EASTGATE MALL ceased to exist in a retail capacity in the twenty-tens. It was auctioned off in 2007...but was not demolished or repurposed as -yet- another power center. The mall was extensively renovated and rebuilt into a technical park and data center.
Photo from http://www.businesswire.com

East Washington Street / US 40 and North Shadeland Avenue 
Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana

The first mall-type shopping center in the Hoosier State was designed by Welton Becket & Associates of Los Angeles and Indianapolis' C. Wilbur Foster & Associates. The 1,200-foot-long EASTGATE CENTER was developed by Indy's Arthur L. Frankel, under the auspices of the Eastgate Corporation

A shopping structure of 370,000 leasable square fetet was built on a 40.6 acre parcel, located 5 miles east of downtown Indianapolis. At the time of its completion, the complex was situated in a section of unincorporated Marion County known as Warren Township.

The first operational stores in EASTGATE CENTER were a Sears Catalog & Appliance and 2-level (100,000 square foot), Indianapolis-based H.P. Wasson & Company. These opened for business on March 18, 1957. A mall-wide grand opening began September 19, 1957, which was attended by Indiana Governor Harold W. Handley (R). Forty stores participated in the celebration, which included a 1958 Ford Edsel as a grand prize.

The open-air EASTGATE consisted of an upper retail level and small section of lower level stores that ran along the north end of the facility. Among the fifty-six charter tenants were Richman Brothers men's & boy's wear, Craig's at Eastgate Candy & Restaurant, Hook's Drug, Thom McAn Shoes, Harry Levinson's men's wear, National Shirt Shops, Morrison's ladies' wear, a Sam's Subway Buffeteria and dry-goods-only J.C. Penney. A kiddie ride amusement area known as Wonderland was situated in the shopping center's north parking lot.

EASTGATE was followed, in August 1958, by GLENDALE CENTER {7 miles northwest, in Marion County}. In 1970, the Unigov consolidation of Indianapolis and Marion County into one political jurisdiction brought EASTGATE CENTER and GLENDALE CENTER into Indiana's capital.

In November 1971, a newly-renovated EASTGATE CENTER re-opened as an enclosed and air-conditioned structure. During its refurbishment, seating areas, planters, fountains and a public performance stage had been installed. Soon after, the General Cinema Corporation Eastgate Mall Cinema I & II was built as a southwestern outparcel of the mall. The venue showed its first features on June 28, 1974.

In April, WASHINGTON SQUARE {3 miles east, in Indianapolis} had been dedicated. Penney's and Sears moved to WASHINGTON SQUARE, leaving EASTGATE in a rapid state of decline. Its Wasson's store closed in April 1980.

The mall was sold to Indianapolis' Melvin Simon & Associates in August 1981. A second renovation was done. This time around, the exterior was given a face lift, with most of the parking lot entrances to stores being sealed-off.

The complex was repositioned as a value-oriented shopping center and renamed EASTGATE CONSUMER MALL. Burlington Coat Factory, filling a 93,000 square foot section of the abandoned Wasson's, welcomed its first shoppers on August 16, 1982. Front Row apparel leased the entire southwest corner of the mall. Other tenants were Famous Footwear, Publishers Book Outlet, Finish Line and F & M Distributors, a discount drug emporium (who leased the vacant J.C. Penney).

A 1-level (115,400 square foot) Builder's Square home improvement center, constructed in the mall's northeast parking area, was dedicated in October 1986. The existing movie house was expanded into the Eastgate Mall 6, which held its grand re-opening on May 19, 1987.

The novel concept of an "outlet mall" did well for a time. However, by the early 2000s, the aging EASTGATE was in another downward spiral. It was sold to North Carolina's Whichard Realty in April 2002. 

Builder's Square had been shuttered in June 1999. The cinema went dark in January 2004, with the entire shopping center closing on June 30 of the same year. At the time, many thought the mall would be demolished.

