New York City's North Shore Shopping Mart

In a high definition view from 1951, we see the 3-level John Wanamaker Great Neck. This structure would house three different department stores over the next 28 years.
Photo from Library of Congress / / Shorpy, The American Historical Photo Archive  

Here, we see the West Wing of the complex, which housed tenants such as an F.W. Woolworth 5 & dime and Grand Union grocery.
Photo from Library Of Congress

In this high definition image, we see West Wing stores, John Wanamaker and a North Wing, which extends into the background. At its far end is a Pennsylvania Drugs store. A suite of leased office space occupies an upper level.
Photo from Library of Congress / / Shorpy, The American Historical Photo Archive 

A physical layout of the original strip complex. In its original state, it covered approximately 216,500 leasable square feet. 

In a SHOPPING MART aerial view from the early 1950s, Pennsylvania Drug occupies the ground floor of the 2-story structure on the far left. John Wannamaker Great Neck operates in the large structure at the center of the center. One of -if not- the first shopping center Grand Union grocery stores is seen on the far right.
Photo from the Grand Union Company Annual Report 1951 

We now embark on a tour of the John Wanamaker Great Neck store, as it existed in May of 1951. At the West Entrance is the Gifts Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

A sweeping view of the John Wanamaker Great Neck main sales floor.
Photos from Library of Congress

Here we see the Cotton Dresses racks.
Photo from Library of Congress

And the John Wanamaker Great Neck Men's Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

The store's perfume counter, also known as the Toiletries Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

Here we see the selection of Ladies' Sportswear.
Photo from Library of Congress

We now ascend the grand stairway to the Upper Floor...
Photo from Library of Congress

In this snapshot, we see the Ladies' Shoes Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

In a detail view is the famous Wanamaker Eagle. Every John Wanamaker store had one.
Photo from Library of Congress

This Wanamaker's also carried a selection of Boy's Wear.
Photo from Library of Congress

Now we move on to the Toys Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

Descending back to the main sales floor, we go down the staircase seen here. It takes us to the basement level.
Photo from Library of Congress

On display in the Furniture Department is a sofa and dinette with dish cabinet. One might wonder how much these classic Mid-Century Modern furnishings would now be worth.
Photo from Library of Congress  

Here we see a more traditional sofa, with coffee and end tables.
Photo from Library of Congress

In this view, we have a very Mid-Century Modern bedroom suite.
Photo from Library of Congress

This model room is furnished with an Early American-style canopy bed and chest of drawers.
Photo from Library of Congress  

Here, we see more Early American bedroom furnishings.
Photo from Library of Congress 

A view of the John Wanamaker Great Neck Housewares Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

We end our time-traveling tour at the Rug Department.
Photo from Library of Congress

A full-page newspaper ad announces the grand opening of Stern's Great Neck, which replaced the 4-year-old John Wanamaker Great Neck store in September 1955.
Advert from Allied Stores 

The Long Island Railroad's Great Neck Station was -and is- located across South Middle Neck Road from the shopping hub.
Photo from Wikipedia / Adam Moss 

The SHOPPING MART was in decline by the mid-1980s. It was renovated and re-tenanted in the mid-1990s and renamed THE GARDENS AT GREAT NECK PLAZA. The snapshot above -and the two that follow- show the shopping hub in the early 2000s. A 2-level store structure at the far end of the North Wing houses two financial institutions; World Savings and Astoria Federal Savings & Loan.
Photo from Nassau County, New York

Moving toward the center of the center, we see the previous John Wanamaker Great Neck store. It housed the Waldbaum's supermarket seen here for over 14 years. 
Photo from http//

In this snapshot, we see the West Wing of the PLAZA. A Rite Aid pharmacy is seen on the right. Over the years, this space has housed a Grand Union grocery and Pathmark Drugs.
Photo from Nassau County, New York

THE GARDENS AT GREAT NECK PLAZA, circa-2020. At the time of this site plan, the center anchor space is occupied by a Best Market grocery store. There were seventeen tenant spaces in the complex and free parking for 500 autos.


