MID RIVERS -2005 / MID RIVERS MALL -2007 / enclosed mall / City of St. Peters

19. SAINT LOUIS MILLS -2003 / enclosed mall / City of Hazelwood


[Structures indicated in bold italic have been completely demolished. Those in green have full articles on the MALL HALL OF FAME site]
St. Louis' Northland Center



St. Louis' first major suburban shopping hub opened in August of 1955. Its south store block is depicted above. A gigantic Famous-Barr store anchored the moderne mercantile mall. The store's southwest entrance is seen far in the distance.

The NORTHLAND Famous-Barr was the St. Louis chain's third suburban branch. It encompassed 4 levels and 337,000 square feet.
Drawing from http://www.tobyweiss.com/northland-shopping-center


A composite physical layout of NORTHLAND CENTER, covering the years 1955 to 1967. The basic complex is shown in black, with its only physical expansions (the Northland Bowl wing and south end bank) appearing in light gray. There were several outparcels added over the years, such as the Northland Office Building, Rapp's (later Schnucks) supermarket and Northland Cinema.


The North Court, with Famous-Barr on the left. This rendering shows the visually-intriguing angularity of the "ultra-modern" shopping complex. This aspect was obviously given much thought by its designers....something sadly lacking in the conception of today's cookie-cutter-concocted, "post-modern" retail venues.

A Target store, part of the BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA ON THE BOULEVARD power center. This replaced St. Louis' historic NORTHLAND CENTER, which was unceremoniously demolished in 2005.
Photo from www.showcase.com


NORTHLAND CENTER
West Florissant Avenue and Lucas and Hunt Road
City of Jennings, Missouri

The first major suburban shopping center in Greater Saint Louis was located 7 miles northwest of the downtown area, in the "North County" suburb of Jennings. NORTHLAND CENTER was not a shopping mall, per se, but is being inducted into the Mall Hall Of Fame because of its sheer size and stunning ultra-modern  architecture.

The 67 acre retail hub was developed by Saint Louis-based Nooney & Company; Russell Mullgardt, Schwartz & Van Hoef were its architects. The original complex, which opened August 19, 1955, encompassed approximately 525,100 leasable square feet.

NORTHLAND was, in essence, a strip shopping center...but an elaborate and unique one. It was anchored by a 4-level (337,000 square foot), Saint Louis-based Famous-Barr, from which its three store blocks extended.

The first store block (on the Upper -front-facing- Level) was connected to the north side of Famous-Barr. The second (also a part of the Upper, front-facing, Level) was on Famous Barr's south side. A Lower (rear-facing) store block was situated below the entire Upper Level of the shopping center. Its stores fronted on a lower level (rear) parking area.

The NORTHLAND Famous-Barr was the department store chain's first shopping center location and its third branch store. It was almost as large as the downtown flagship and would be nearly twice the size of any of the suburban stores that followed. Its interior was done in grand style, with fine wood paneling and floors of marble.

All retail spaces of the open-air shopping center were air-conditioned, which, in 1955, was still considered something of a luxury. There was ample parking provided.

NORTHLAND opened with forty-five stores, including an S.S. Kresge 5 & 10, Walgreen Drug, Pope's Cafeteria, Lerner Shops and freestanding (21,500 square foot) Rapp's (later Bettendorff-Rapp, later Schnuck's) supermarket. A bowling alley was added to the Lower Level Northwest Wing in the 1960s. This was followed by a bank, attached to the South Wing. With these additions, NORTHLAND CENTER housed approximately 568,700 leasable square feet.

There were several outparcel structures in the periphery of the plaza, including a Goodyear Tire & Auto, hardware store and 3-level Northland Office Building. The General Cinema Corporation Northland Cinema opened November 23, 1966. It was twinned in October 1976 and shuttered in 1999.

The first retail competitor in the area was RIVER ROADS MALL (1962) {1.5 miles east, also in Jennings}. Next, came NORTHWEST PLAZA (1966) {6 miles west, in St. Ann}. JAMESTOWN MALL {6 miles north, in St. Louis County} was completed in 1973. Even with all of its regional retail rivals, NORTHLAND prospered.

The situation began to change by the late 1980s, when the demographics of the area surrounding the center had shifted. By the early 1990s, the once-fabulous Famous-Barr was a derelict, dilapidated shadow of its former self.

National chain mall merchants had long since vacated. Space in the center was now leased by mom & pop-type retailers. On June 11, 1994, Famous-Barr pulled out; a blow from which the 39-year-old shopping center could not recover.

NORTHLAND CENTER, once a regional-class shopping venue, was now more on the level of an over-sized, community-class retail center. Its nearest interstate highway connection, over 1 mile south, left it fairly inaccessible by the local populace.

In January 2000, a joint venture was formed between the St. Louis Economic Group, City of Jennings and St. Louis-based Sansone Group. The ailing shopping hub was now being viewed as obsolete. No consideration was given to its importance as an historic structure, well worthy of restoration. So, another of America's unique, architecturally-significant, mid-20th century retail centers had outlived its usefulness. It was old but not old enough to benefit from any mandated preservation effort.