However, in May 2008, the property was acquired by a joint venture of Carmel, Indiana-based Lifeline Data Centers and Kingsport, Pennsylvania-based Mark Development. A 50 million dollar renovation commenced in July 2008. The moribund mall was renamed LIFELINE DATA CENTER EASTGATE CAMPUS. It became a technical park and data center.

The first renovation phase, completed in mid-2009, involved the conversion of the Wasson's / Burlington Coat Factory building into a supercomputer facility. Phase Two got underway in late 2009. The mall concourse was resectioned into low cost office spaces, a church and catering company. The renovated complex now housed 450,000 square feet of data center and office space.


The Indianapolis Star
preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
HistoricIrvington.blogspot.com / "Memories Of Days Gone By – Eastgate Mall" / Posted by "MidWestMrs"
"Unigov" article on Wikipedia
http://weeklyview.net / "Eastgate: Suburban Main Street" / Steven R. Barnett
Boston Post Road / US 1 and Interstate 95
Milford, Connecticut

Building began on the Nutmeg State's first shopping mall in November 1957. CONNECTICUT POST CENTER was developed by New York City's Sol Atlas and designed by Milford's Jesse James Hamblin. The open-air facility was constructed on a 75 acre parcel, located 6 miles southwest of downtown New Haven, in suburban Milford.

The site was adjacent to a newly-completed segment of the Connecticut Turnpike (Interstate 95). The 500,000 square foot retail complex, hailed as the largest between New York City and Boston, consisted of a single level of retail with a service basement beneath.

On September 14, 1960, the first stores in the 30 million dollar venue opened for business. The grand opening commenced at 7 pm and extended into the night. It included fireworks, a parade, dancing, fashion shows, concerts and appearances by several dignitaries.

Fifty stores and services would eventually be housed in CONNECTICUT POST CENTER. These included County Hardware, Franklin-Simon, Kennedy's of New England, a W.T. Grant variety store, S.S. Kresge 5 & 10, Bradlees "suburban self-service department store" and Stop & Shop supermarket.

New York City-based Alexander's opened a 3-level (155,000 square foot) anchor store on August 21, 1962. This was the sixth unit in the chain and the first outside the New York City metropolitan area. The General Cinema Corporation Milford Cinema was built as a southwest parking lot outparcel. The single-screen venue was officially dedicated April 2, 1965.

TRUMBULL SHOPPING PARK {5 miles west, in Trumbull} became the first retail competitor, in 1964. This was followed by CHAPEL SQUARE MALL, New Haven's downtown redevelopment shopping center, which was completed in 1967.

By the early 1970s, several charter tenants at CONNECTICUT POST CENTER had closed. The shopping hub now housed stores such as Giftique, Lynn's Hallmark, Whelan Drug, Friendly Frost Appliances and a Hill's supermarket. The Post Mini-Mall, a mall within a mall, contained twelve boutique-type stores.

A fire spread through the south end of the complex in May 1976. The Hills supermarket, Lynn's Hallmark and W.J. Sloan furniture store were destroyed. The area was rebuilt as a 2-level (86,000 square foot) Caldor discount mart. The 27th store in the Norwalk, Connecticut-based chain, it opened for business April 27, 1977.

The open shopping concourse had been fitted with a SkyShield type of (partial) enclosure in the late 1970s. This afforded some protection from the elements, but did not provide for heating or air-conditioning of the space.

In 1981, Australia-based Westfield acquired the complex and renovated it into a fully-enclosed and climate-controlled facility. It was promoted as CONNECTICUT POST MALL, but the local populace continued to refer to it as "MILFORD MALL".

Alexander's became the first of the original anchors to close, in 1988. This store re-opened as a J.C. Penney on August 7, 1991. At the time, the shopping center was undergoing a third renovation and expansion, to the tune of 75 million dollars. A 2-level (150,000 square foot), Hartford-based G. Fox was built. It opened in 1991 and was rebranded, by Boston-based Filene's, on February 1, 1993.

