1. NORTHLAND CENTER 1955-2005 / open-air strip complex / BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA ON THE BOULEVARD -2006 / open-air strip complex / City of Jennings

2. WESTROADS CENTER -1955 open-air strip complex / ST. LOUIS GALLERIA -1986 / enclosed mall complex / St. Louis County

3. CRESTWOOD PLAZA -1957 / open-air strip complex, enclosed 1967 & 1984 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CRESTWOOD -1998 / WESTFIELD CRESTWOOD -2005 / CRESTWOOD COURT 2008-2012 /  open-air, mixed-use complex / City of Crestwood

4. TOWN & COUNTRY MALL 1960-1990 / enclosed community-class complex / The first fully-enclosed mall in Greater St. Louis / OVERLAND PLAZA -1990 / open-air strip complex / City of Overland

5. VILLAGE SQUARE -1961 / open-air complex / City of Hazelwood  

6. RIVER ROADS CENTER 1962-2006 / RIVER ROADS MALL / Greater St. Louis' first enclosed mall / City of Jennings


8. NORTHWEST PLAZA -1966 / open-air complex, enclosed 1989 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN NORTHWEST -1998 / WESTFIELD NORTHWEST -2005 / NORTHWEST PLAZA -2007-2011 / THE CROSSINGS AT NORTHWEST -2015 / open-air / City of St. Ann

9. MARK TWAIN MALL -1967 / enclosed community-class mall / ST. CHARLES CENTER -1995 / MARK TWAIN MALL -2001 / City of St. Charles

10. WEST COUNTY CENTER -1969 / enclosed mall / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN WEST COUNTY -1998-2001 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN WEST COUNTY -2002 (rebuilt mall) / WESTFIELD WEST COUNTY -2005 / WEST COUNTY CENTER -2007 / enclosed / St. Louis County

11. CROSS KEYS CENTER 1969-2003 / open-air & enclosed community-class mall / SHOPPES AT CROSS KEYS -2004 / City of Florissant

12. WESTPORT PLAZA -1971 / open-air & enclosed entertainment, office & retail complex / City of St. Louis

13. JAMESTOWN MALL 1973-2014 / enclosed mall / St. Louis County

14. ST. CLAIR SQUARE -1974 / enclosed mall / City of Fairview Heights [Illinois]

15. PLAZA FRONTENAC - 1974 / enclosed specialty mall / City of Frontenac


17. ALTON SQUARE MALL -1978 / enclosed mall / City of Alton [Illinois]

18. ONE CITY CENTER 1985-2009 / enclosed center city complex / City of St. Louis

19. MID RIVERS MALL -1987 / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN MID RIVERS -1998 / WESTFIELD MID RIVERS -2005 / MID RIVERS MALL -2007 / enclosed mall / City of St. Peters

20. SAINT LOUIS MILLS -2003 / enclosed mall / City of Hazelwood

[Structures indicated in bold italic have been completely demolished. Those in green have full articles on the MALL HALL OF FAME site]
St. Louis' Northland Center

Ground was broken in February 1954 for the Gateway City's first suburban shopping hub. The first stores opened in August 1955, with dedications continuing into 1956. The South Mall store block at NORTHLAND CENTER is depicted above. Famous-Barr (seen in the background) anchored this ultra-modern mercantile.

A court between the North Mall block and Famous-Barr, which is on the left. This rendering shows some of the intriguing angularity of the "space age" structure; an aspect that was obviously given much thought by its designers. This is something sadly lacking in the conception of today's slew of cookie-cutter-concocted, "Post-Modern" retail venues, which all look essentially the same.

The gigantic NORTHLAND Famous-Barr (the tall structure depicted here) was the St. Louis chain's third suburban branch. It encompassed 4 levels and 337,000 square feet.
Drawing from the May Department Stores Company

Our first NORTHLAND CENTER layout dates to 1959. The North Mall and South Mall wings extend from two sides of Famous-Barr. Open-air storefronts along the east side are accessed from an upper parking level. Those along the west facade open onto lower level parking. At this time, the complex covers approximately 525,100 leasable square feet and contains forty-one stores and services. Free parking is provided for 5,000 autos.


FAMOUS-BARR (with The Jade Room, Dining Deck and Pick-Quick Room restaurants and Beauty Salon) / S.S. KRESGE 5 & 10 (with luncheonete) / SONNENFELD'S / RAPP'S supermarket (outparcel) / Artiste Hair Stylists / Babor Sausage Company / Baker's Qualicraft Shoes / Berland's Smart Shoes / Bradford Jewelry / Brod-Dugan Paints / Burt's Shoes / Dan-Dee Shop / Duane's Shoes / Edith's Tots To Teens / Gorman & Raab Toys / Grove Jewelers / Harper's Smart Shops / Household Finance Corporation / H. Kline / La Merite Bridal Shop / Lasky's Shoes / Libson Northland Shop / Mark Bradley Gift Shop / Mavrakos Candy Company / Mode O'Day Frock Shop / Music Center / National Shirt Shops / Northland Bank / Northland Shoe Repair / Pope's Cafeteria / Richman Brothers men's wear / Shell Oil Service Station (outparcel) / Slenderella Figure Salon / St. Louis Federal Savings / Staten Island Cleaners / Straub's / Walgreen Drug (with Walgreen Grill) / Wehmueller-Hamilton Jewelers / Weil Clothing Company / Worth's Women's Fashion Shops / Western Auto (with Auto Center) / William Heitman Barber Shop 