Astoria Federal Savings & Loan / Best Market / Chase Bank (outparcel) / Chipotle Mexican Grill / Dream Wellness-Dreamnastics / European Wax Center / Fine Wines & Liquors / GoHealth Urgent Care / Great Neck Library Station Branch (Second Floor) / Matsuya Japanese Restaurant / MCS Mortgage Bankers (Second Floor) / Planet Fitness (basement) / Rite Aid Drugs / Starbucks Coffee / Sterling National Bank / Sunny Nail Spa / TD Bank / Voro Real Estate (Second Floor) / Wells Fargo Bank / Wild Ginger restaurant

A 2010s-vintage view of the North Wing. The Astoria bank (seen in the early 2000s photos) is still in operation. 
Photo from / Kabro Associates

The entrance of the Best Market grocery is seen on the right side of this image. The store closed its doors for good in early 2021.
Photo from / Kabro Associates

Our final GARDENS AT GREAT NECK PLAZA snapshot shows the West Wing. Nameplates for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cheeburger Cheeburger and Wild Ginger (an Asian Fusion restaurant) appear on the left. 
Photo from / Kabro Associates

South Middle Neck and Great Neck Roads
Nassau County (Town of North Hempstead), New York

Greater New York City's first suburban-style shopping center was constructed on a 7-acre parcel, located 13.4 miles east of Times Square. The site, once part of the Grace Estate, was in Nassau County's Town of North Hempstead / Village of Great Neck Plaza.

Ground was broken for the NORTH SHORE SHOPPING MART in June 1950. The open-air strip complex was developed by New York City's Sol G. Atlas and designed by Lathrop Douglass. It encompassed approximately 216,500 leasable square feet.

NORTH SHORE SHOPPING MART was anchored by a 3-level (60,000 square foot), Philadelphia-based John Wanamaker, which was the chain's first suburban New York City location. This store opened for business on May 16, 1951 and featured a huge, 2-story show window and two elevators; quite impressive features at the time.

Inline SHOPPING MART stores included Millers apparel, Pennsylvania Drugs, Miles Shoes, The Corsetorium, North Shore Hardware, Godell's of Great Neck home furnishings, a (10,500 square foot) Grand Union supermarket and 2-level (15,600 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10. The parking area accommodated 500 autos. 

Wanamaker's Great Neck was short-lived. The store was shuttered on May 3, 1955. Its ground level was expanded into vacant store space on both sides. The 3-level (71,000 square foot) Stern's Great Neck was dedicated on September 2, 1955. This was the chain's first suburban branch. The store morphed into a New York City-based Gertz on April 1, 1961, which shut down in January 1980.

By the early 1990s, the strip center was 85-percent vacant. It was acquired by Woodbury, New York's Kabro Associates in August 1993. The exterior was completely refurbished, new stores were signed and the complex re-named THE GARDENS AT GREAT NECK PLAZA. 

The old John Wanamaker was expanded into adjacent space once again. A 1-level (43,000 square foot) Iselin, New Jersey-based Foodtown Superstore opened in April 1994. Existing tenants included Pathmark Drug (in the old Grand Union space), Astoria Federal Savings & Loan and the Great Neck Library Station Branch. Newly-signed tenants included Kay-Bee Toys, Dreyfuss Financial Center and the (26,000 square foot) New York Health & Racket Club.

Foodtown was rebranded as an Edward's Super Food in 1995. This morphed into a Montvale, New Jersey-based Waldbaum's on March 3, 2001. This store was shuttered on November 22, 2015 and re-opened, as a Bethpage, New York-based Best Market, on February 10, 2016. Best Market pulled up stakes in February 2021. Meanwhile, The New York Health & Racket Club had closed in September 2013 and re-opened, as a Planet Fitness gym, on June 17, 2014.