In the following year, the basement at CONNECTICUT POST MALL was refitted as a second retail concourse (Level I). In addition, the Sky View Food Court was installed on a newly-constructed third floor. The official name of the complex was changed to WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CONNECTICUT POST in November 1998. The mall encompassed 777,000 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and thirty-two stores and services.

The Stop & Shop supermarket moved to a freestanding location. Its store on the north end of the mall was razed. A 2-level (178,000 square foot) Sears took its place and opened for business on April 1, 2000.

Caldor had been shuttered May 15, 1999. The vacant store provided the impetus for a major redevelopment of the south end of the shopping center. A groundbreaking was held October 12, 2004. The abandoned Caldor, and some adjacent south end store spaces, were demolished.

In all, 480,000 square feet of new retail and entertainment area was constructed. New stores and services included a 1-level (125,000 square foot) Target, 2-level (84,000 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods, 9-bay Food Court, a state-of-the-art movie multiplex and two parking garages.

Target was dedicated March 1, 2006, with the Showcase Cinema de Lux 14 showing its first features March 10th. At the same time, a third level (consisting of 75,000 square feet) was added to Filene's. The store, now encompassing 225,000 square feet, was rebranded by Macy's on September 9, 2006. 

Now officially known as WESTFIELD CONNECTICUT POST, the shopping complex encompassed 1,334,000 leasable square feet and housed over one hundred and fifty stores and services. 

The Cinema de Lux 14 was rebranded as the Rave Motion Pictures Connecticut Post 14 in May 2010. In November of the same year, one of its auditoriums re-opened as an IMAX theater. In June 2013, the venue was rebranded under the Cinemark banner.

Westfield sold the shopping hub in December 2015. It was acquired by a joint venture of San Antonio's USAA Real Estate, Dallas' Centennial Real Estate and San Francisco's Montgomery Street Partners. Its official name soon reverted back to CONNECTICUT POST MALL.

J.C. Penney announced the shuttering of one hundred and twenty mall-based stores in March 2017. The CONNECTICUT POST location, in business as a Penney's for nearly 25 years, went dark on July 31, 2017. Reading, Pennsylvania's Boscov's chain expanded the vacant store from 155,000 to 200,000 square feet and opened for business on October 4, 2018.


The Bridgeport Sunday Post
The Bridgeport Sunday Herald
The New Haven Register
www.contact.com / "Keys To The Highway" / Melissa Nicefaro / July 8, 2002
www.fusco.com (Fusco Construction)
Assessor's Online Database For Milford County
"Westfield Connecticut Post" article on Wikipedia
"Filene's" article on Wikipedia
"Wavz 13" Flickr Photostram
www.associatedcontent.com / "Cinema de Lux Key Feature In New Mall Addition" / Posted by Corey Sipe / August 15, 2006
www.westfield.com (The Westfield Group)
www.centennial.com (Centennial Real Estate)


The graphic from The Bridgeport Sunday Herald illustrates a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The image is of lower resolution than the original (copies made would be of inferior quality). The image is not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the image 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 image in any way.
Gorham and Maine Mall Roads
South Portland, Maine

The history of the Pine Tree State's preeminent shopping hub begins in the mid-1960s. Bernal B. Allen convinced the City of South Portland and its Chamber of Commerce to acquire the 137 acre Dwyer's pig farm for potential development as a retail center.

The plot, located 4 miles southwest of center city Portland, was adjacent to a section of the Maine Turnpike (Interstate 95) that had opened to traffic in December 1955. Boston's Julian Cohen, a philanthropist and real estate developer, bought the pig farm parcels and initiated construction of a 2-level (188,000 square foot), Boston-based Jordan Marsh. The freestanding department store was dedicated August 8, 1969.

