New Orleans' Lakeside Center

The Crescent City's first shopping mall opened for business in 1960. It was anchored by Big Easy-based D.H. Holmes and Godchaux's, along with the J.C. Penney seen here. This is an example of the retailer's 1950s-to-early '60s "dry goods only" shopping center stores.

In this circa-1957 drawing, the prospective LAKESIDE CENTER mall includes a 5-story office tower.
Rendering by Charles R. Colbert, Architect / Tulane School of Architecture

In the final plan, the office building was omitted.
Rendering by Charles R. Colbert, Architect / Tulane School of Architecture

The original open-air mall, which incorporated 450,000 leasable square feet and forty stores and services. Its parking area could accommodate 4,000 autos.

The Pontchartrain Causeway opened -as a 2-lane, 23.7 mile structure- in 1956...4 years before LAKESIDE CENTER was completed. In fact, Causeway Boulevard, leading to the bridge, passes directly in front of the mall. The Causeway was 4-laned in 1969.
Photo from Wikipedia / Arthur Belala, US Army Corps of Engineers

This rendering, titled "Bird Cage Mall", shows the concourse of the prospective shopping complex. Apparently, the mild climate of New Orleans made it possible to maintain bird aviaries as part of the open-air mall. The conical structure seen in the background was one of these cages.
Rendering by Charles R. Colbert, Architect / Tulane School of Architecture

The circa-'60 center's second anchor, New Orleans-based Godchaux's. This chain should not be confused with Goudchaux's, of Baton Rouge, an entirely separate entity.
Rendering from Charles R. Colbert, Architect / Tulane School of Architecture

A circa-1976 layout of the mall, which had been enclosed in 1968. In the mid-1970s, J.C. Penney built a new store and D.H. Holmes expanded theirs. The twin-screen Lakeside Cinema I & II had opened (as a northwest outparcel) in 1967. By the time of this plan, it was operating as a 4-plex.

Zooming up to the 21st century, we have a third LAKESIDE anchor, which opened in October 2008. Comprising 3 levels, the LAKESIDE Macy's was built, along with a 4-level parking garage, on the south end of the mall.
Photo from (The Feil Organization)

A circa-2009 layout of the shopping hub. With an addition completed in late 2008, the complex encompassed 1,295,000 leasable square feet. It had been the fourth-largest shopping center in the state. Now it was third-largest. Btw, the largest is the 1,600,000 square foot CORTANA MALL, in Baton Rouge.

And now, we embark on a Google Maps Street View tour of LAKESIDE CENTER, circa-March 2011. Our excursion begins on the north side of the mall, at the D.H. Holmes / Dillard's store.
Photo from Google Maps 

We swing around to the the back of the shopping center and the J.C. Penney anchor store.
Photo from Google Maps 

A little further and we are at one of the mall's southwest side entries. This one accesses the Food Court.
Photo from Google Maps

Lastly, we have the southwest corner of the complex. Since the late 1990s, several upscale restaurants have opened at the mall, including the P.F. Chang's China Bistro seen here. It served its first meals in April 1997.
Photo from Google Maps

LAKESIDE CENTER, circa-2015. A new Cheesecake Factory (shown in gray) was added to the east-facing front of the complex. It was dedicated in June 2014. On the northern periphery of the center, Dick's Sporting Goods has replaced a vacant Linen's 'N Things.
Veterans Memorial and North Causeway Boulevards
Jefferson Parish (Metairie), Louisiana

The first shopping mall in the Bayou State was built on 52 acres, situated 6 miles northwest of the central city of New Orleans. The area, within unincorporated Jefferson Parish, is referred to as Metairie ["met-uh-ree"].

LAKESIDE CENTER, along the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, was developed by New Orleans real estate entrepreneur Paul Kapelow and designed by Charles R. Colbert. The single-level, 450,000 square foot complex opened for business March 24, 1960 and was anchored by a 2-level (113,700 square foot), New Orleans-based D.H. Holmes, 1-level (46,000 square foot), New Orleans-based Godchaux's and 1-level (43,200 square foot) J.C. Penney.