A vintage view of upper level storefronts along the South Mall. The store in the middle, Sonnenfeld's, was a popular St. Louis retailer who sold women's, children's and teen's apparel. Their NORTHLAND operation was one of two 2-level stores in the complex (an S.S. Kresge 5 & dime being the other).
Photo from / Dwayne Pounds

Here we see the lower level of storefronts, which face onto the west parking area. Nameplates going from right-to-left include Staten Island Cleaners, Brod-Dugan Paints & Wallpaper, Richman's men's and Sonnenfeld's (the store's lower sales floor).
Photo from / Dwayne Pounds

In our final vintage view, we have a vista of the shopping center's entire lower level. This extends from Pope's Cafeteria (on the left), all the way over to Staten Island Cleaners (on the right). 
Photo from

By the late 1970s, NORTHLAND CENTER has been expanded to the west, north and south. Moreover, there are several freestanding buildings in its periphery. These include the Northland Medical Building, Famous-Barr Tire Center, a US Post Office and Northland Cinema.


FAMOUS-BARR (with The Jade Room, Dining Deck and Pick-Quick Room restaurants, Beauty Salon and freestanding Tire Center ) / S.S. KRESGE 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / SCHNUCKS supermarket (outparcel) / Artiste Hair Stylists / Baker's Shoes / Brod-Dugan Paints / Cinema I & II (outparcel) / Coats & Things / Cove Lounge / Fotomat / Goodyear Tire & Auto / Grove Jewelers / Hickory Farms of Ohio / Kinney Shoes / Lerner Shops / Libson Shops / Maico Hearing Aids / Mavrakos Candy Company / Music Center / Musicland / National Shirts Shops / Northland Barber Shop / Northland Bowl / Northland Key Shop / Northland Mark Twain Bank / Northland Shoe Repair / Northland Shell (outparcel) / Northland Texaco (outparcel) / Parklane Hosiery / Pope's Cafeteria / Radio Shack / Rafferty's Card Shop / Robin's Shoes / Service Travel / Singer Sewing Center / Slack Shack / So-Fro Fabrics / Specialty Shops / St. Louis Federal Savings / Star of India / Staten Island Cleaners / US Post Office (outparcel) / Venus / Vincent Price Studios / Waldenbooks / Walgreen Drug / Waterway Gas & Wash (outparcel) / Wehmueller's Jewelers / Worth's Women's Fashion Shops 

NORTHLAND began to falter in the 1980s. By the mid-1990s, most major stores had closed. By the late '90s, a bulldozer brigade was advocating demolition of the "obsolete" structure. It was razed in 2005 and replaced by BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA. The Target, anchoring this new shopping hub, closed in August 2016.
Photo from
West Florissant Avenue and Lucas & Hunt Road
City of Jennings, Missouri

The first major suburban shopping center in eastern Missouri was developed by G.F. Nooney & Company, of St. Louis. The firm of Russell Mullgardt, Schwartz & Van Hoef were its designers. NORTHLAND CENTER was not a shopping mall, per se, but is being inducted into the Mall Hall Of Fame due to its stature as an early "regional-class" shopping complex.

Open-air in format, NORTHLAND CENTER was built on a 67-acre plot. This was located 7 miles northwest of the city center, in the "North County" suburb of Jennings. Originally encompassing 525,100 leasable square feet, the facility opened for business on August 19, 1955. It was, in essence, a strip shopping center...but an elaborate and unique one. It was anchored by a 4-level (337,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Famous-Barr, from which its North Mall and South Mall wings extended.

The NORTHLAND Famous-Barr was the department store chain's first shopping center location and its third branch store. It was almost as large as the downtown flagship and was substantially larger than any of the suburban stores that followed. Its interior was done in grand style, with fine wood paneling and floors of marble.

Offering "everything from shoes to shaves," NORTHLAND CENTER would eventually house fifty stores and services. These included Heitman's Barber Shop, Mode O'Day Frock Shop, Duane's Shoes, Harper's Smart Shops, Western Auto, Edith's Tots To Teens, Worth's, a Slenderella Figure Salon and Pope's Cafeteria.

There were two 2-level inline stores; (16,500 square foot) Sonnenfeld's apparel and a (30,000 square foot) S.S. Kresge 5 & 10. All retail space in the original shopping hub was air-conditioned. In 1955, this was still considered quite a luxury. There was also ample parking provided on upper and lower level lots. A (21,500 square foot) Rapps supermarket, a western outparcel, opened for business on August 30, 1955. It was later rebranded as a Bettendorff-Rapp and then Schnucks. Between the late 1950s and early 1970s, the mall site was developed with various structures.

The 4-level Northland Medical Building and 32-lane Northland Bowl were completed in early 1960. Famous-Barr also built a freestanding Tire Center. It was dedicated in June of the same year. The General Cinema Corporation Northland Cinema debuted on November 23, 1966. With these additions, NORTHLAND CENTER housed approximately 568,700 leasable square feet and contained fifty stores and services.