Ground was broken for a fully-enclosed shopping center, being built on the south side of the existing "Jordan's", in 1970. Designed by Boston's Sumner & Schein firm, MAINE MALL opened, with an initial twenty-one stores, in August 1971.

When fully leased, MAINE MALL housed sixty-two tenants. The 510,100 square foot complex was anchored by the aforementioned Jordan Marsh and 1-level (102,000 square foot) Sears. Charter inline stores included Krey's Disc Shop, Vogel's Hallmark, Waldenbooks, Lamey-Wellehan, Radio Shack, Spencer Gifts, an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and Gold Star IGA supermarket.

In 1975, the General Cinema Corporation Maine Mall Cinema III showed its first features. The venue, built as a freestanding structure, was located on a site across Payne (Maine Mall) Road from the shopping hub. The theater was expanded into a 7-plex in 1984 and shuttered in 2002.

A 40 million dollar expansion of MAINE MALL was officially dedicated August 3, 1983. Over 500,000 square feet of retail space had been added in a new East Wing. Three anchor stores joined the tenant list; a 2-level (120,800 square foot), Boston-based Filene's ["fiy-leenz"], 2-level (79,000 square foot), Portland-based Porteous, Mitchell & Braun and 1-level (80,000 square foot) J.C. Penney. The mall now encompassed approximately 1,043,100 leasable square feet.

A 65 million dollar renovation was done in the mid-1990s. A Food Court, installed as part of the 1983 expansion, was rebuilt into an 11-bay facility. Moreover, new tile flooring and skylights were installed throughout the mall and a 1-level (55,900 square foot), Woburn ["woo-burn'] , Massachusetts-based Lechmere ["leech-meer'] was built at the west entrance.

The official name of the complex was slightly altered. Henceforth, it would be known as THE MAINE MALL. It was rededicated on October 16, 1994. The center, which spanned approximately 1,099,000 leasable square feet, had 120 stores and services under its roof.

Porteous closed December 31, 1994. The building was subdivided. A (36,000 square foot) Filene's Men's & Home Furnishings store opened, on the Lower Level, October 30, 1996. A (40,000 square foot), Englewood, Colorado-based Sports Authority began business, in the Upper Level, in June 1997.

Jordan Marsh had been rebranded as a Macy's on March 31, 1996. Woolworth was shuttered in July 1997 and replaced, by a Clifton, New Jersey-based Linens 'N Things, on July 2, 1999. Lechmere was shuttered in November 1997 and re-opened, as a Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy, October 16, 1998.

The turn of the century brought even more changes. The shopping hub was purchased by Chicago-based General Growth Properties in October 2003. 2 years later, the Filene's chain was dissolved as part of a Federated Stores / May Stores merger. Its two THE MAINE MALL locations closed in March 2006.

For years, reports circulated concerning a prospective lifestyle-type expansion of THE MAINE MALL. The vacant Filene's main store was to be razed and replaced by a 16-screen Regal multiplex cinema and open-air section of stores. This addition, to be known as MAINE MALL COMMONS, was to house a Barnes & Noble bookstore and five casual dining restaurants.

Best Buy was also to relocate into a newly-built outparcel store. The original location in the mall was supposed to be torn down and replaced by a new open-air section of stores. However, a lawsuit, The Great Recession, and financial problems at General Growth Properties caused these projects to be abandoned.

Nevertheless, several vacant spaces at the mall were filled. The old Filene's Men's & Home Furnishings was divided between a (25,900 square foot) XXI Forever and (17,100 square foot) H & M. These stores opened October 29, 2008.

The old Woolworth / Linens 'N Things space had been temporarily leased as a Gobeil's Furniture Gallery. This store was shuttered and divided between a (25,000 square foot) Extreme Family Fitness Center and (15,000 square foot) Super Shoes. These began business in October 2010. The Extreme facility was short-lived. It was replaced by an Old Navy store on November 16, 2011.