The New York Daily News
The Nassau Daily Review-Star
"Great Neck Plaza Walking Tour" / Long Island Traditions / Nancy Solomon
Nassau County, New York property tax assessor website (Kabro Associates)
"Great Neck Plaza" article on Wikipedia


From the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection / Repository: United States Library Of Congress Prints and Photograph Division, Washington, D.C. / Taken by Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., 1952 / Photographs are in the public domain: no known restrictions on publication /
New York City's Roosevelt Field Center

Long Island, New York's big kahuna shopping mall is seen in a late 1950s aerial. At this time, Macy's Roosevelt Field (in lower left) is the sole anchor department store. There are, however, two supermarkets, two 5 & 10s and 105 other stores and services.
Photo from 

Macy's Roosevelt Field was a humongous 4-level (343,000 square foot) facility. The store -and mall- welcomed first shoppers in August 1956. 
Drawing from R.H. Macy & Company

Gimbels Roosevelt Field rang up its first sale in August 1962. The store encompassed 3 levels and 240,300 square feet. It was the fifth branch of the Gimbels-New York division, following stores at Yonkers, Valley Stream, Bay Shore and Paramus, New Jersey.

A circa-'63 ROOSEVELT FIELD CENTER plan. The nation's first shopping mall ice rink had opened here in 1958. With the addition of a new Gimbels, the 50 million dollar facility encompassed an astounding (for the time) 1,261,200 leasable square feet, making it one of the largest malls in the USA. Its vast parking area could accommodate 11,000 autos.

A circa-1965 view of the main mall concourse. The nameplate of Gimbels Roosevelt Field looms in the distance.
Photo from

Howard Clothes, a Brooklyn-based men's & boys clothier, operated a store in the original shopping complex.
Photo from

A Macy's ad from August 1968 beckons one and all to come see "the world's largest enclosed shopping center". The complex had just emerged from a 1.5 million dollar roofing renovation.
Advert from R.H. Macy & Company

A circa-1976 plan shows several recent modifications. As mentioned, the complex was enclosed and climate-controlled in 1967-'68. In 1971 and '72, two anchor department stores joined the retail roster; Alexander's and J.C. Penney. Two parking garages were also built. Le Petit Mall, a Tudor-motif mall-within-a-mall, opened for business 2 years ago.

Gimbels Roosevelt Field was shuttered in August 1986. Stern's assumed the vacant store and opened for business in February 1987.
Photo from

Aside from one anchor nameplate change, ROOSEVELT FIELD remained virtually unchanged through the 1980s. The mall shifted into a major expansion mode in 1991, with a first phase completed in April 1993. A partial Upper Level has been built on top of the northern half of the structure. One of the new features upstairs is a zeppelin-motif Food Court. 

Alexander's at ROOSEVELT FIELD closed in February 1991. The building was remodeled and re-opened, as an "A & S" (Abraham & Straus), in October 1992. This store lasted only 3 years. The Bloomingdale's seen here moved in in November 1995.
Photo from

The second half of the 1990s expansion was completed in two stages. The Upper Level was extended over the southern half of the mall, with fifty new stores dedicated in September 1996. Two parking garages were also built; one on the southeast corner of the mall and a second, on its northwest end. The new and improved shopping hub was now promoted with the logo seen above.
Graphic from (Website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine)

In addition to an expanded second floor, a fifth anchor has joined the directory. With its completion in 1997, the "landmark mall" encompasses an astonishing 2,228,000 leasable square feet and houses 246 stores. In this circa-1999 plan, one may notice a new northwest entrance and exit portal for the service tunnel. The original portal, in a southeast parking garage, has been displaced by a new Nordstrom.