The first commercial competitor in the area was RIVER ROADS CENTER (1962) {1.5 miles east, also in Jennings}. Next, came NORTHWEST PLAZA (1966) {6 miles west, in St. Ann} and JAMESTOWN MALL (1973) {6 miles north, in St. Louis County}.

Even with all of these rivals, NORTHLAND prospered. The situation began to change in the late 1980s. By the early 1990s, the once-fabulous Famous-Barr was a derelict, dilapidated shadow of its former self. Nearly all of the original tenants had vacated the shopping center. A great deal of space was now leased by mom & pop-type retailers, but national chains, such as Foxmoor Casuals, General Nutrition Center and J.G. McCrory, were still operating NORTHLAND stores.

Once a regional-class shopping venue, NORTHLAND CENTER was now an over-sized, community-class shopping hub. Its nearest interstate highway connection, over 1 mile south, left it fairly inaccessible by the local populace. St. Louis-based CenterMark Properties (formerly May Centers) sold the struggling retail hub in July 1992. San Antonio's Spigel Properties became the new owner.

On June 11, 1994, Famous-Barr pulled up stakes; a blow from which the 39-year-old facility could never recover. In January 2000, a redevelopment joint venture was formed between the St. Louis Economic Group, City of Jennings and St. Louis-based Sansone Group. NORTHLAND CENTER was viewed as obsolete. No consideration was given to its importance as an historic structure, well worthy of restoration.

So, another of America's architecturally-significant, mid-20th century retail centers had outlived its (perceived) usefulness. It was old enough to be historically relevant, but not old enough to benefit from any mandated preservation effort. The Northland Cinema, which had closed in 1999, became the first structure to fall to a wrecking ball, in June 2002. In April 2005, demolition commenced on the main NORTHLAND CENTER structure. The job was complete by October of the same year.

A 270,000 square foot power center, known as BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA ON THE BOULEVARD, replaced the 1950s shopping complex. The new venue was anchored by a 1-level (126,900 square foot) Target and (63,500 square foot) Schnucks supermarket. Target opened its doors on October 3, 2006, followed by Schnucks, on October 10th. The BUZZ WESTFALL PLAZA Target pulled up stakes on August 20, 2016.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Globe-Democrat
"The Final Sale - The decision to Close the Famous-Barr Northland Store" / Saint Louis University John Cook School Of Business, Emerson Center for Business Ethics / International Journal of Case Studies and Research / Volume 5, Number 1, 1997 / Jim Fisher, Dr. Mark J. Arnold and John T. Rueue
St. Louis' Crestwood Plaza

An aerial view of the original PLAZA. This snapshot was taken in 1957, before a second anchor store opened on the west end. The 66 Park In Theater is seen in the foreground.
Photo / Missouri Postcards & Photos

An ultra-modern Sears anchored the east end of CRESTWOOD PLAZA. The store, which originally had 2 levels, was one of the first operational tenants. It welcomed its first shoppers in March 1957.
Photo / Missouri Postcards & Photos

The original shopping hub was completed in four stages. The first and second sections (in black) opened between March and May 1957. The third section (in medium gray) was dedicated in August 1957. The final phase (in light gray) was completed in August 1958. The strip center now housed thirty-seven stores. Its 4-level parking area could accommodate 2,500 autos.


SEARS (with Snack-ette and attached Auto Center) / SCRUGGS, VANDERVOORT & BARNEY (with Tea Room, Victorian Soda Fountain, Beauty Salon and Four Seasons Shop) / F.W. WOOLWORTH 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / KROGER supermarket / Artiste Hair Stylists / Baker's Qualicraft Shoes / Beneficial Finance Company / Bond Clothes / Boyd's / Edison Brothers Shoes / Holloway House Cafeteria / Jaccard's Jewelers / Lerner Shops ladies' wear / Libson Shops / Mark Bradley Gifts / National Shirt Shops / Paintcraft / Pam's Children's Shoes / Straub's / The Children's Shop / The Cotton Shop ladies' wear / Thom McAn Shoes / Walgreen Drug (with Walgreen Grill) / Welek Fabrics 

St. Louis' Stix, Baer & Fuller chain added a third anchor store to CRESTWOOD PLAZA in the mid-1960s. The Stix store was comprised of 4 levels and encompassed 252,000 square feet. It covered a 3-level parking deck.
Drawing from Associated Dry Goods Corporation

In 1969, CRESTWOOD PLAZA is an air-conditioned shopping hub...well, partially, anyway. An Enclosed Mall (in dark gray) houses a climate-controlled shopping concourse. On the west end, the Vandervoort's store has just been bought -and rebranded- by Famous-Barr. With these improvements, the complex covers approximately 650,000 leasable square feet. Expanded parking facilities accommodate 5,400 autos.

Between September 1983 and October 1984, the open-air strip center was given a 25 million dollar overhaul. It reemerged as a so-called "Ultra Mall". A 5-plex cinema eventually opened in lower level space. By 1986, the 140-store CRESTWOOD PLAZA was one of -if not- the largest enclosed malls in Greater St. Louis.