Inline stores in the original open-air mall included Paris Hats, Hausmann's Jewelers, Turntable Records, Jean's Hosiery, Werlein's Music, Lakeside Toys, Ad Lib Gifts, The Cove Cocktail Lounge, Walgreen Drug, S.S. Kresge and T G & Y 5 & 10's, a Winn-Dixie supermarket and outparcel Holloway House Cafeteria.

The General Cinema Corporation Lakeside Cinema I & II, a northwest outparcel, showed its first features August 4, 1967. The venue was made into a 4-screen operation in 1974 and a "5-screener" in 1978.

The first retail rival, OAKWOOD MALL {8.9 miles southeast, in Jefferson Parish / Terrytown} opened in 1966. CLEARVIEW MALL {1.3 miles southwest, in Jefferson Parish / Metairie}, a community-sized center, was dedicated in 1968. With two fully-enclosed shopping centers on the scene, it became imperative for LAKESIDE CENTER to be renovated into a fully-enclosed mall. This took place during 1968.

A third mall in the vicinity, LAKE FOREST PLAZA {10.7 miles northeast, in New Orleans}, opened in 1974. The 1980s brought three more commercial competitors. BELLE PROMENADE MALL {9 miles southeast, in Jefferson Parish / Marrero}, was completed in 1983. THE ESPLANADE {5.3 miles west, in Kenner} was the state's first 2-level center. It began business in 1985. NORTH SHORE SQUARE {28.3 miles northeast, in Slidell} was also dedicated in 1985.

An expansion of LAKESIDE CENTER had been completed in the mid-1970s. The original J.C. Penney was replaced with a 2-level (154,700 square foot) store, which was dedicated November 5, 1975. The original Penney's, at the southwest corner of the mall, was sectioned into fourteen inline stores, with a small second level added.

Moreover, the existing Holmes was enlarged with a third level and westward addition, for a total of 270,000 square feet. A multilevel parking garage connected into this store's west entrance. The mall, now encompassing 742,700 leasable square feet, had assumed the position of number one shopping venue in the region.

A subsequent renovation was done in 1982. This most likely involved the slimming of the mallway, providing extra retail area on either side, and the installation of store space in some of the mall's former entryways. A 51,000 square foot Southeast Wing of stores may have also been added at this time.

Godchaux's became the first of the original anchor stores to close, in 1987. Its space was subdivided into ten inline stores. In 1989, D.H. Holmes was rebranded by Dillard's. The face lift renovation of LAKESIDE CENTER was completed in 1997. Around this time, a 12-bay Food Court was installed in previously-existing mall space, which had housed the T G & Y and Winn-Dixie supermarket.

Construction commenced on a third expansion of LAKESIDE CENTER in 2006. A new southwest parking garage was completed in October 2007. Work got underway on a 3-level (228,000 square foot) Macy's and adjacent parking structure in November 2007. The south garage was dedicated in September 2008, with Macy's holding its grand opening October 25 of the same year.

Today, LAKESIDE CENTER is owned and operated by the New York City-based Feil Organization. The mall proper encompasses 1,295,000 leasable square feet, with one hundred and twelve retail spaces and fifteen outparcel stores and services.

The complex maintains its position as the top shopping mall in Greater New Orleans. It has gone on to eclipse retail rivals such as BELLE PROMENADE MALL (1983-1999) and LAKE FOREST PLAZA (1974-2005).

Sources: Branch Store.doc
"Lakeside Center" article on Wikipedia
Tulane School of Architecture / Francine Stock / Mike Rivest
New Orleans' Oakwood Mall

The Big Easy's second shopping mall was originally anchored by locally-owned D.H. Holmes. The store encompassed 143,000 square feet.
Drawing from

The OAKWOOD MALL of years gone by. It opened, in 1966, as the first regional-class interior mall in the state (Shreveport's PIERREMONT mini-mall being Louisiana's first enclosed center). At the time of this 1967 plan, OAKWOOD MALL encompassed approximately 711,000 leasable square feet. 