The freestanding Northland Cinema structure became the first to fall to a wrecking ball, in June 2002. It was replaced by a 2-level office building. An Aldi discount grocery was also built. In April 2005, demolition commenced on the main NORTHLAND CENTER structure. The job was complete by October of the same year.

Replacing the 1950s shopping hub would be a 270,000 square foot power center. Known as BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA ON THE BOULEVARD, it would be anchored by a 1-level (126,900 square foot) Target and (63,500 square foot) Schnucks supermarket. Target opened its doors October 3, 2006, followed by Schnucks, on October 10.

Sources:

www.builtstlouis.net/northland
www.tobyweiss.com
www.jenningshistory.org
www.cinematreasures.org
Comment post by "E Roth"
"The Final Sale - The decision to Close the Famous-Barr Northland Store" / Saint Louis University John Cook School Of Business, Emerson Center for Business Ethics / International Journal of Case Studies and Research / Volume 5, Number 1, 1997 / Jim Fisher, Dr. Mark J. Arnold and John T. Rueue
St. Louis' Crestwood Plaza



An aerial of the mid-century merchandising mecca, taken soon after the 1967 addition of Stix, Baer & Fuller (seen in the upper right).
Photo from www.millstonebangert.com

CRESTWOOD PLAZA was completed in four stages. The first section (indicated in black) opened for business in March 1957 and May 1957. The second section (shown in medium gray) was dedicated in August 1957. The final phase (in light gray) was completed in August 1958. The strip center now housed thirty-seven stores. Its parking area could accommodate 3,000 autos.

1969 and CRESTWOOD PLAZA is an enclosed mall...well, partially, anyway. A commercial corridor -and Stix, Baer & Fuller- were added to the east end of the existing complex in 1966-1967 (this addition being shown in dark gray). Vandervoort's has also been bought -and rebranded- by Famous-Barr.

1986, and the open-air strip center becomes a fully-enclosed retail complex. At the time, it was one of -if not- the largest interior malls in Greater St. Louis.

1999 and the mall is owned by Australia's Westfield Group. Within a few years, it would be in a downward spiral. An anchor exodus ensued with Dillard's defection, in October 2007. Famous-Barr became a Macy's in 2006, which was shuttered in April 2009. Sears, a 1957 charter tenant, became the last operational anchor. This store would shut down in early 2012.

A circa-2009 snapshot of the main mallway. The shopping hub has just been renamed CRESTWOOD COURT. Nationally known tenants, such as Helzberg Diamonds, Forever 21 and Aeropostale, soon pull up stakes.
Photo from www.joneslanglasalle.com


A circa-2013 photo of the western mall entrance. The 56-year-old complex was shuttered in early 2012, becoming the fourth major St. Louis mall to go under. Demolition got underway in May 2016. 
Photo from Wikipedia / "Khazar2Commons"  



Above we see a tentative -circa-2018- plan for CRESTWOOD COURT. A 99 million dollar mixed-use complex is being built, which will be anchored by a state-of-the-art megaplex cinema.
Original photo from Urban Street Group, Limited Liability Company
CRESTWOOD PLAZA
Watson Road / US 66 and Sappington Road
City of Crestwood, Missouri

The third regional shopping center in Greater St. Louis was built on 48 acres, located 12 miles southwest of the downtown area. CRESTWOOD PLAZA was designed by Richard Hafner and the Millstone Construction Company and was developed by Milton and Lewis Zorensky under the auspices of Hycel Properties.

Originally an open-air strip complex, the center encompassed approximately 550,000 leasable square feet on single retail level. There was also a service basement, with a Lower Arcade of stores. CRESTWOOD PLAZA was anchored by a 3-level (156,000 square foot) Sears. This store was dedicated, along with National Shirt Shops, Baker's Shoes, The Children's Shop and a (23,000 square foot) Kroger supermarket, on March 21, 1957.

Walgreen Drug, Lerner Shops, Thom McAn Shoes and a 2-level (36,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth were dedicated May 19, 1957. A third group of tenants opened their doors in August 1957. The center's second anchor, a 3-level (156,600 square foot), St. Louis-based Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney (a.k.a. Vandervoort's), began business August 14, 1958.

There was no on-site cinema. However, the 66 Park-In, a drive-in theater, had opened in 1948. It was located directly across from the shopping center and was in business until 1994. A sit-down venue, the Crestwood Theatre, operated between 1964 and 1986. It was located one half mile west of CRESTWOOD PLAZA, on Watson Road.

Commercial competitors of CRESTWOOD PLAZA included WESTROADS CENTER (1955) {5.2 miles northeast, in St. Louis County}, SOUTH COUNTY CENTER (1963) {4.3 miles southeast, in St. Louis County} and WEST COUNTY CENTER (1969) {4.5 miles northwest, also in St. Louis County}.

A fully-enclosed mall structure was added to CRESTWOOD PLAZA in the mid-1960s. It was built over a 2-level parking garage and included a 3-level (240,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller. This store, the third branch in the Stix chain, opened its doors January 23, 1967.