An aerial view of the newly-refurbished CRESTWOOD PLAZA. The complex now spanned over 900,000 leasable square feet.
Photo / Missouri Postcards & Photos

In 1999, the mall is owned by Australia's Westfield and things look really rosy. All three anchor stores are occupied and 143 tenants line the shopping concourse. WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CRESTWOOD encompasses approximately 1,017,000 leasable square feet.

An early 2000s view of the main mallway. By this time, competition from the too-close-for-comfort ST. LOUIS GALLERIA has begun to take its toll, leaving the CRESTWOOD property in a downward spiral. Dillard's shuttered their store in October 2007. Helzberg Diamonds, Forever 21, Aeropostale and Macy's (nee' Famous-Barr) pulled up stakes in 2009.
Photo from

Meanwhile, Westfield sold the struggling shopping hub in March 2008. The new owners renamed the facility CRESTWOOD COURT and commissioned this logo to help reposition and revitalize the complex.
Graphic from

Alas, this campaign was not successful. The 56-year-old facility was shuttered in early 2012, becoming the fourth major St. Louis mall to go under. Demolition got underway in May 2016.
Photo from Wikipedia / "Khazar2Commons"

An initial CRESTWOOD PLAZA redevelopment plan was submitted in 2017. THE CREST, a 99 million dollar mixed-use complex, would have been anchored by a state-of-the-art megaplex cinema and several big-box-type retailers.
Original drawing from Urban Street Group, Limited Liability Company

THE CREST concept was eventually rejected. A new developer was brought in in late 2018. Their proposal for a CRESTWOOD CITY CENTER would have utilized smaller retail stores. As with THE CREST, there would also be a megaplex cinema, residential units and office spaces. Alas, the CRESTWOOD CITY CENTER plan was rejected.
Drawing from / Scout Realty Group 

The third time's a charm! A third redevelopment prospectus was submitted in mid-2021 and approved in March 2022. CRESTWOOD CROSSING would be anchored by a large supermarket, with additional retail in four adjacent buildings. Residential, restaurant and office components would be included in the fully-realized project.
Original drawing from

Dierbergs Market, the first CRESTWOOD CROSSING tenant, opened for business in early 2023. The first twenty-four residential units in The Villages at Crestwood Crossing were ready for occupancy by late 2023. 
Original drawing from
Watson Road / US 66 and Sappington Road
City of Crestwood, Missouri

Among the earliest regional-class shopping centers in Greater St. Louis, CRESTWOOD PLAZA was built on a 34-acre plot. The property was located 12 miles southwest of the center city, in the bedroom community of Crestwood. Open-air in configuration, CRESTWOOD PLAZA was developed by Milton, Lewis and Hyme Zorensky, under the auspices of Hycel Properties. It was designed by Richard Hafner and the Millstone Construction Company.

The complex originally encompassed approximately 550,000 leasable square feet. There was a full basement, with a lower level Arcade Shops concourse. CRESTWOOD PLAZA was anchored by a 2-level (156,000 square foot) Sears. This store was dedicated, along with National Shirt Shops, Baker's Shoes, The Children's Shop and a (23,000 square foot) Kroger supermarket, on March 21, 1957.

Walgreen Drug, Lerner Shops, Thom McAn Shoes and a 2-level (36,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth opened on May 19, 1957. A third group of tenants began business in August 1957. The center's second anchor, a 3-level (165,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney (a.k.a. Vandervoort's) welcomed its first shoppers on August 14, 1958.

There was no on-site cinema. However, the 66 Park-In Theater had opened in 1948. It was located directly across from the shopping center and was in business until 1994. A sit-down venue, the Crestwood Theatre, operated between 1964 and 1986. It was located one half mile west of CRESTWOOD PLAZA, on Watson Road.

Commercial competitors of CRESTWOOD PLAZA included WESTROADS CENTER (1955) {5.2 miles northeast, in St. Louis County}, SOUTH COUNTY CENTER (1963) {4.3 miles southeast, in St. Louis County} and WEST COUNTY CENTER (1969) {4.5 miles northwest, also in St. Louis County}.

Sears expanded its store with a third floor and enlarged Auto Center. The building now encompassed 221,400 square feet. It was re-dedicated on November 11, 1963. 3 years later, an enclosed wing was added to the east end of CRESTWOOD PLAZA. Designed by Seattle's John Graham, Junior, it was built over a 3-level parking garage and included a 4-level (252,500 square foot), St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller. This store opened its doors on January 23, 1967.

Anchor rebrandings commenced on September 15, 1969, when St. Louis-based Famous-Barr rebranded the Vandervoort's store. The Stix nameplate remained in place until the spring of 1985, when stores were rebranded by Dillard's.

Meanwhile, a second expansion of CRESTWOOD PLAZA had got underway in October 1983. The original strip center was rebuilt as a fully-enclosed mall, with store blocks added to its south side. The Cornucopia & The Market were installed in the basement. An official dedication was held on October 3, 1984. The American Multi-Cinema Crestwood Plaza 5 megaplex (adjacent to Cornucopia) showed its first features on March 21, 1986.