After sitting vacant for 7 years, the old Filene's at THE MAINE MALL was retenanted. York, Pennsylvania-based The Bon Ton renovated the 2-level space and held a grand opening on September 12, 2013. The 19-year-old Sports Authority store was shuttered in mid-2016. In August 2017, The Bon Ton closed their THE MAINE MALL location, which had been in operation for nearly 5 years.

Brookfield Property Partners, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, acquired a share of General Growth Properties in 2016. In August 2018, Brookfield established 100 percent ownership of the corporation. Hence, THE MAINE MALL became part of the Brookfield retail center portfolio.


The Portland Press Herald
The Maine Sunday Telegram
The Boston Globe
www.usm.maine.edu / "A Study Of Retail Sprawl & The Lives of People In Greater Portland, Maine" / Kevin Burke
www.ggp.com (General Growth Properties)
Comment posts by "Pseudo3D", "GoNordike" and Edwin
Birmingham's Eastwood Mall

"A masterpiece of shopping luxury never before seen in the Deep South", so proclaimed the headlines commemorating the opening of EASTWOOD MALL, in the summer of 1960.

A physical layout of the circa-'60 center. The complex encompassed 320,300 leasable square feet, forty-three inline stores and had a 2,200-car capacity parking lot. At its official dedication in August, it held the distinction of being the third-largest interior mall in the United States (Minneapolis' SOUTHDALE CENTER and Dallas' BIG TOWN MALL occupied the number 1 and 2 positions).


Alabama ABC Liquor Store / Aladdin Cleaners / Beauty Unlimited / Bell Brothers Shoes / City Federal Savings & Loan / Colonial Stores supermarket / Duane's Shoes / Eastwood Barber Shop / Eastwood Mall Public Auditorium / Exchange-Security Bank / Friend Sisters ladies' wear / Gordon's Jewelers / Happy House Shops / J.C. Penney / J.J. Newberry 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / Jones-Lawless men's wear / Kinney Shoes / Kroger supermarket / Lace & Fabric Mart / LaGroue Seed & Pet Shop / Lerner Shops / Liggett Rexall Drug (with luncheonette) / Mall Cafe / Mall Gift Cards / Mall Record Shop & Appliance Center / Mazer's For Modern Birmingham Furniture / Michael's restaurant / Olan Mills Studio / Riddle's ladies' & children's apparel / S.S. Kresge 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / The Gold Bow / Top Value Stamps Redemption Center / 24-Hour Coin Laundry / Wendy's Sportswear / Western Auto 


Eastwood Bowling Center / Eastwood Mall go-kart track / Kiddieland amusement area

An interior view of the original EASTWOOD mallway. In the foreground is a bird aviary, which was a standard fixture in America's early enclosed shopping centers.
Photo from Josh Brasseale

The Eastwood Mall Theatre, which was the first addition to the retail hub. The single-screen venue opened on Christmas Day 1964.

A two-page spread announces the grand opening of the EASTWOOD Pizitz, which was held in August 1966. This was the first bona fide anchor store at the mall.
Advert from www.dshistory.com

EASTWOOD MALL, as it was configured after two 1960s additions. The shopping center now encompassed over 650,000 leasable square feet and housed seventy stores under one roof. It was promoted as the largest fully-enclosed shopping mall in the South.

EASTWOOD MALL circa-1981. Although the structure has not been physically expanded since 1966, much interior space has been reconfigured. The supermarkets are gone, along with Penney's and Pizitz. The movie house was twinned in 1974. The retail facility now houses fifty-nine stores and services, with thirteen businesses in its periphery.