Anchor rebrandings commenced on September 15, 1969, when St. Louis-based Famous-Barr rebranded the Vandervoort's store. The Stix nameplate remained in placed until 1984, when that chain was purchased by Dillard's.

A second expansion of CRESTWOOD PLAZA had been undertaken in 1983. The original strip center was reconfigured with a fully-enclosed mallway; the 10-bay Cornucopia (Food Court) was installed in the basement level. An official mall dedication was held October 3, 1984. The American Multi-Cinema Crestwood Plaza 5 megaplex (adjacent to the Cornucopia) showed its first features March 21, 1986.

During a renovation completed in May 1992, a second cinema was built onto the northeast corner of the mall's main level, in back of Dillard's. The mall's two cinemas operated together for approximately 1 year. Then, the basement venue was shuttered and made into a video arcade. The cinema behind Dillard's was expanded into a 10-screen venue; the AMC Crestwood Plaza 10.

CRESTWOOD PLAZA now spanned 1,017,000 leasable square feet and housed over one hundred and forty stores and services under its roof. Australia-based Westfield Holdings (now the Westfield Group) acquired the mall in January 1998. They renamed it WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CRESTWOOD...which was shortened to WESTFIELD CRESTWOOD in June 2005.

By the early 21st century, the mall was in a downward spiral. Changing demographics had taken their toll. The proximity of ST. LOUIS GALLERIA (1986){5.8 miles northeast, in St. Louis County} also did not bode well for the CRESTWOOD complex. A massive new power center in the vicinity also contributed to its decline. GRAVOIS BLUFFS {4.7 miles southwest, in Fenton} was dedicated in April 2000.

Famous-Barr considered closing its CRESTWOOD location in September 2005. However, the store remained open up to -and after- its "Macy-ation" in September 2006. Dillard's did pull the plug on their store in October 2007, leaving approximately sixty retailers in business.

The struggling center was sold to a joint venture of Chicago-based Centrum Properties and New York City-based Angelo, Gordon & Company in March 2008. The official name of the retail hub was changed to CRESTWOOD COURT. The new owners instituted the Art Space project; a novel method of filling vacancies. Sixty spaces were leased (for a mere 50 to 100 dollars per month) to art gallery, dance studio and theater tenants.

Meanwhile, an ambitious redevelopment was announced, with most of the existing structure to be razed and replaced with an open-air, lifestyle venue. Progress was delayed by the shuttering of the mall's Macy's, which took place April 1, 2009. By late 2011, the long-delayed redevelopment was gaining momentum once again.

The mall was shuttered March 1, 2012, with Sears (the final operational anchor store) going dark in April. However, the CRESTWOOD COURT renovation project fell through when the owner defaulted on their loan. Another stumbling block presented itself when Crestwood city fathers rejected a 34 million dollar tax abatement-based redevelopment scenario.

An "abandoned property" was to be sold in an online auction, which was to commence  May 15, 2013. This event was delayed until April 2014. Chicago's Urban Street Group, Limited Liability Company purchased the mall and indicated that the site would be redeveloped in a residential and retail capacity.

Demolition commenced in May 2016, with the entirety of the shopping hub being razed. A mixed-use complex, tentatively known as CRESTWOOD COURT, is being built. Construction got underway in late 2016. The 99 million dollar project, including an upscale bowling alley, megaplex cinema and several high-end restaurants, is scheduled for a fall 2018 grand opening.

Sources:

preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
http://www.westfield.com
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
http://www.joneslanglasalle.com
http://www.city-data.com
www.cinematreasures.org
www.bizjournals.com
St. Louis' River Roads Mall


A full frontal view of Greater St. Louis' RIVER ROADS MALL, which was one of the first fully-enclosed shopping centers in the Show Me State. It vies for this honor with Kansas City's WARD PARKWAY CENTER. Both shopping hubs were officially dedicated on August 16, 1962.
Photo from http://riverroadsmalljenningsmo.blogspot.com / "The History of River Roads Mall"

A circa-'62 site plan of the complex. It had been built as a showcase for a Stix store, which anchored the west end. The RIVER ROADS Stix was the retailer's second suburban branch. Its posh Pavilion Restaurant included a sunken outdoor garden. The mall's parking area had space for 3,200 autos.


RIVER ROADS MALL TENANTS 1962 [PARTIAL LIST]:

J.C. PENNEY / F.W. WOOLWORTH (with luncheonette and Steamboat Room restaurant) / KROGER supermarket / STIX, BAER & FULLER (with Snack Bar and Pavilion Restaurant) / Bond Clothes / Dandy Men's Store / Downs For Men / Hardy Shoes / Hartig Jewelers / Lane Bryant  / Plattner's Modern Man / Regal Shoes / Robin's Shoes / S & H Green Stamps Redemption Center / Singer Sewing Center / Spencer's Lanes Bowling Alley (basement level) / Thom McAn Shoes / Union Jack / Vicki's Cards / Walgreen Drug (with Wag's Restaurant) / Wolf's For Men

RIVER ROADS, during its incarnation as a discount-oriented outlet center. By this time, J.C. Penney, which had been expanded into a full-line store in 1971, had been demoted to an Outlet Store. Dillard's, who rebranded the Stix chain in 1984, stayed in business at this location for only 2 years.