During a renovation completed in May 1992, a second cinema was installed on the northeast corner of the mall's main level, in back of Dillard's. The two cinemas operated together for approximately one year. Then, the basement venue was shuttered and reconfigured as a video arcade. The cinema behind Dillard's was expanded into a 10-screen venue, which was known as the AMC Crestwood Plaza 10.

CRESTWOOD PLAZA now spanned around 1,017,000 leasable square feet and housed over 140 stores and services under its roof. Australia-based Westfield acquired the mall in January 1998. In November of the same year, they renamed it WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN CRESTWOOD. This was shortened to WESTFIELD CRESTWOOD in June 2005.

By the early 21st century, the mall was in a downward spiral. ST. LOUIS GALLERIA (1986) {5.8 miles northeast, in St. Louis County} had proven to be too close for comfort. GRAVOIS BLUFFS (2000) {4.7 miles southwest, in Fenton} also contributed to the decline of the CRESTWOOD mall.

Famous-Barr considered closing their CRESTWOOD location in September 2005. However, the store remained open up to -and after- its "Macy-ation," which transpired in September 2006. Dillard's did pull the plug on their store in October 2007, leaving approximately sixty retailers in business.

The struggling shopping center was sold to a joint venture of Chicago-based Centrum Properties and New York City-based Angelo, Gordon & Company in March 2008. The official name was changed to CRESTWOOD COURT. The new owners instituted the Art Space project, which was a novel method of filling vacancies. Sixty spaces were leased, for a mere 50 to 100 dollars per month, to art gallery, dance studio and theater tenants.

Meanwhile, an ambitious redevelopment was announced, with most of the existing structure to be razed and replaced by an open-air, lifestyle venue. Progress was delayed by the shuttering of the mall's Macy's, which took place on April 1, 2009. By late 2011, the long-delayed redevelopment was gaining momentum once again.

The mall was shuttered on March 1, 2012, with Sears -the final operational anchor- going dark in April. The CRESTWOOD COURT renovation project fell through when the owner defaulted on their loan. Another stumbling block presented itself when Crestwood city fathers rejected a 34 million dollar tax abatement-based overhaul.

An "abandoned property" was to be sold in an online auction, which was to commence May 15, 2013. This event was delayed until April 2014. Chicago's Urban Street Group, Limited Liability Company purchased the mall and indicated that the site would be redeveloped in a residential and retail capacity.

Demolition commenced in May 2016, with the entirety of the shopping hub being razed. A mixed-use complex, tentatively known as THE CREST, was among two redevelopment concepts drawn up. This 99 million dollar project, which was to include an upscale bowling alley, megaplex cinema, big-box store, high-end restaurants and residential units, was scheduled for a late 2018 grand opening.

Unfortunately, THE CREST proposal was rejected. Walpert Properties, of Creve Couer, Missouri, was hired in late 2018. Their redevelopment plan for a CRESTWOOD CITY CENTER also included residential, office and entertainment components, but would have only smaller retail stores in its tenant mix. It was hoped that construction might be underway by the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, the developer pulled out of the project in June 2020, due to Covid-19-related shutdowns.

A joint venture of Dierbergs Markets and McBride Homes was formed to redevelop the former mall site. A final plan was approved by the city's Planning, Zoning & Architectural Review Commission in March 2022. A new CRESTWOOD CROSSING complex would be anchored by a 1-level (72,500 square foot) Dierbergs Market and include 32,000 square feet of office and retail space. An additional 10,500 square feet of freestanding restaurants would also be built. 

Dierbergs Market opened, as the first operational CRESTWOOD CROSSING tenant, on March 28, 2023. A Villages at Crestwood Crossing subdivision will eventually encompass seventy-nine single-family residential Units. The first twenty-four were ready for occupancy by the summer of 2023. 


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Branch Store.doc (website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine) (website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine) / Scout Realty Group
St. Louis' River Roads Center

RIVER ROADS CENTER was officially dedicated in August 1962. It was one of the Show Me State's first enclosed shopping centers.
Graphic from the Associated Dry Goods Corporation

The first enclosed shopping center in Missouri was formally dedicated in November 1960. TOWN & COUNTRY MALL, in the St. Louis suburb of Overland, was a smaller, community class facility of just 156,300 leasable square feet. In fact, the entire mall could have fit into the Stix store at RIVER ROADS CENTER with space to spare!
Drawing from the Thomas White Development Corporation 

The original RIVER ROADS CENTER encompassed around 620,000 leasable square feet and housed forty-two stores and services.
Photo from / "The History of River Roads Mall"

The mall had been built as a showcase for Stix Baer & Fuller, who anchored its west end. This was the retailer's second suburban branch. Its posh Pavilion Restaurant included a sunken outdoor garden. The mall's parking area had space for 3,100 autos.