PARISIAN-EAST / PARISIAN'S YOUNG WORLD / SERVICE MERCHANDISE / ECKERD DRUGS / BLACH'S / YIELDING'S / J.J. NEWBERRY 5 & 10 /  Alabama Farm Bureau Insurance / Aland's / Aland's Shoes / Baskin-Robbin's Ice Cream / Big Al's Machine Shop / Birmingham Coin & Stamp / Book World / Burch & Tant - June's Brides / Chancey's Bakery / City Federal Savings & Loan / Cobb Travel Services / Deb's Hallmark / Dick Reese's Piano & Organ Salon / Eastwood Mall Beauty Shop / Eastwood Mall Coin-Op Laundry / Eastwood Mall Shoe Repair / Eastwood Mall Style Shop / Eastwood Mall Theatre (twin-screen) / Eastwood Portrait Artists / Flowers III (kiosk) / First Alabama Bank / Friend Sisters / Good Housekeeping / Goodyear Tire & Auto / Household Finance Corporation / Jefferson Home Furniture / Jones-Lawless men's wear / Kinney Shoes / Lerner Shops / Lorch's Jewelry / Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio / Mr. Gatti's Pizza / Olan Mills Studio / Optician's Incorporated (kiosk) / Opus II / Oz Records / Pasquale's Pizza / Pioneer Cafeteria / Rosenberger's Birmingham Trunk / Saxton's Candy (kiosk) / Simmons' Personnel / Singer Sewing Center / Star Hardware / Storkland / Sumo's Japanese Steakhouse / Terry Town / The Fireplace / The Leather Shack / Wendy's sportswear / Wrangler Wranch  

Aeromarine / Arby's restaurant / Birmingham National Bank / Eastwood Mall Bowling Center / Jack's restaurant / Kelly's Hamburgers restaurant / Krispy Kreme Doughnuts / Shoney's Big Boy restaurant / McAdams Carpet / McDonald's restaurant / T.P. Crockmier's

A shiny new mega mall opened in the vicinity of EASTWOOD in 1986. As a keeping up with RIVERCHASE GALLERIA measure, EASTWOOD was substantially renovated between 1989 and 1990. A new Parisian was built -diagonally- into the 1960 part of the mall. Moreover, a 10-bay Food Court was installed at the center of the center.

A view of the mall's dramatic Food Court. This image was taken in 2004, after mall corridors had been closed to public access.
Photo from Russell Wells

The Food Court video wall, composed of eighty-seven individual TV screens, was a very '90s shopping mall feature!
Photo from Russell Wells

A parting EASTWOOD view. Here we see stores in EASTWOOD VILLAGE, the power plaza the replaced the moribund EASTWOOD MALL in 2007.
Photo from Eastwood Village Flyer / Retail Specialists
Crestwood Boulevard / US 78 and Oporto Avenue (Oporto Madrid Boulevard)
Birmingham, Alabama

The first fully-enclosed shopping center in the Southeast, North Carolina's CHARLOTTETOWN MALL, opened for business in October 1959. EASTWOOD MALL, the Southland's second enclosed retail complex, was officially dedicated in August 1960.

In retrospect, Alabama's "Magic City" seems more progressive than Atlanta, Georgia, which did not have an enclosed mall until 5 years later. Moreover, by opening a climate-controlled shopping center as early as 1960, Birmingham jumped ahead of mega-cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC; all of whom dedicated their first enclosed malls between 1962 and 1967.

EASTWOOD MALL was situated on a 55-acre tract, located 4 miles east of downtown Birmingham. This million dollar "merchandising city of the future" was envisaged by local drive-in theater operator Newman H. Waters. The complex was designed by Willard L. Thorsen, of Minneapolis, who also envisaged the Twin Cities' APACHE PLAZA (1961).

The official dedication of EASTWOOD MALL was held on August 25, 1960. In attendance were Governor John M. Patterson (D), James Morgan, Mayor of Birmingham, and entertainer Vaughan Monroe.

EASTWOOD originally encompassed 320,300 leasable square feet and housed forty-three inline stores. The mall was anchored by a (35,000 square foot) J.C. Penney. There were also Kroger and Colonial supermarkets, a Liggett Rexall Drug, ABC State Liquor Store, (29,100 square foot) S.S. Kresge and (34,800 square foot) J.J. Newberry.

