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" stores. The Penney company would open its first full-line ("New Look" logo) Penneys store in 1963. 

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 approximately 431,700 leasable square feet.

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 1973 layout of the mall, which had been enclosed in 1968. In the early '70s, J.C. Penney built a new store and D.H. Holmes expanded theirs. The twin-screen Lakeside Cinemas I and II had opened -as a northwest outparcel- in 1966. This was eventually expanded; first into the 3-screen venue depicted here...then into a five-screen complex. These theaters were razed in 2002.

A view of the South Entrance, taken before the construction of the southside parking garage.
Photo from / Jamie

A Labelscar shot of the interior of the present-day shopopolis.
Photos from / Jamie

A circa-2009 layout of the shopping hub. With the addition completed in late 2008, the complex was enlarged into a 1,295,000 square foot structure. It moved from the position of fourth to third-largest shopping center in the state. Btw, The largest is the 1,600,000 square foot CORTANA MALL, in Baton Rouge.

In October 2008, a third anchor store opened at LAKESIDE CENTER. The 3-level Macy's seen here was built -along with a 4-level parking garage- on the south end of the mall.
Photo from (The Feil Organization)
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, 431,700 square foot complex opened for business March 22, 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 (35,000 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 and The Cove Cocktail Lounge. There were also Walgreen Drug, S.S. Kresge and T G & Y 5 & 10's, a Winn-Dixie supermarket and outparcel Holloway House Cafeteria.

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 an interior-format mall. This took place during 1968.

A third mall in -or around- the Crescent City was LAKE FOREST PLAZA {10.7 miles northeast, in New Orleans}. This complex 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 1973. The original, dry goods-only J.C. Penney was replaced with a 2-level (154,700 square foot), full-line store. 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 of the mall 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 third renovation of LAKESIDE CENTER -basically, a facelift- 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 fourteen outparcel stores and services. The shopping venue 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: / Article by Jamie and Prange Way" / Comment posts by Jim, Vincent, "LW", "RBU", Carol, Becky and Beth
"Lakeside Center" article on Wikipedia
Tulane School of Architecture / Francine Stock
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 second original anchor of OAKWOOD MALL, Sears & Roebuck, encompassed 189,600 square feet.
The OAKWOOD MALL of years past. It opened, in August 1966, as the first regional-class interior mall in the state (Shreveport's community-
class PIERREMONT MALL being the state's first enclosed center). At the time of this site 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. These renderings depict the interior of OAKWOOD CENTER after it was rebuilt.  
Drawings 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 was not immediately renovated. It would be closed to the public for several years.

SEARS (with outparcel 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 / Forever 21 / 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 and Tux / Motherhood Maternity / Mr. Goldman / New York and 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 a 2014 physical layout, we see the renovated -and retenanted- West Wing. It now housed Dick's Sporting Goods (in the old Mervyn's) and a relocated (and downsized) Old Navy. Dick's opened its doors in October 2013.
West Bank Expressway / US 90 and Terry Parkway
Jefferson Parish (Terrytown), Louisiana

The second shopping mall in -or around- "The Big Easy" was built on a 68.5 acre tract, 4 miles southeast of central New Orleans. The site, on the West Bank of the Mississippi, is within an unincorporated section of Jefferson Parish known as Terrytown.

The single-level, fully-enclosed OAKWOOD MALL 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 Oakwood Cinema I & II was a peripheral structure of the mall proper. By the time of its shuttering, in the early 1990s, it had been expanded into a 4-plex.

Major malls in the vicinity of OAKWOOD included 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 renovation and expansion was announced in August 1990. It was to last 4 years and expand the mall 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. The location soon re-opened as a J.C. Penney.

The Rouse Company, who acquired OAKWOOD MALL / CENTER in 1982, was absorbed by Chicago-based General Growth Properties in November 2004, with the center being added to the GGP retail center portfolio.