Consider this a better days view of RIVER ROADS MALL. Here we see the main mall concourse, which is filled with shoppers.
Photo from http://riverroadsmalljenningsmo.blogspot.com / "The History of River Roads Mall"


Another better days photo. This shows the mall's Woolworth 5 & 10, in 1988. In 1961,  it was the 5 & dime chain's largest shopping center store. It would be shuttered in the spring of 1991.
Photo from Michael Allen

Now we get down to the real nitty gritty. Above is a circa-2004 shot of the portal of the mall's service tunnel. A long-abandoned Stix store is seen in the background.
Photo from Michael Allen


The severely deteriorated mallway, looking toward the northeast. After sitting vacant and decaying for over 11 years, the mall was demolished in late 2006.
Photo from Michael Allen
RIVER ROADS MALL
Jennings Station and Halls Ferry Roads
City of Jennings, Missouri

The first fully-enclosed shopping center in Greater St. Louis was built on a 55 acre site, located 8 miles northwest of the St. Louis CBD, in suburban Jennings. Developed by St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller, RIVER ROADS MALL was anchored by a 4-level (280,000 square foot) Stix store, which opened for business August 7, 1961. It was the second suburban branch in the chain.

A 3-day mall grand opening was held between August 16th and 18th, 1962. The 580,000 square foot shopping complex consisted of a main level of retail and service basement. At the time of its completion, the center's 2-level (62,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth was the largest shopping center location in the 2,200-store chain.

Forty stores and services were in operation at the original RIVER ROADS MALL. These included J.C. Penney, Singer Sewing Center, Hardy Shoes, Dandy's Men's Store, Walgreen Drug, an S & H Green Stamps Redemption Center and Kroger supermarket.

There were also several restaurants. Woolworth operated a luncheonette and sit-down Steamboat Room. Walgreen Drug had its Wag's Restaurant. Stix, Baer & Fuller featured the Pavilion, which overlooked a lavish sunken garden. There were also dining options at the restaurant and cocktail lounge in a basement bowling alley.

An expansion and renovation of the shopping hub was done in 1970-'71. A 3-level addition to the original "dry goods" J.C. Penney was built. When completed, the full-line store encompassed 200,000 square feet. The mall's interior was also redecorated in a Mediterranean motif.

The primary retail rival of RIVER ROADS MALL was NORTHLAND CENTER (1955) {1.5 miles west, also in Jennings}. In addition, there were NORTHWEST PLAZA (1966) {8 miles west, in St. Ann}, CROSS KEYS CENTER (1969) {5.8 miles northwest, in Florissant} and JAMESTOWN MALL (1973) {6 miles north, in St. Louis County}.

Anchor alterations at RIVER ROADS MALL began in 1984. Stix, Baer & Fuller became a Dillard's and J.C. Penney was demoted to an Outlet Store. Kroger closed in 1986 and re-opened as Food For Less. Dillard's shuttered their store in 1986. Soon the mall was in a downward spiral exacerbated by the decline of the area surrounding it.

Buffalo-based Benderson Development bought the mall in July 1988. They attempted to reposition it as a regional discount outlet center, with varying degrees of success. By this time, the shopping center had become notorious as a haven for criminal activity.

A redevelopment / demolition plan was proposed in 1990, which was approved by the Jennings City Council in 1992. However, no progress was made beyond this point. The mall, experiencing more and more vacancies, began to deteriorate.

Woolworth was shuttered in 1991, with the J.C. Penney Outlet Store closing in May 1994. A proposed acquisition by the British-based Midland Group fell through at this time. The interior of the "vacant shell of a shopping center" shut down in June 1995, leaving only exterior-entranced stores in operation.

The complex, purchased by Raleigh, North Carolina-based Whichard Real Estate in 2000, was "flipped" by Whichard, with St Louis-based Taylor-Morley Homes becoming its new owner. Their redevelopment plan came to light in January 2001.

This deal fell through when the two families owning the Taylor-Morley organization split-up. St. Louis-based Pyramid development entered the picture. They proposed a 66 million dollar redevelopment, which was to include office space, residential units, retail stores and a new city hall for Jennings.

Demolition of RIVER ROADS MALL got underway in late 2006 and was completed in the summer of 2007. Only a Firestone Auto Center was left standing. Pyramid Development shut down in May 2008. The cleared mall site was now a gaping hole filled with rain water and breeding mosquitos. To this day, no type of redevelopment has been done.

Sources:

preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
www.umsl.edu
www.builtstlouis.net
Information from "Dan A2k"
www.slfp.com
www.undergroundozarks.com
www.cityofjennings.com
www.bizjournals.com


FAIR USE OF RIVER ROADS MALL LOGO:

The graphic from Wikipedia illustrates a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The image is not replaceable with free-use or public-domain image. The use of the images 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 images in any way.
St. Louis' South County Center



The SOUTH COUNTY CENTER Famous-Barr, designed with input from Raymond Loewy, was the retailer's first "rotunda store". Three more would be built in Greater St. Louis. These were located at NORTHWEST PLAZA, WEST COUNTY CENTER and ST. CLAIR SQUARE {in Illinois}.