The shopping facility was situated on a single retail level, but included a two hundred-seat auditorium on a small upper level. The J.C. Penney and J.J. Newberry stores also had small upper floors, which were not used as retail space. A Kiddieland amusement area, go-kart track and Space Age Eastwood Bowl bowling alley were outparcels of the original mall.

The Waters Theatre Company Eastwood Mall Theatre was the first structure added to the complex. This single-screen venue opened on December 25, 1964 and was the first phase of a 100,000 square foot, west end expansion. Completed in December 1965, the addition included a cafeteria, furniture store and Goodyear Tire & Appliance Center, as well as a second level of leased office spaces.

As the western addition was nearing completion, a 200,000 square foot expansion of the east end of the mall got underway. This would house twelve stores and services. A 2-level (89,700 square foot), Birmingham-based Pizitz was dedicated on August 18, 1966. With completion of the east end enlargement, EASTWOOD MALL encompassed over 650,000 leasable square feet and contained sixty-three stores under its roof.

The adjacent Starlite Drive-In Theatre closed in 1968. Its 14-acre site was redeveloped as EASTWOOD PLAZA, a strip center anchored by a (100,000 square foot) Kmart. As this new discount store opened, the existing S.S. Kresge in EASTWOOD MALL was shuttered. The vacant 5 & 10, and adjacent store space, were gutted. A (35,000 square foot), Birmingham-based Parisian department store was created, which opened for business on October 30, 1969.

The mall's Colonial supermarket had been rebranded as a Hill's Food Store in late 1960. By 1969, it was operating as a Winn-Dixie. 1969 also brought the completion of Birmingham's second enclosed shopping hub, WESTERN HILLS CENTER {11.6 miles southwest, in Fairfield}.

In 1970, the interior of EASTWOOD MALL was given a face lift. A suspended ceiling was installed in the main corridor, sealing off the original clerestory windows, and its common area was carpeted. The Kroger supermarket closed in 1971, with its space being used for an expanded furniture store. The theater was divided into a twin-screen multiplex in 1974.

Between 1973 and 1975, two new enclosed shopping centers opened in Greater Birmingham; BROOKWOOD VILLAGE CENTER {4.6 miles southwest, in Homewood} and CENTURY PLAZA {.1 mile northwest, in Birmingham}. The EASTWOOD J.C. Penney relocated to CENTURY PLAZA in 1976. The old Penney's space was leased as Parisian Young World, a boutique selling children's apparel.

In March 1980, Pizitz vacated EASTWOOD, moving into the former Loveman's anchor spot at CENTURY PLAZA. Service Merchandise opened, in the vacant EASTWOOD Pizitz, in September of the same year.

Montgomery-based Jim Wilson & Associates acquired EASTWOOD MALL in September 1984. At this time, the company was developing RIVERCHASE GALLERIA {11.1 miles southwest, in Hoover}. This 1.2 million square foot, superregional center opened in February 1986 and immediately put the hurt on all existing Magic City malls.

In order to keep their EASTWOOD property competitive, Wilson & Associates embarked on an 8.1 million dollar renovation in June 1989. The middle section of the mall was gutted and rebuilt as a 2-story Food Court. Moreover, a 2-level (130,000 square foot) Parisian was built -diagonally- into the existing structure. The exterior was also updated. The revitalized, 750,000 square foot, EASTWOOD MALL was re-dedicated in late 1990.

Unfortunately, the renovation failed to halt the mall's decline. This was exacerbated in October 1997, with the completion of THE SUMMIT {5.3 miles southwest, in Birmingham}. By the dawn of the 21st century, EASTWOOD MALL was virtually vacant. Its interior corridors were closed on August 1, 2004. Six stores with outside access remained in business.