The one hundred twenty-four store 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 the summer 2005 hurricane hit, was finally rebuilt in 2012. New stores, such as Rue 21, Ulta Beauty and Dress Barn Misses & Woman, came inline, along with a relocated Old Navy. Mervyn's, sitting empty since the storm, was renovated. It opened -as a Dick's Sporting Goods- October 13, 2013. 


"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, a circa-'73 anchor, took a direct hit from Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The store was thoroughly remodeled and resumed operation in July 2009.

ALEXANDRIA MALL, circa-1973. The original 527,000 square foot complex was anchored by Sears and Penney's, with Wellan's, Weiss & Goldring and Beall-Ladymon as its junior anchors.

The mall in 1986. A 342,000 square foot expansion (shown in medium gray) was completed in August. It added Dillards, Mervyn's and  over fifty inline stores. ALEXANDRIA MALL now housed 869,000 leasable square feet.

In a more current physicial 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 tenanted. However, some stores -such as Rite Aid Drug, Piccadilly and Waldenbooks- have vacated the premises.

Two relatively recent interior shots of ALEXANDRIA MALL. The Sam Goody store closed soon after the photo was taken.
Photos from (General Growth Properties)
Memorial and Masonic Drives
Alexandria, Louisiana

Located near the geographic center of the state, in the city of Alexandria, 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.

There were also Alexandria-based Weiss & Goldring apparel, Shreveport-based Beall-Ladymon apparel, Caplan's apparel, Wellan's mercantile, a Green's department store and Piccadilly Cafeteria. In addition, the Alexandria Mall Cinema I & II operated inside the mall proper, in its South Wing.

A major expansion of the original shopping center was completed 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. With this addition, 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 apparel. 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. Then, Weiss-Goldring, an original tenant, moved to an outparcel location.

The mall was given a interior facelift renovation during 2006. This was followed by the opening of a new anchor tenant. Burlington, New Jersey-based 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 came back inline in July 2009. It was joined by new tenants The Children's Place, The Buckle, McAlister's Deli and Slinkee'sToday, Family Fun (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. In July 2011, Chicago-based General Growth Properties, who were managing the complex, entered a long-term "strategic alliance" with Chicago-based Jones, Lang, LaSalle. The latter assumed management of ALEXANDRIA MALL.


"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 today.

The mammoth merchandising mecca in 1976. It opened as the state's largest shopping mall and has retained this distinction to the present day. At the time of this depiction, the center spanned 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"

Two interior shots of the meandering mallway.
Photos from "Jamie"

Today's CORTANA MALL. The circa-'76 Dillard's went through three nameplates before being "Macy-ated" in late 2006. On the outskirts of the retail hub, a new Lowe's was built and Wal-Mart moved from its 1980s-vintage store into a new SuperCenter.

Two anchors at CORTANA MALL went dark between 2006 and 2008. The first photo shows the space vacated by Steve & Barry's University Sportswear (which is now a campus for Virginia College). The second shot is of the Mervyn's (which is still vacant).
Photo 1 from
Photo 2 from
Airline Highway / US 61 & 190 & Florida Boulevard / US 190
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By the mid-1970s, Louisiana's Capital Area was ready for its first mega mall. 103 acres were sectioned from the 418 acre Cortana Plantation tract. The site was situated 5.3 miles east of the Bayou State Statehouse.

Construction got underway in 1974, under the auspices of Baton Rouge-based Milton J. Womack, Incorporated. In February 1976, the first store was completed; a 1-level (118,500 square foot) Goudchaux's, which was the Baton Rouge-based chain's first branch location. This was joined by a 2-level (200,000 square foot) J.C. Penney, 2-level (241,000 square foot) Sears, 2-level (238,000 square foot) Dillard's and 1-level (90,000 square foot), Baton Rouge-based H.J. Wilson Catalog Showroom.

