Mall-wise, who -or what- came first in Houston? PALMS CENTER, a nearly forgotten complex southeast of the center city, could qualify. It opened in September 1955, a full year before business began at GULFGATE. However, PALMS CENTER was small. In fact, the entire shopping plaza could have nearly fit into the Joske's GULFGATE anchor store.    
Photo from www.bing.com


A vintage aerial of GULFGATE SHOPPING CITY, which was the Bayou City's first major, regional-class shopping mall. This aerial photo was taken before a twin-plex cinema was built, in 1964-1965. It was to occupy the island on the far end of the footbridge on the right.
Photo from www.texasfreeways.com