A late '60s depiction of the upper floor of the 2-level shopping hub. SOUTH COUNTY CENTER had opened, in August 1963, with Famous-Barr anchoring its west end. A "New Look" Penney's, added to the east end, was dedicated in September 1966.

The SOUTH COUNTY J.C. Penney encompasses 178,000 square feet on two levels. 
Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/katherineofchicago


The mall, following its late '70s renovation. The original structure was expanded into a tri-level format, with a third anchor -St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller- added. The original Upper Level of the mall (indicated in black) became a Middle Level. The new South Wing (in medium gray) had Upper and Lower levels. The basement underneath the circa-1963 mall was, by this time, being used only for storage.

A circa-2006 physical layout. A new bi-level wing (shown in light gray) had been added in 2000-2001. It included a 3-level Sears. Moreover, the north-facing front of the mall was extended with a group of Streetscape stores and restaurants in 2004-2005.

A contemporary view of the retail complex, which has been promoted as SOUTH COUNTY CENTER since late 2007. Qdoba Mexican Grill, on the left, was built as part of the Streetscape addition.
Photo from https://plus.google.com/109566208436926006607
SOUTH COUNTY CENTER
Lindbergh Boulevard / US 50, 61 & 67 and Lemay Ferry Road / US 61 & 67
Saint Louis County, Missouri

Greater St. Louis' second regional shopping mall was built by May Centers, the city's hometown retail development company. The 10 million dollar SOUTH COUNTY CENTER was designed by Raymond Loewy & Associates, with input from Victor Gruen Associates.

The fully-enclosed complex was constructed on a 69 acre site, located 11 miles southwest of the St. Louis Central Business District, in an unincorporated area known as Mehlville. The mall was originally anchored by a 3-level (208,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Famous-Barr, which held its grand opening August 2, 1963.

Charter SOUTH COUNTY CENTER tenants included Zale's Jewelers, Ludwig Music Shop, Pam's Children's Shoes, Shirley's Maternity Fashions, Bond Clothes, Edith's Tots to Teens Shop, Tronic Hi-Fi, Pope's Cafeteria and Flagg Brothers Shoes. A National Food Stores supermarket occupied a portion of the mall's basement.

Promoted for its climate-controlled "perpetual springtime", the Upper Level mallway at SOUTH COUNTY CENTER included three Rain Curtain Fountains. These were similar to other water-less "Wonderfall" installations used in many 1960s-vintage enclosed shopping centers.

A 2-level (178,000 square foot) J.C. Penney was added to the existing mall and opened for business September 14, 1966. The next expansion of SOUTH COUNTY CENTER was completed in 1979. St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller built a 2-level (133,100 square foot) branch store; this part of a wing of Upper and Lower Level stores.

This new South Wing was built in a tri-level configuration, with the mall's original Upper Level becoming a Middle Level. With this addition, the shopping center encompassed 762,000 leasable square feet and ninety-nine stores and services. The Stix store became the first SOUTH COUNTY anchor to receive a new nameplate, that of Dillard's, in 1984.

An expansion, proposed in July 1990, would have added a new Dillard's and enlarged the mall to over 1 million leasable square feet. However, May Centers balked at a new 225,000 square foot Dillard's that would have been 17,000 square feet larger than their Famous-Barr store. As a result, this expansion was never carried out. 

Westfield Holdings (now known as the Westfield Group) acquired SOUTH COUNTY CENTER in 1994. They renamed the venue WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN SOUTH COUNTY in late 1998, shortening this unwieldy moniker to simply WESTFIELD SOUTH COUNTY in mid-2005.

Meanwhile, a 200 million dollar makeover of the "functionally obsolete" mall had been proposed in October 1996, which was to take advantage of 40 million dollars in tax increment financing. This plan was halted by opposition from the local citizenry.

A less ambitious (and expensive) redevelopment plan was devised, with its construction beginning in July 2000. The 54 million dollar project added a 2-level (117,500 square foot) Southwest Wing, anchored by a 3-level (158,800 square foot) Sears. Moreover, a 12-bay Food Court was installed in previously-existing space adjacent to J.C. Penney.

Inline stores in the new wing included Petite Sophistocate, August Max Woman, Pacific Sunwear and Rave Girl. Grand openings started in October 2001. WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN SOUTH COUNTY now spanned 1,038,300 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and twenty stores and services.

The renovation-expansion continued into 2004 and 2005, when the north-facing front of the complex was expanded and reworked with a Streetscape motif. A (17,200 square foot) Borders Books opened in April 2004, followed by Lacefield Music, Noodles & Company and Qdoba Mexican Grill.

The mall changed hands in August 2007. It became a property of a joint venture between the Westfield Group and Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties, with CBL controlling the "investment vehicle". With this transaction, the official name of the shopping center reverted back to its original moniker; SOUTH COUNTY CENTER.