In a circa-1994 physical layout, the shopping hub, now known as OAKWOOD CENTER, has just emerged from its second expansion. The first -dedicated in 1985- had added a Mervyn's to the mall's west end. The more recent renovation, done between 1990 and '94, added a new Dillard's and Maison Blanche. This store would be shuttered -and taken by J.C. Penney- in 1999. 

The mall was severely damaged and vandalized as a result of Hurricane Katrina, in August 2005. This rendering, and the one that follows, depict the interior of OAKWOOD CENTER after it was rebuilt.
Drawing from (General Growth Properties)

Here we see an  8-bay Food Court, which occupied the East Wing, near the Dillard's mallway entrance.
Drawing from (General Growth Properties)

An open-air section of stores, proposed as a replacement for a closed-off  Mervyn's Wing. This addition would never built.
Drawing from (General Growth Properties)

A circa-2009 site plan, showing the repaired and renovated mall. The center section (in light gray) was gutted and rebuilt. It was repopulated by some of the few and far between national chain stores to re-open in Post-Katrina New Orleans. The cloudy gray area (the Mervyn's Wing) was not immediately renovated. It would be closed to the public for several years.


SEARS (with freestanding Auto Center) / J.C. PENNEY / DILLARD'S / 1000 tc. / Accessories 2 Go / Aeropostale / Aldo / American Eagle Outfitters / AT&T Mobility / The Avenue / Bag It (Opening Soon) / Baker's Shoes / Bank of Louisiana / Bath & Body Works / Best Image / Bico Australia / Blush / Browz 'N Lashez / Cafe' du Monde / Candles Connection / Champs Sports / Charlotte Russe / Chick-Fil-A / Claire's / Discount Connections / Ebony's Lace Wigs / Elite Too / Eyemasters / Fame / Famous Wok / Finish Line / Foot Action / Foot Locker / XXI Forever / Game Stop / GNC / Gold Factory / Good Deal Wireless / Gordon's Jewelers / Great American Cookie Company / iSupply / It's A Wrap / iWrapz / Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office / Journeys Shoes / Kay Jewelers / Kids Foot Locker / Lady Foot Locker / Lids / Luciano's Pizzeria / Men's Wearhouse & Tux / Motherhood Maternity / Mr. Goldman / New York & Company / New In Style / New Orleans Original Daiquiris / New Pro Cell / Nouveau / NYS / Oakwood Nails & Spa / Old Navy / Om Smoke / Payless ShoeSource / Perfume Outlet / Philly's Steakhouse / Popcorn Parlor / Premier Dead Sea / Radio Shack / Regis Salons / Shoe MGK / Silver Connection / Smoothie King / Solar Whitening / Sprint-Nextel / Strausie's CZ Jewelry / Subway / The 6 Scents / The Children's Place / The Ice Age / The Shoe Department / T-Mobile / Torrid / Treasures / Trendz (Coming Soon) / Underground Station / Verizon / Victoria's Secret / Wet Seal / Zales Jewelers

In the end, the moribund Mervyn's was repurposed as a new Dick's Sporting Goods. The store served its first customers in October 2013.
Photo from Google Maps 

An panoramic interior view of OAKWOOD CENTER, provided by the proprietor.
Photo from (General Growth Properties)

In a circa-2014 physical layout, we see the renovated, and retenanted, West Wing. It now housed the aforementioned Dick's Sporting Goods and a relocated (and downsized) Old Navy.
West Bank Expressway / US 90 and Terry Parkway
Jefferson Parish (Terrytown), Louisiana

The second shopping mall in -or around- "The Big Easy" was designed by New Orleans-based Curtis & Davis Architects & Engineers. OAKWOOD MALL was built on a 68.5 acre tract, located 4 miles southeast of central New Orleans. The site, on the West Bank of the Mississippi, was in an unincorporated section of Jefferson Parish known as Terrytown.