Back in the day, the main shopping concourse at RIVER ROADS was promoted as "a breathtaking quarter mile arcade". The storefront of the "J.C. Penney Co." is seen on the left.
Photo from / "The History of River Roads Mall"

Penney's anchored the original mall with Stix, Baer & Fuller. This store featured The Pavilion, a very formal, sit-down restaurant. 
Photo from Missouri History Museum Photograph & Prints collection / Mac Mizuki 

A view of the posh Pavilion. The facility was operated by Stix Baer & Fuller.
Photo from Dwayne Pounds

The mall's Woolworth 5 & 10. This 2-level store, which encompassed 62,000 square feet, was reputed to be the chain's largest shopping center location. It included a Harvest House Cafeteria and Steamboat Room restaurant.
Photo from F.W. Woolworth Company Annual Report 1962

The mall received floor-to-skylight renovations between the early 1970s and mid-'80s. A dry-goods J.C. Penney was replaced by a full-line store. It closed in 1983, but was revived -as a J.C. Penney Outlet- as part of a revitalization. Dillard's rebranded the Stix store in 1985. RIVER ROADS MALL now encompassed 835,000 leasable square feet and contained forty-nine tenant spaces. Parking was provided for 4,400 autos.


DILLARD'S / J.C. PENNEY OUTLET STORE / FOOD FOR LESS supermarket / F.W. WOOLWORTH 5 & 10 (with Harvest House Cafeteria and Steamboat Room restaurant) / Action Track / Arthur's / Artiste Hair Stylists / Bakers Shoes / California Shirt Works / Casual Corner / Chandler's Shoes / Charter Bank / East Wind / Farmer's Insurance / Firestone Car Care (outparcel) / Funway Freeway / Grace Wigs / Hardy Shoes / Hartig Jewelers / Jeans West / Jennings North Police Precinct / Landers / Lane Bryant ladies' wear / Lauer-Enloe Optometrists / Leading Man / Life Uniform / Ludwig Music Studio / Thom McAn Shoes / Marketeam Associates / Music Vision / North County, Incorporated / Personal Service / Plattner's / Radio Shack / Rafferty's Cards / Regal Shoes / River Roads Bowl / Roosevelt Federal Savings & Loan / Size 5-7-9 Shops ladies' wear / Slack Shack ladies' wear / Taxman's / The Gap / The Wild Pair Shoes / Tip Top Cleaners / Toby's Shoes / US Post Office / Vicki's Cards & Gifts / Vincent's Jewelers / Waldenbooks / Walgreen Drug (with Walgreen Grill) / Wetherby-Kayser Shoes / Worth's Women's Fashion Shops

RIVER ROADS MALL was on the skids by the late 1980s. The Penney's Outlet went dark in May 1994, with the shopping concourse closing for good in June 1995. By 2004, the mall was a rotting hulk. 
Photo from Michael Allen

What once was the shopping concourse. After sitting vacant and decaying for over 11 years, the bulk of the RIVER ROADS was demolished between 2006 and 2007. The supermarket, still in operation, was left standing, but was eventually demolished, as well. Only the old Stix Car Care Center (now a Firestone Auto Care) remained.
Photo from Michael Allen

Sections of the vacant mall site were redeveloped between 2008 and 2018. The first new structure was the River Roads Manor Senior Apartments, seen above. This complex was followed by a Neighbors Credit Union branch, McDonald's, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Dollar Tree. All of these are freestanding structures.
Photo from
Jennings Station and Halls Ferry Roads
City of Jennings, Missouri

One of the first enclosed shopping complexes in Greater St. Louis was built on a 55-acre site. This was located 8 miles northwest of the St. Louis Central Business District, in the bedroom community of Jennings. Developed by St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller, RIVER ROADS CENTER was anchored by a 4-level (256,000 square foot) Stix store, which opened for business August 7, 1961. It was the second suburban branch in the chain.

A 3-day, mall-wide grand opening was held between August 16th and 18th, 1962. The 620,000 square foot shopping complex consisted of a main level of retail and service basement. At the time of its completion, the center's 2-level (62,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth was reputedly the largest shopping center location in the 2,200-unit chain.

Forty stores and services were in operation at the original RIVER ROADS CENTER. These included J.C. Penney, Bond Clothes, Lane Bryant, Thom McAn Shoes, Wolff's men's wear, Singer Sewing Center, Hardy Shoes, Dandy's Men's Store, Walgreen Drug, a Top Value Stamps Redemption Center and Kroger supermarket.

There were several restaurants. Woolworth operated a Harvest House Cafeteria and Steamboat Room. Walgreen Drug had a Walgreen Grill. Stix, Baer & Fuller included The Pavilion, which overlooked a lavish sunken garden. There were also dining options at the restaurant and cocktail lounge in a basement bowling alley.

Shopping facilities in the RIVER ROADS trade area included NORTHLAND CENTER (1955) {1.5 miles west, also in Jennings}, NORTHWEST PLAZA (1966) {8 miles west, in St. Ann}, CROSS KEYS CENTER (1969) {5.8 miles northwest, in Florissant} and JAMESTOWN MALL (1973) {6 miles north, in St. Louis County}.

An expansion and renovation of RIVER ROADS CENTER was done in the early 1970s. The original 2-level (61,000 square foot) J.C. Penney was replaced by a 3-level (256,000 square foot) unit. It was inaugurated on April 12, 1972. The previous Penney's was reconfigured as a shopping concourse, flanked by twelve inline stores.

As part of the mall expansion, the interior was redecorated in a Mediterranean motif. New seating, lighting and landscaping were added. New stores included Foxmoor Casuals, Mrs. Stover Candies, Regal Shoes, Worths and Waldenbooks. The exterior of the complex was refurbished with new storefront canopies, sidewalks and landscaping. The parking area was also enlarged.