BLOOMINGDALE'S (with Fur Salon and restaurant) / J.C. PENNEY (with Hair Salon) / MACY'S (with Fur Salon, restaurant, Garden Center and jewelry & watch repair shop) / NORDSTROM (with Nordstrom Pub, Nordstrom Espresso Bar, Spa Nordstrom, Nordstrom Garden Court and Nordstrom Cafe) / STERN'S / Abercrombie & Fitch ladies' wear / Aeropostale apparel / Aerosoles shoes / Afterthoughts jewelry / Aldo Shoes / Ann Taylor ladies' wear / Athlete's Foot / A/X Armani Exchange apparel / Au Bon Pain restaurant / B. Dalton Bookseller / Baby Guess? / Bakers Shoes / Bailey Banks & Biddle jewelers / Bally leather goods & accessories / Banana Republic apparel / Bang & Olufson electronics / Bath & Body Works / BCBG ladies' wear / Bebe ladies' wear / Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile / Benetton ladies' wear  / Benetton 0-12 / Bernini shoes & accessories / Betsey Johnson ladies' wear / Bostonian Shoes / Brookstone electronics / Burger King / Cache' ladies' wear / Cacique ladies' wear / California Cafe Bar & Grille / Champs Sports / Charles David ladies' wear / Chiasso home furnishings / Christian Bernard jewelry / Claire's Boutique / Clappers men's wear / Clothes Horse ladies' wear / Coach accessories / Coffee Beanery / Cohen's Fashion Optical / Contempo Casuals ladies' wear / Crabtree & Evelyn cosmetics / Crane & Company office & stationery / Custom Foot / Custom Shop tailors / CVS Drug / Dapy ladies' wear / Deck The Walls gifts / Delights snack bar / Domain housewares / Easy Spirit shoes / Eddie Bauer apparel / Efrem ladies' wear / Electronics Boutique / Enzo Angiolini footwear & accessories / Erwin Pearl jewelry / Esprit ladies' & children's wear / Essentials / E. Vincent Luggage / Express ladies' wear / Eye X eyewear / FAO Schwarz toys / Father & Son Shoes / Filofax office & stationery / Firestone Tire Center (outparcel) / Footaction U.S.A. / Foot Locker / Franklin Quest / French Connection ladies' wear / Friends young ladies' wear / G & G Shops ladies' wear / GapKids / Garden Botanika health & beauty aids / Glamour Shots eyewear / GNC / Godiva Chocolatier / Golf America sports specialties / Great American Backrub / Great American Cookie Company / Great Earth Vitamin / Guess? apparel / Gymboree children's wear/ H & E Clock gifts / Haagen Dazs I / Haagen Dazs II / Hall of Heroes sports specialties / Harwyn Florsheim shoes / Harwyn Madison Shop / Houlihan's restaurant / Houston's restaurant / International Cutlery / J Crew apparel ) / J Riggins men's wear / Jarman Shoes / Jean Country ladies' wear / Jessica McClintock ladies' wear / Johnston & Murphy shoes / Jordan Marie ladies' wear  / Kay-Bee Toys / Kenneth Cole shoes & accessorries / Kids Foot Locker / Kinney Shoes / Kleinsleep mattress & bedding / Knot Shop men's wear / Kotlar's Cards & Gifts / Lady Foot Locker / Landau Collection ladies' wear / Lane Bryant ladies' wear / Laura Ashley ladies' wear / Leading Male men's wear / LearningSmith children's wear / LeMarc's Card & Party / LeMarc's Hallmark / LensCrafters / Lerner New York ladies' wear / Let's Talk Cellular / Lids / Long Island Catholic Supply / Lil' Shoe Box children's shoes / Lundstrom Jewelers / M.A.C. Cosmetics / MCM ladies' wear / Markens Jewelers / Merle Norman Cosmetics / Mimi Maternity / Modell's Sporting Goods / Mondo ladies wear / Mont Blanc fine writing instruments / Motherhood Maternity / Naturalizer Shoes / Nature's Elements / New York Mets Clubhouse / Nine West shoes / Noodle Kidoodle toys / Nordic Track / Oaktree men's wear / Pacific Sunwear apparel / Panino Cafe / Papyrus cards & stationery / Police Information Center / Pottery Barn / Pretzel Time / Quick's Photo / Roosevelt Field Shoe Repair / Roosevelt Field Tailors & Cleaners / Radio Shack / Rampage ladies' wear / Record Town / Remington health & beauty aids / Republic National Bank / Renards / Restoration Hardware / Revolution / Sam Goody Music / San Francisco Music Box / Saturday Matinee / Sbarro Italian Eatery I / Screeem young ladies' wear / Select Comfort housewares / Shoe Box / Shoe Repair / Sid's Pants apparel / Small's Formal Wear / Sony Theaters Roosevelt 8 / Speedo apparel / Spencer Gifts / Stardust Gifts / Steve Madden shoes / Stride-Rite Shoes / Structure / Sunglass Hut (kiosk) / Sunglass Hut International / Sweet Factory / Tailors & Cleaners / Talbot's ladies' wear / Talbot's Petites / Tall Step Shoes / Tannery West / The Body Shop cosmetics / The Bombay Company / The Children's Place / The Chocolate Box / The Civilized Traveler jewelry / The Disney Store / The Edge / The Franklin Mint gifts  / The Game Keeper electronics / The Gap apparel / The Icing jewelry / The Limited ladies' wear / The Museum Company cards & gifts / The Nature Company books & music / The Picture People / The Polo Sport Store apparel / The Right Start children's wear / The Sharper Image lifestyle products / The Walking Company shoes / The Wall music / Things Remembered / This End Up housewares / Tootsies accessories / Topaz ladies' wear / Tourneau jewelery / Tristain America men's wear / US Post Office / Valente Fragrance / Valet Parking I / Valet Parking II / Variazioni ladies' wear / Victoria's Secret / Warehouse ladies' wear  / Warner Brothers Studio Store / Watch World / Wentworth Galleries cards & gifts / Wet Seal ladies' wear / Whitehall Company Jewelers / Wicks 'n' Sticks / The Wild Pair shoes / Williams Sonoma housewares / Wilson's Suede & Leather / World Imports / Xoxo sportswear & accessories / Zara ladies' wear
Ben's Deli / Big Easy Cajun / Cindy's Cinnamon Rolls / Dunkin' Donuts / Everything Yogurt / Great Steak & Potato / Gyro King / Johnny Rockets / Manchu Wok / NY Hot Dog / Ranch One / Roy Rogers restaurant / Sakkio Japan / Sbarro Italian Eatery / Stuff 'n Turkey / Taco John's / The Soup Gourmet 