The single-level, fully-enclosed complex opened for business August 1, 1966. The original anchors were a 2-level (189,600 square foot) Sears and a 3-level (104,000 square foot), New Orleans-based D.H. Holmes.

The General Cinema Corporation Oakwood Cinema I & II showed its first features on August 4, 1967. Built in the southeast periphery of the mall, it opened in conjunction with an identical theater at LAKESIDE CENTER. By the time of the Oakwood cinema's shuttering, in the early 1990s, it had been reconfigured as a 4-plex.

Major malls in the vicinity of OAKWOOD included the aforementioned LAKESIDE CENTER (1960) {8.9 miles northwest, in Jefferson Parish / Metairie} and CLEARVIEW MALL (1968) {10.1 miles northwest, also in Jefferson Parish / Metairie}. A second shopping venue on the West Bank, BELLE PROMENADE MALL {4.2 miles southwest, in Jefferson Parish / Marrero} was dedicated in 1983 and torn down in 1999.

The first addition to OAKWOOD MALL, a 2-level (82,000 square foot) Mervyn's, opened in 1985. In 1989, D.H. Holmes was rebranded by Dillard's.

A major mall renovation and expansion was announced in August 1990. It was to last 4 years and expand the shopping facility from 793,000 square feet to 952,000. The first phase, consisting of a 2-level (175,000 square foot) Dillard's (added to the mall's east end) was dedicated in September 1991. The old D.H. Homes / Dillard's was refitted with inline stores on its first level. A 35,000 square foot Marshalls went into the second.

An official name change, from OAKWOOD MALL to OAKWOOD CENTER, was adopted in August 1991. Baton Rouge-based Maison Blanche opened a 2-level (157,000 square foot) store, at the south end of the mall, in March 1994. With the 1998 acquisition of Mercantile Stores by Dillard's, the Maison Blanche at OAKWOOD CENTER was shuttered. It re-opened, as a J.C. Penney, February 18, 1999.

The Rouse Company, who acquired OAKWOOD MALL / CENTER in 1982, was absorbed by Chicago-based General Growth Properties in November 2004. As a result, the shopping hub was added to the GGP portfolio.

Housing one hundred twenty-four stores and services, the complex had become one of the most upscale shopping venues in the Crescent City. However, it was a victim of the "Katrinagate" debacle of August 2005. OAKWOOD CENTER was not damaged so much by the storm and flooding but was looted and set on fire in the aftermath. Eighty percent of its stores were damaged by smoke and water.

One third of the structure was demolished. 95 million dollars was expended in the mall's reconstruction. Sears became the first store to re-open, in early 2006, with Dillard's returning in late 2006 and Penney's in late 2007. Mervyn's did not resume operations. A mall-wide grand re-opening celebration was held October 19, 2007.

The West Wing of the mall, vacant and closed to the public since 2005, was finally rebuilt in 2012. New stores, such as Rue 21, Ulta Beauty and Dress Barn Misses & Woman, opened, along with a relocated Old Navy.

Mervyn's, sitting empty since being closed by Hurricane Katrina, was renovated. It opened, as a Dick's Sporting Goods, October 13, 2013. Sears shuttered their OAKWOOD CENTER store in early 2017, ending over 50 years of business at the shopping hub.


"Oakwood Center" article on Wikipedia
"Mercantile Stores" article on Wikipedia (General Growth Properties)
Comment post by "Anonymous"
Central Louisiana's Alexandria Mall

J.C. Penney anchored the original shopping hub with a 145,000 square foot location. It is the largest of the complex's four department stores.

ALEXANDRIA MALL, circa-1973. The 527,000 square foot complex was anchored by Sears and Penney's, with Wellan's, Weiss & Goldring and Beall-Ladymon as its junior anchors. An in-mall twin cinema was housed in its South Wing.