The official dedication of CORTANA MALL was held August 3, 1976. With a retail roster of over one hundred stores and services, and a GLA of 1,386,300 square feet, the mammoth merchandising mecca opened as the largest shopping mall in the state.

In addition to its five anchors, the complex housed stores such as Thom McAn Shoes, Foxmoor Casuals, Chess King, Dutch Maid Donuts, Record Bar, Waldenbooks and Cortana Holiday Hallmark, as well as a Piccadilly Cafeteria and Cortana Mall I-II-III multiplex.

The first mall-type center in the city, the open-air BON MARCHE {1 mile west of the CORTANA MALL site, in the city of Baton Rouge} had been dedicated in 1964. This shopping venue was enclosed in 1971 and is known today as BON CARRE BUSINESS CENTER, an office and call center complex. Next came the region's first retail center built as an enclosed structure, ESPLANADE MALL {3.2 miles southwest, also in the city of Baton Rouge}. It was dedicated in 1973.

The first enlargement of store space at CORTANA MALL took place in 1981, when Goudchaux's added a second level. The store now incorporated 237,000 square feet. In the mid-1980s, a 2-level (82,000 square foot) Mervyn's was built, along with a seven store (12,600 square foot) wing. The shopping hub now spanned 1,600,000 leasable square feet.

Three anchor stores have gone through rebranding scenarios over the years. Goudchaux's became a Goudchaux's / Maison Blanche in 1982 and Maison Blanche in 1988. With Dillard's acquisition of Mercantile stores, in May 1998, Dillard's bounced from its original anchor spot (at the north end of the mall) to the Goudchaux's / Maison Blanche spot (on the south).

The original Dillard's store was sold to Saks, Inc., who re-opened the space as a Birmingham-based Parisian in December 1998. This store was rebranded as another Saks Inc. subsidiary, Jackson-based McRae's, September 7, 1999.

In March 2001, May Stores acquired nine stores from Saks, Inc., including the McRae's at CORTANA MALL. This was rebranded as a Houston-based Foley's. Federated Stores acquired May Stores in August 2005. As a result, the CORTANA MALL Foley's received a Macy's nameplate September 9, 2006.

Wilson's Catalog Showroom morphed into a Service Merchandise in 1985 and Steve & Barry's University Sportswear in 2004. This location was shuttered, along with the chain, in late 2008. A campus for Birmingham-based Virginia College opened in the structure on October 4, 2010. Mervyn's, shuttered in February 2006, has been vacant since this time.

Formidable commercial competition arrived in October 1997, with the completion of the region's second megamall, MALL OF LOUISIANA {4.5 miles south of CORTANA MALL, in Baton Rouge Parish}. This was followed by SIEGEN LANE MARKETPLACE {5.7 miles southeast, also in Baton Rouge Parish} in 2002. Baton Rouge's first lifestyle center, TOWNE CENTER AT CEDAR LODGE {1.9 miles southwest, in the city of Baton Rouge} was completed in 2005.

The proliferation of regional shopping hubs hurt business at CORTANA MALL. A makeover, completed in November 1991, attempted to reverse this trend. A second update, done in 1997 and 1998, included resurfacing of the parking lot, new landscaping inside and out, new ceiling treatments and interior lighting. A name change, to MALL AT CORTANA, was also implemented.

The official name of the center reverted back to CORTANA MALL in 2009. This event was joined by the opening of several new inline stores...including Trios West, 80 Stitches, Baton Rouge Police Supply, Cozamel Mexican Restaurant, Bernard's Pralines and Goldman's Jewelers. The Dillard's location was also converted into a Clearance Center.

New York City-based Mall Properties, Incorporated, saddled with an upside down mortgage, sold the CORTANA property back to the lender in April 2011. The Dallas-based Woodmont Company was brought in the manage the property and lease its vacant area. In March 2013, Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments, Limited Liability Company acquired CORTANA MALL.


"Mall At Cortana" article on Wikipedia