Anchor nameplate changes at RIVER ROADS MALL began in the early 1980s. J.C. Penney closed their full-line operation in July 1983 and re-opened it, as an Outlet Store, in 1985. Stix, Baer & Fuller became a Dillard's in April of the same year. A shuttered Kroger re-opened as Food For Less.

Dillard's shuttered their store in 1986. Soon,  the mall was in a downward spiral that was exacerbated by the decline of the area surrounding it. Buffalo-based Benderson Development bought the mall in July 1988. They attempted to reposition it as a regional discount outlet center, with varying degrees of success.

A redevelopment / demolition plan was proposed in 1990, which was approved by the Jennings City Council in 1992. However, no progress was made beyond that point. The mall, experiencing more and more vacancies, began to deteriorate. Woolworth was shuttered in 1991, with the J.C. Penney Outlet Store closing in May 1994. A proposed acquisition by the British-based Midland Group fell through. The interior of the "vacant shell of a shopping center" shut down in June 1995, leaving only a few exterior-entranced stores in operation.

The virtually vacant complex was purchased by Raleigh, North Carolina-based Whichard Real Estate in 2000. It was quickly "flipped," with St. Louis-based Taylor-Morley Homes becoming its new owner. Their redevelopment plan came to light in January 2001.

This deal fell through when the two families owning the Taylor-Morley organization split-up. St. Louis-based Pyramid development entered the picture. They proposed a 66 million dollar redevelopment, which was to include office space, residential units, retail stores and a new city hall for Jennings.

Demolition of RIVER ROADS MALL got underway in late 2006 and was completed in the summer of 2007. Only a Firestone Auto Care Center (nee' Stix Car Care) was left standing. Pyramid Development shut down in May 2008. Before the company crashed and burned, they completed the River Roads Manor Senior Apartments complex. Over the following years, other freestanding retail, restaurant and financial structures were built.


The St. Louis Globe-Democrat
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Branch Store.doc
Information from "Dan A2k"
St. Louis' South County Center

SOUTH COUNTY CENTER was developed by May Department Stores, whose corporate headquarters was located in the Gateway City. The fully-enclosed complex covered approximately 506,000 leasable square feet and was officially dedicated in October 1963.
Graphic from May Department Stores Company

A Famous-Barr department store was the original mall's sole anchor. Designed by Raymond Loewy, the SOUTH COUNTY Famous-Barr was the retailer's first "rotunda store." Three more would be built at malls in Greater St. Louis; NORTHWEST PLAZA, WEST COUNTY CENTER and ST. CLAIR SQUARE {in Illinois}.

Our first of four SOUTH COUNTY CENTER site plans dates to late 1963. At this time, there were thirty-eight operational stores and services, including a basement level National Foods supermarket. The primary feature of the mall was its east end Rain Curtain Fountain; the first "Wonderfall" in a shopping mall.  


FAMOUS-BARR (with Carousel Room and Marionette Room restaurants, The Snack Bar, Beauty Salon, Basement Economy Store and freestanding Tire Center) / NATIONAL FOOD STORES supermarket / Baker's Qualicraft Shoes / Benson's Village Store / Bond Cleaners & Laundry / Bond Clothes / Crown Finance Corporation / Downs Men's Shops / Edith's Tot to Teens Shop / Flagg Brothers Shoes / H. Kline Women's Fashions / Household Finance Corporation / Lauer-Enloe Optometrists / Libson Shops ladies' wear / Ludwig Music House / Ludwig Music Studio / Mark Bradley Gifts / Martin's Shoes / Mavrakos Candy / Metro Ford (outpacel) / Newstead Beauty Shop / Pam's Children's Shoes / Pearl Paint / Pope's Cafeteria / Rainbow Drapery Shop / St. Louis Pastry Shop / Selle-Zale Jewelers / Shirley's Maternity Fashions / South County Barber Shop / South County Shoe Repair / South County State Bank / Tandy Crafts / Thom McAn Shoes / Tronic South / Wehmueller Jewelers / Werner-Hilton Men's Clothing / Wetherby-Kayser Shoes / Worth's Women's Fashion Shop

The Rain Curtain fountain at SOUTH COUNTY CENTER was the world's first "Wonderfall" installation. These faux water features used drops of glycerine descending down a series of nylon strands. With creative lighting, a mesmerizing illusion was created. Wonderfalls were set up in malls across the nation during the 1960s. The example above operated in Cincinnati's KENWOOD MALL.  
Drawing from Lindner Enterprises  

SOUTH COUNTY CENTER in 1966. A New Generation Penneys (in light gray) has just been added to the east end of the mall. The store's dedication was in September. SOUTH COUNTY CENTER now encompassed approximately 652,000 leasable square feet. There were over forty stores and services and free parking for 3,000 autos.