The mall was substantially enlarged in 1985-1986. A 342,000 square foot Southeast Wing (shown in medium gray) added Dillards, Mervyn's and over fifty inline stores. ALEXANDRIA MALL now housed 869,000 leasable square feet. The in-mall twin cinema had been replaced by the freestanding Alexandria 6 multiplex. It was situated on a pad southeast of the mall proper.

In a more current physical layout, we see that the mall is holding its own, anchor-wise. Mervyn's has been replaced by Burlington Coat Factory and the junior anchor spots are also leased. Tenants such as Rite Aid Drug, Piccadilly Cafeteria and Waldenbooks have vacated the premises, but new Shoe Department Encore, Ulta Beauty, Kirkland's and Conn's HomePlus stores have come in.

The American Eagle Outfitters store in ALEXANDRIA MALL encompasses over 6,000 square feet. It is located in the Southeast Wing, that was added to the complex in 1985-'86.
Photo from (General Growth Properties) 

The Limited is also situated in the Southeast Wing. The store encompasses 4,600 square feet.
Photo from (General Growth Properties) 

In the next five photos, we'll tour the exterior of ALEXANDRIA MALL, as it was situated in June 2015. We begin at the northwest corner of the complex, where Sears has served as an anchor since 1973.
Photo from Google Maps

Above is the main mall entrance, now flanked by It'sFashionMetro and Shoe Department Encore. Note that the Weiss & Goldring nameplate has never been taken down, although that store has not operated in the mall since around 2009.
Photo from Google Maps

Also included in the Southeast Wing was a shiny new Mervyn's. Today, Burlington (Coat Factory) operates in the store space.
Photo from Google Maps

Today's Stage store was a Shreveport-based Beall-Ladymon in the original mall.
Photo from Google Maps

Our tour ends on the north end of the shopping hub, where Slinkee's, a family fun center, inhabits most of the store space once leased by Alexandia-based Wellan's. Slinkee's lease was terminated in late 2015. Conn's HomePlus, a furniture-electronics-appliance retailer, opened in 2016.
Photo from Google Maps
Memorial and Masonic Drives
Alexandria, Louisiana

Located near the geographic center of the Bayou State, ALEXANDRIA MALL was developed by the Pineville, Louisiana-based Tudor Construction Company. It was situated 1.5 miles southwest of the Alexandria city center and opened, as a fully-enclosed complex, in 1973.

The 527,000 square foot retail hub was entirely a single-level structure. It was anchored by a 1-level (109,000 square foot) Sears and 1-level (145,000 square foot) J.C. Penney; the latter officially dedicated August 1, 1973.

Charter tenants included Alexandria-based Weiss & Goldring, Shreveport-based Beall-Ladymon, Caplan's, Wellan's, a Green's department store and Piccadilly Cafeteria. In addition, the General Cinema Corporation Alexandria Mall Cinema I & II operated in the South Wing. The venue showed its first features December 25, 1973.

A major expansion of the original shopping center was dedicated in August 1986. This project added over 342,000 square feet of retail area. Included were a 1-level (102,000 square foot), Little Rock-based Dillard's, 1-level (63,000 square foot), Hayward, California-based Mervyn's and a 13-bay Food Court.

The freestanding General Cinema Corporation Alexandria 6 megaplex replaced the in-mall twin cinema, which had been shuttered in 1985. The Alexandria 6 was located on a pad southeast of the mall proper and showed its first features September 19, 1986.

With all of the additions, ALEXANDRIA MALL encompassed 869,000 leasable square feet and housed ninety-seven stores and services.

In 1994, Beall-Ladymon was rebranded as a Houston-based Stage. This was the first of many changes that took place over the following 15 years. A major vacancy resulted when Mervyn's closed in early 2006.