Sources:

www.westfield.com
www.cblproperties.com (CBL & Associates Properties)
www.shopsouthcounty.com
www.urbanstl.com
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis' Northwest Plaza


An aerial view of Greater St. Louis' fourth shopping mall. This photo was taken in early 1966, when it was still under construction. Three anchor stores -Famous-Barr, Vandervoort's and Sears- are already open for business. 
Photo from www.pinterest.com



A site plan of the open-air mall, as it was configured in 1969. It was one of the first in the nation to feature four full-size anchor department stores. Although promoted today as having been the largest mall in the United States, it may have actually been in the number two position, following New Jersey's GARDEN STATE PLAZA.


NORTHWEST PLAZA TENANTS 1969:

FAMOUS-BARR (with Beauty Salon, Snack Bar, Pilot House Coffee Shop and Golden Eagle restaurant) / SEARS (with Coffee Shop and freestanding Auto Center) / J.C. PENNEY (with Beauty Salon, Coffee Shop and freestanding Auto Center) / F.W. WOOLWORTH (with luncheonette) / A-MART A & P supermarket (outparcel) / SCHNUCK'S supermarket (outparcel) / NORTHWEST PLAZA CINEMA / WALGREEN DRUG (with luncheonette) / Allied Radio Shack / Artiste Hairstylists / Babor Sausage / Baker's Shoes / Barricini Candy / Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream / Benson's Village Store / Big Men's Shop / Bond Cleaners / Boyd's Men's & Women's Apparel / Broadstreet's Men's & Women's Apparel / Burt's Shoes / Buster Brown Shoes / Cameo Drapery Shop / Chandler's Shoes / Chess King / B. Dalton Bookseller / Dixie Cream Donut Shop / Docktor Pet Center / A.G. Edwards & Sons / Fatted Calf Restaurant / First Northwest Bank / Flagg Brothers Shoes / Flaming Jewel Originals / Florsheim Shoes / Franklin-Simon Women's Wear / Gay Gift Box / Gingiss Formal Wear / Golden Razor Barber Shop / The Grapevine, Limited Women's Wear / Hamilton Music Company / Hess & Culbertson Jewelers / Holloway House Cafeteria / Honeybee Women's Wear / House of Nine / Household Finance Corporation / Interior Systems / Jaccard's Jewelers / Joan Bari Bag & Gem Shop / John Henry's Railroad Cafe / Julie Ann Fabrics / Kline's Shoes / Korn Kettle / LaMerite Bridal Shop / Lane Bryant / Lauer-Enloe Optometrists / Libson Shop Women's Wear / Life Uniform Shop / Ludwig-Aeolian Music / Martin Coin Shop / Mertyn's Women's Wear / Mavrakos Candies / Morris Paint Store / Motherhood Maternity / National Shirt Shop / Nature Food Center / 9-0-5 Liquors / Orange Julius / Ostertag Optical / Pam's Children's Shoes / Parklane Hosiery / Piccadilly Women's Wear / Puppy Palace Pets / Regal Shoes / Richman Brothers Men's & Women's Wear / Roosevelt Federal Savings & Loan / Russell Stover Candies / S.G. Adams Printing & Stationery / Shirt Gallery / Singer Sewing Center / Spencer Gifts / Swope's Shoes / Tall Fashions Women's Wear / Thayer McNeil Shoe Salon / The Tie Shop / Thom McAn Shoes / Tobaccoland / Travel Designs / TWA Ticket Office / Two Cents Plain Restaurant / Union Jack Apparel / U.S. Post Office / Viscount Records / Way In Shop Junior Wear / Wolff's Men's Wear / World Bazaar / Worth's Women's Wear / Zales Jewelers

Our first NORTHWEST PLAZA fountain photo. That's Famous-Barr's rotunda in the background.
Photo from Malls of America Blogspot


The Brogues, a Missouri-based rock quintet, pose for a pic at the original mall's Horseheads Fountain. Left to right are Gene Dauster, Tom Mowry, Howie Schmitt, Jim Metcalf and Jim Burke. The water features and landscaping at NORTHWEST PLAZA were designed by Lawrence Halprin and Aristides Demetrious. Demetrious' other works include the Skydivers Statue, at Orange County, California's NEWPORT FASHION ISLAND.
Photo www.homeatt.net~nostalgia1966

The NORTHWEST PLAZA Penney's, with its original 1960s nameplate.
Photo from Adam Godfrey


The First Northwest Building, a 12-story office tower, was built as a part of the original shopping hub. Here we see the building as it was branded during the mall's Westfield years.
Photo from www.loopnet.com

1989 and NORTHWEST PLAZA becomes an interior mall. Newly-created retail area is indicated in medium gray. The complex now encompassed an astounding 1,768,500 leasable square feet.

A circa-1999 site plan. The complex, saddled with the verbose WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN NORTHWEST PLAZA branding in late 1998, was given a reprieve in June 2005. The Oz-based owner shortened the mall moniker to simply WESTFIELD NORTHWEST PLAZA.

