Norman Bridge Road and East Patton Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama's first post-war shopping plaza was designed by Montgomery's Sherlock, Smith & Adams firm and developed by Montgomery-based Aronov Realty. NORMANDALE SHOPPING CITY was built on 22.5 acres, located 3 miles south of the Alabama State House. The original strip complex was officially dedicated on September 10, 1954.

NORMANDALE SHOPPING CITY consisted of a single level of retail with a small lower level section at the north end of its East Wing. A 2-level (84,000 square foot), Birmingham-based Loveman, Joseph & Loeb anchored the shopping hub. The Montgomery store was the second branch in the chain, which was renamed Loveman's of Alabama in 1956.

An expansion of the retail complex was completed in June 1957. The project added an open-air mall arcade, which included a 2-level (30,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and a 1-level (30,000 square foot) W.T. Grant variety store. The Woolworth replaced a smaller location in the circa-1954 strip center.

NORMANDALE now housed approximately 325,000 leasable square feet. Among the twenty-nine inline stores were Brenner's Shoe Factory, Gulp Piano & Organ, Hancock Fabrics, Parker-Sledge Hardware, Cohen's Records, Francis Cafeteria, Twix 'N Teens, Buster Brown Shoes and Western Auto.

MONTGOMERY MALL {2.7 miles east, in Montgomery} became the first retail rival in 1970. The next competitor for NORMANDALE came along in 1977. EASTDALE MALL {6 miles northeast, in Montgomery} quickly assumed the position of dominant shopping center in the region.

By the late 1980s, NORMANDALE MALL, was in decline. Loveman's had closed in 1981, with Woolworth's soon following. A tornado hit the complex in 1995 and left the southern arcade section severely damaged. An exterior face lift added new store facades and awnings.

Over the ensuing years, the shopping center changed hands several times. It was owned and operated by Acadia Realty Trust, of White Plains, New York, and Sabharwal Properties, of Islandia, New York. Renovations and redevelopments were announced...but never carried out.

Meanwhile, SHOPPES AT EASTCHASE {7.5 miles northeast, in Montgomery}, welcomed its first shoppers in 2002. However, an upscale shopping venue such as this posed no threat to NORMANDALE, as the mid-century center was long past its prime.

NORMANDALE CENTRE was now 60-percent vacant, with only the original strip center in use. Tenants included Calhoun Foods (in the Winn-Dixie space), Compass Bank, Dollar General and Hall & Smith Shoe Repair.

In 2009, it was reported that a potential buyer, Kansas City's Joseph G. Arnone, was trying to work out a deal to finance an acquisition of the retail hub. He planned a large-scale renovation of the historic property. Unfortunately, the purchase deal fell through.

In 2014, California's Jim Shirian acquired the complex. In August 2018, he initiated demolition of the vacant and deteriorating South Wing. At this time, stores and services operating in the 1954 strip center section included Compass Bank, Dollar General, H & R Block, It's Fashion and Pizza Hut.


The Montgomery Advertiser Branch Store.doc
Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford webmaster / Posts by "Amy", "Anonymous", "Sonya" and "s7v7n"
"Loveman's Meet Me Under the Clock" / Tim Hollis


The photos from ADAH Digital Collections illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are of lower resolution than the originals (copies made would be of inferior quality). 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.