Soon after, Jacksonville, Florida-based Stein Mart, which had taken much of the old Wellan's space, shuttered its ALEXANDRIA MALL store. Weiss-Goldring, a charter tenant, moved to an outparcel location.

The mall was given a interior face lift during 2006. This was followed by the opening of a new anchor tenant. Burlington Coat Factory leased the vacant Mervyn's space, with their store beginning business in March 2007.

J.C. Penney, which took a major hit from Hurricane Gustav in September 2008, closed for repairs. The refurbished store resumed business in July 2009. It was joined by new tenants The Children's Place, The Buckle, McAlister's Deli and Slinkee's (a family fun center in a large portion of the old Wellan's space). The vacant Weiss-Goldring spot re-opened, as a Bed, Bath & Beyond, in 2009.

Today, ALEXANDRIA MALL is owned by the New York City-based Radiant Partners, Limited Liability Company.


"Alexandria Mall" article on Wikipedia
Comment post by Scott / "Alexandria Retrospective"
"Dillard's" article on Wikipedia (General Growth Properties)
Baton Rouge's Cortana Mall

One of five original "anchor boxes" at CORTANA MALL, this store, at the northeast end, opened as a Dillard's in 1976. Following the Dillard's-Saks sale of late 1998, it became a B'ham-based Parisian, Jackson-based McRae's, Houston-based Foley's...and finally, the Macy's of 2006-2016.

A vintage view of the Woolworth 5 & 10 at BON MARCHE REGIONAL CENTER. Dedicated in November 1960, the open-air shopping hub was the first mall in the Capital City region. It was shuttered in 1990 and converted into BON CARRE TECHNOLOGY CENTER, a "hub for technology, research and business".
Photo from

The mid-1970s brought a major competitor for BON MARCHE REGIONAL CENTER. CORTANA MALL opened as the state's largest shopping center. At the time of this depiction, the mammoth merchandising mecca spanned approximately 1,386,300 square feet.

A 1988 layout, showing the new Mervyn's Wing in light gray. With this addition, CORTANA MALL incorporated 1.6 million square feet of selling space. Peripheral development included the CORTANA SQUARE strip center, with its standard issue Wal-Mart.

One of the mall's five entries. Its corridor connects into the Sears Wing. Looming in the distance is the north anchor of the complex. Originally a Dillard's, it received its Macy's nameplate in September 2006.
Photo from "Jamie"

A nighttime shot of the Dillard's Wing entrance, with a Ruby Tuesday
restaurant on the left.
Photo from "Jamie"

Exterior signage promoting CORTANA MALL. Between 1998 and 2009,
the center was officially known as MALL AT CORTANA.
Photo from "Jamie"

An aerial of CORTANA MALL, looking southwest. Macy's is on the left and the Wilson's / Service Merchandise / Steve & Barry's is at front center. Dillard's is on the right.
Photo from (Milton J. Womack, Incorporated)

One of two Penney's mall entrances.
Photos from Wikipedia / "Dan 326"

The Macy's mall entryway. In 1976, you would have been looking at a Dillard's nameplate. In May 1998, the Little Rock-based retailer moved to the center's south anchor spot; previously a Goudchaux's and a Maison Blanche.
Photo from "Jamie"

The Steve & Barry's at CORTANA MALL was short-lived. It was in business between 2004 and 2008. The space re-opened, as a B'ham- based Virginia College, in late 2010.
Photo from "Jamie"

An interior shot of the CORTANA mallway.
Photos from "Jamie"

An "anchors away" scenario played out at CORTANA MALL between March 2016 and June 2017. The original Dillard's was "Macy-ated" in late 2006. It closed in March 2016, followed by Sears a year later. J.C. Penney pulled out in June 2017, leaving the beleaguered shopping facility with four vacant anchor spaces.

This photo shows the building that was vacated by Steve & Barry's University Sportswear in early 2009. It is now a campus for Virginia College.
Photo from

The CORTANA Mervyn's was shuttered in early 2006 and remains vacant to this day.
Photo from