An exterior view of the NORTHWEST PLAZA Famous-Barr....make that Macy's. The store's distinctive rotunda towers in the background. Macy's did their "anchor's away" from the mall in March 2010.
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Prange Way"


The super-sized (300,000+ square foot) Sears was given a 7 million dollar rehab in 1997. The store would be the final anchor to operate at NORTHWEST PLAZA. It was shuttered in July 2010.
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Prange Way"

The Sensations Food Court was built in space originally comprising the main level of the Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney anchor store.
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Prange Way"

A virtually vacant shopping hub closed for good in January 2011. In November 2012, the Sears Auto Center was knocked down, signalling the beginning of a 106 million dollar redevelopment. A mixed-use facility, known as THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST, would be built. Stores began opening in August 2015.
Graphic from http://www.thecrossingsatnorthwest.com


A vista view of THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST. Three structures from NORTHWEST PLAZA are visible. Famous-Barr's store, now referred to as Building 700, is seen on the right. The First Northwest Building, now Building 500 Office Tower, is at the center. The old J.C. Penney, or Building 400, is on the left.
Photo from  http://www.thecrossingsatnorthwest.com


A close-up view of the previous Penney's.
Photo from  http://www.thecrossingsatnorthwest.com

A site plan of THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST. Structures remaining from the old NORTHWEST PLAZA mall are indicated in dark brown. These have been renovated as office suites. New retail buildings are shown in shades of yellow. 
Drawing from http://www.thecrossingsatnorthwest.com
NORTHWEST PLAZA
Lindbergh Boulevard / US 67 and St. Charles Rock Road
City of St. Ann, Missouri

One of the largest shopping malls ever built in Greater Saint Louis was developed by Louis Zorensky, Milton Zorensky and Saul Brodsky. NORTHWEST PLAZA was situated on a 122 acre parcel, lying 14 miles northwest of the center city.

When fully completed, the open-air complex encompassed approximately 1,290,900 leasable square feet. It consisted of a main mall level, with a retail and service basement opening to the parking lot on the west and south sides of the structure.

There were originally four anchors. A 3-level (331,700 square foot) Sears opened for business August 19, 1965. Anchors two and three, dedicated in January 1966, consisted of a 2-level (200,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Famous-Barr and 3-level (155,400 square foot), St. Louis-based Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney (a.k.a. Vandervoort's). J.C. Penney's 3-level (162,000 square foot) store opened on August 15, 1966.

Inline stores at the original NORTHWEST PLAZA included Boyd's For Men, Walgreen Drug, Richman Brothers, Holloway House Cafeteria, Chandler's Shoes, Tall Fashions, Joan Bari For Ladies, a 2-level (30,400 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and two freestanding supermarkets; A-Mart A & P and Schnuck's.

In addition, there was the 12 story First Northwest Building, at the southeast corner of the mall. The General Cinema Corporation Northwest Plaza Cinema opened June 25, 1969. It was built, as a freestanding structure, in the western parking lot. The venue was twinned in December 1974, quaded in April 1982, and shuttered in 1989.

Vandervoort's became the first anchor store to be shuttered, in early 1969. The upper levels of the building became a Famous-Barr Home Store. Its lower level was leased as offices for the St. Louis-based Venture discount mart chain.

Retail rival shopping hubs included NORTHLAND CENTER (1955) {6 miles east, in Jennings}, WEST COUNTY CENTER (1969) {9 miles southwest, in Saint Louis County} and RIVER ROADS MALL (1962) {8 miles east, also in Jennings}.

The first expansion of NORTHWEST PLAZA involved the construction of a 3-level (217,900 square foot), St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller, which was built at the north end of the complex. The store opened its doors March 20, 1978. A new northwest block of stores was also built. These added 20,200 square feet to the complex, which now housed approximately 1,529,000 leasable square feet.

The Stix store was rebranded as a Dillard's in the mid-1980s. A comprehensive, renovation of the mall was done between 1986 and 1989 by the New York City-based Paramount Group. Courts and concourses were fully-enclosed and over 200,000 square feet of retail space was added, most of this filling in previously open areas.

Famous-Barr's building was expanded to 238,500 square feet. Moreover, the Vandervoort's / Famous-Barr Home Store was rebuilt into a 3-level, entertainment complex. The first level became a Tilt video arcade. The second (main mall) level, a 12-bay Sensations Food Court, with the third housing the Wehrenburg Northwest Plaza 9, which showed its first features November 17, 1989.

Business at the new NORTHWEST PLAZA kicked off with a gala "Prince's Ball", held November 12, 1989. The complex now encompassed 1,768,500 leasable square feet, with one hundred and twenty store spaces. At the time, it was the largest shopping mall in the region.

A face lift renovation was done in 1994. 3 years later, the Paramount Group initiated a repositioning of the mall into a "value-oriented", discount shopping venue. During -and after- this remarketing endeavor, new Office Max and Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill stores opened. Burlington Coat Factory assumed a vacated Woolworth space.

Australia-based Westfield Holdings (now known as the Westfield Group) acquired the shopping venue in December 1997, renaming it WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN NORTHWEST PLAZA in November 1998. By this time, the center had been in varying degrees of decline for some years.