That iconic Seattle-centric retailer set up shop in a 3-level ROOSEVELT FIELD store in August 1997.
Photo from Nassau County, New York

The upstairs area of the mammoth mall was enclosed with dramatic vaulted ceilings. In this interior view, we see all three floors of the complex; its Concourse Level (or basement), Main Level and Upper Level.
Drawing from (Simon Property Group)

After the demise of the Stern's store, in August 2001, the building was divided between Galyan's Trading Company, Bloomingdale's Furniture Gallery and XSport Fitness. Galyan's gave way to the Dick's Sporting Goods seen here in October 2004.
Drawing from (Simon Property Group)

ROOSEVELT FIELD MALL, 2017. Recently-completed renovations are indicated in shades of gray. Neiman Marcus, rumored to be joining the mall for years, has been added as part of a new Southwest Wing. A fourth parking garage has also been built, which connects with Macy's and Neiman Marcus.

The Dining District replaced the early '90s-vintage Zeppelin Food Court  in January 2015.
Photo from (Simon Property Group)

The 17-bay food facility includes indoor and outdoor seating and houses fast-food outlets such as Johnny Rockets, Juice Generation, Sarku Japan, Charley's Philly Steaks and Patsy's Pizzeria.
Drawing from (Simon Property Group)

The newly-refurbished Main Entrance.
Photo from (Simon Property Group)

The mall's new Neiman Marcus was dedicated in February 2016.
Drawing from (Simon Property Group)