Parisian was one of the last to go. This store, which was only 14 years old, closed in January 2005. By mid-2006, EASTWOOD MALL was being demolished. Within months, the nation's fifth fully-enclosed, regional-class shopping mall was a pile of rubble.

Construction began on a new EASTWOOD VILLAGE in November 2006. This open-air power center, built by Birmingham-based MAP Development, was anchored by a 1-level (195,800 square foot) Wal-Mart SuperCenter. This store opened for business October 22, 2007. Other tenants in the 50 million dollar retail venue included Old Navy, Ross Dress For Less and a Ruby Tuesday restaurant.


http://www.mywebpages.comcast.net / "Eastwood Mall" / Russell Wells
"Eastwood Mall" article on Wikipedia
www.bplonline.org / resources / "Digital Project Eastwood Mall" / Birmingham Public Library
"50 Million Project Half Leased" / Birmingham News / June 29, 2006 / Michael Tomberlin, staff writer

Another mid-century housewife-type drudgery would be doing the family laundry. Only the more well-to-do would enjoy the luxury of owning one of the new-fangled automatic washers and dryers. Everyone else would have probably bought their wringer-type machine at the local Sears or Montgomery Ward.

The electric wringer washer had been introduced in 1907. Up into the late 1960s, a machine -such as the Maytag Master seen here- was the way many American mothers cleaned the family laundry. 

The wringer washer would have to be manually filled with water, using a garden hose. With dirty laundry in place inside the tub of the machine and detergent added, an agitator lever, or button, would be flipped "on". Mom could agitate the clothes for as long as desired, but there was no "automatic" setting (some wringer washers did had timers).

When the clothes had been agitated sufficiently, every piece had to be run between the two rubber rollers of the wringer apparatus. Many a time, someone would get their hand or arm caught in the wringer, causing an emergency situation for the family.

The articles of clothing would then go into a separate tub of rinse water and then be run though the wringer a second time. Then, everything would need to be hung out to dry on the typical, backyard clothes line.

With clothes all dried and taken down, then mom would have to spend at least a couple more hours ironing everything. With all that was entailed with homemaking in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, is it any wonder that it was somewhat unusual for any one's mom to work a regular job back then?

The Model S, the first automatic washing machine, was introduced -by South Bend, Indiana's Bendix Company- in 1937. However, automatic machines, which laundered clothes and then spun them nearly dry, would not be commonplace for years to come.

In fact, it would take until the end of World War II for the major appliance manufacturers to introduce their first automatic (sans wringer) models; Sears-Kenmore and Frigidaire in 1947...Whirlpool in 1948. It would take nearly two additional decades for the automatic washer and dryer combo to be a standard fixture in the typical American home.

Above, we see two renderings of circa-1948 automatic (sans wringer) washers. The Frigidaire Fully Automatic model, seen in the first rendering, came with the hefty price of $329.75! In today's money, this washer would cost over $3,700! The price of General Electric's All Automatic machine is not divulged in the advert.
Drawings from The Miami News and (St. Petersburg) Evening Independent

A full page ad, dated June 6, 1949, hailing the new Bendix Economat machine. Its thrifty price -of just $179.95- must have made it a hot-selling item!
 Advert from The Spokane Daily Chronicle 

After World War II drew to a close in 1945, America experienced an economic boom, the likes of which has not been witnessed before or since. An enormous housing shortage created the need for large-scale, suburban housing developments.

The "Pre-Fab" (pre-fabricated tract house) became the norm. One would have a plat with -maybe- one thousand houses all being built at the same time...or at least in rapid succession. These might consist of only four different models; the oblong ranch with picture window, the oblong ranch with bay window, the L-shaped ranch (with neither) or the "split" or "tri" level.

The typical, suburban dwelling of the 1950s, which probably housed the standard "nuclear family" of 2.5 children. Homeowners today might freak at the price of this brand-new home in 1956.....it went for only $15,800! Today, this would translate to around $146,300.
Drawing from The Milwaukwee Journal