Westfield began to focus on its five other St. Louis retail properties. Maintenance and upkeep at their NORTHWEST property was deferred and vacancies piled up. J.C. Penney shuttered their store in 2002. The completion of SAINT LOUIS MILLS {3.6 miles northwest, in Hazelwood}, in November 2003, exacerbated the exodus of stores from WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN NORTHWEST PLAZA.

Steve & Barry's University Sportswear was recruited to fill the vacant Penney's space, in 2004. However, the following year saw the closing of the Northwest Plaza 9 multiplex and Tilt Arcade.

Westfield shortened the official mall moniker to WESTFIELD NORTHWEST PLAZA in June 2005 and then sold the past-its-prime property in June 2006; the buyer being Santa Barbara-based Somera Capital Management. They announced a 250 million dollar redevelopment plan, to be anchored by a newly-built Wal-Mart SuperCenter. Rumors also circulated that a Swedish-based Ikea would open a store.

A new shopopolis, known as LINDBERGH TOWN CENTER, was to be anchored by Wal-Mart and Ikea, as well as the existing Sears and Famous-Barr (which had been "Macy-ated" in September 2006). Existing mall space would either be demolished or reconfigured into an open-air format. However, Ikea backed out of the deal. The Great Recession, which began in 2008, caused the complete abandonment of the redevelopment plan.

Steve & Barry's shuttered their NORTHWEST PLAZA location in September 2008. Dillard's, having been demoted to a Clearance Center, went dark in February 2009. Macy's pulled their proverbial plug in March 2010. Sears, the final operational anchor, was shuttered July 14, 2010.

The virtually vacant mall had been foreclosed on in September 2009, with a holding company, known as the St. Ann Shopping Center, Limited Liability Company, taking possession. The City of St. Ann took an option to purchase the mall in January 2010 and devised a plan to redevelop it as LINDBERG LANDING, a mixed-use complex.

Unfortunately, this plan failed as well. What few remaining stores that were in operation along the interior mallway closed on January 1, 2011. In July 2011, the mall was placed on the auction block, with bids starting at 1.3 million dollars. It was hoped that bidding would get as high as 5 million dollars, but this didn't happen. The top bid was 2.9 million dollars...which was rejected.

In July 2012, St. Louis-based Raven Development acquired the mall for 5 million dollars. They announced a redevelopment plan soon after. A retail, restaurant and office venue, known as THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST, would be created.

The bulk of the mall would be demolished, leaving the vacant Famous-Barr / Macy's, J.C. Penney and 12-story office tower standing. These would be joined by newly-built, open-air structures, including a 1-level (160,000 square foot) Menards home improvement center.

A photo-op demolition was held November 13, 2012, with the freestanding Sears Auto Center being razed. Asbestos abatement was performed over the following months, with demolition beginning, in earnest, in April 2013. The Menards at THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST held its grand opening August 18, 2015.

Sources:

"Northwest Plaza" article on Wikipedia
www.labelscar.com / "Prange Way"
www.westfield.com (The Westfield Group)
www.cinematreasures.org
Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford webmaster
The St. Louis Dispatch
http://www.stannmo.org
http://www.thecrossingsatnorthwest.com
Fairview Heights' St. Clair Square



Famous-Barr, the shopping center's north anchor, opened in October 1973. It would be Famous' fourth (and final) "rotunda store". This design had been used at Greater St. Louis' SOUTH COUNTY, NORTHWEST PLAZA and WEST COUNTY Famous-Barr stores. Meier & Frank (another May Stores subsidiary) also built a rotunda-type store at VALLEY RIVER CENTER, in Eugene, Oregon. 
Photo from www.urbanstl.com / submitted by "Tysalpha"

An inside view of the Famous-Barr rotunda at ST. CLAIR SQUARE.
Photo from ds.history.com (Department Store History)


Southwestern Illinois' ST. CLAIR SQUARE was Greater St. Louis' first dual-level, fully-enclosed mall. The shopping hub, dedicated in October 1974, originally encompassed approximately 501,600 leasable square feet and seventy stores and services. At this time, it had two anchors, Famous-
Barr and Sears.

By 1980, the mall had grown into a 1,013,900 square foot, one hundred and thirty store, buying behemoth. J.C. Penney had been added in 1976, followed by a Stix store, in 1979. A new East Wing is shown in light gray.


The Square Meal Food Court at ST. CLAIR SQUARE was installed in existing Upper Level space in 1993.
Photo from http//:www.herschmanarchitects.com (Herschman Architects)

In a circa-2006 physical layout, we see the final footprint of the mall, with its J. Buck's (front side) restaurant and expanded Dillard's. The complex now encompassed 1,076,900 leasable square feet.


In early 2007, the latest installment of stores opened in the lifestyle-like SHOPPES AT ST. CLAIR SQUARE. It included toney tenants such as Talbots, Ann Taylor Loft, J. Jill, Coldwater Creek and Jos. A. Bank.
Drawing from www.cblproperties.com (CBL & Associates Properties)


A contemporary interior view of ST. CLAIR SQUARE, provided by the mall's present proprietor.
Photo from www.cblproperties.com (CBL & Associates Properties)


Here we see one of the shopping facilities' two exterior entrances.
Photo from www.cblproperties.com (CBL & Associates Properties)