The SOUTH COUNTY Penneys encompassed 146,700 square feet on 2 levels. The full-line store included a freestanding Penneys Auto Center..
Photo from J.C. Penney Company

The South County Cinema was built in conjunction with an identical theater at the NORTHLAND CENTER complex. Both movie houses were dedicated on the same day in November 1966.
Drawing from the General Cinema Corporation

In the late 1970s, the SOUTH COUNTY mall was expanded into a tri-level format, with a third anchor -Stix, Baer & Fuller- added. The original Upper Level (in black) became a Middle Level. A new South Wing (in medium gray) had Upper and Lower levels. With these improvements, the shopping facility covered around 762,000 leasable square feet and contained eighty-eight stores and services.

A joint venture headed by Oz-based Westfield acquired the mall in late 1993. They renamed it WESTFIELD SOUTH COUNTY in June 2005. A Southwest Wing (in light gray) had been added in 2000-2001. By 2006, the complex encompasses approximately 1,158,300 leasable square feet, with a tenant list of 120. The 3-level parking area has spaces for 4,400 autos.

The mall was able to shed its Westfield trappings in 2007, when it was sold and renamed SOUTH COUNTY CENTER. Above, we see the Southeast Entrance, which lies between Dillard's and J.C. Penney.
Photo from Wikipedia / Mike Kalasnik

That once-iconic Illinois-based mega retailer maintained a presence at SOUTH COUNTY CENTER for nearly 16 years. Their 3-level store went dark in September 2018.
Graphic from
Lindbergh Boulevard / US 50, 61 & 67 and Lemay Ferry Road / US 61 & 67
Saint Louis County (Mehlville), Missouri

Ground was broken for Greater St. Louis' second major enclosed mall on May 16, 1962. The facility was built by May Centers, the city's hometown retail development company. SOUTH COUNTY CENTER was designed by Victor Gruen Associates, Raymond Loewy & Associates and the HOK (Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum) firm. The 10 million dollar shopping complex was constructed on a 69-acre site. This was located 11 miles southwest of the St. Louis Central Business District, in an unincorporated section of St. Louis County known as Mehlville.

SOUTH COUNTY CENTER encompassed approximately 506,000 leasable square feet. It was originally anchored by a 2-level (208,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Famous-Barr, which held its grand opening August 2, 1963. A mall-wide dedication began on October 17, 1963, with twenty-two operational stores.

Charter tenants included Zale's Jewelers, Ludwig Music House, Pam's Children's Shoes, Shirley's Maternity Fashions, Bond Clothes, Edith's Tots to Teens Shop, Tronic South Hi-Fi, Pope's Cafeteria and Flagg Brothers Shoes. A National Food Stores supermarket occupied a portion of the mall's basement (on the lower level of Famous-Barr).

Promoted for its climate-controlled "perpetual springtime," the Mall Level concourse at SOUTH COUNTY CENTER included three Rain Curtain Fountains. These were similar to other water-less "Wonderfall" installations eventually used in many 1960s-vintage enclosed shopping centers. The shopping concourse was lighted by a series of antique copper and brass gas streetlamps, which had originally been used to illuminate London's Piccadilly Circus.

The first of several mall expansions was built in the mid-1960s. A 2-level (146,700 square foot) J.C. Penney was added to the east side of the complex and opened for business on September 14, 1966. This expanded the mall's gross leasable area to approximately 652,000 square feet. On November 23, 1966, the General Cinema Corporation South County Cinema showed its first feature. The venue re-opened, as the Cinema I & II, on October 22, 1976.

A second expansion of SOUTH COUNTY CENTER added a 2-level South Wing and 2-level (140,000 square foot), St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller. The Stix store opened its doors on February 8, 1980. Among fifty new South Wing stores were The County Seat, J. Riggings, Tinder Box Tobacconist, So-Fro Fabrics and Spencer Gifts. The South Wing was built in a split-level configuration, with the mall's original Upper Level becoming a Middle Level. With the expansion, the complex covered approximately 902,000 leasable square feet and contained ninety-eight tenant spaces.  

The Stix store became the first SOUTH COUNTY anchor to receive a new nameplate. It was rebannered by Dillard's on August 8, 1985. An expansion, proposed in July 1990, would have added a new Dillard's and enlarged the mall to over 1 million leasable square feet. However, May Centers balked at a new 225,000 square foot Dillard's that would have been 17,000 square feet larger than their Famous-Barr store. As a result, this expansion was never carried out.

Ownership of SOUTH COUNTY CENTER changed in the early 1990s. A joint venture of Australia's Westfield, Des Moines' General Growth Properties and New York City's Whitehall Street Real Estate Limited Partnership acquired nineteen malls in six states; these owned by CentreMark Properties (a.k.a. May Centers). The deal closed in November 1993. 

The joint venture divided up management of the malls, with Westfield's share including SOUTH COUNTY CENTER. They renamed it WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN SOUTH COUNTY in November 1998, shortening this to WESTFIELD SOUTH COUNTY in June 2005.

Meanwhile, a 200 million dollar makeover of the "functionally obsolete" mall had been proposed in October 1996. This project, which was to take advantage of 40 million dollars in tax increment financing, was halted by public opposition. A less ambitious (and expensive) redevelopment plan was devised, with its construction beginning in July of the year 2000. 

As part of the 54 million dollar project, a 2-level (117,500 square foot) Southwest Wing was added; this anchored by a 3-level (158,800 square foot) Sears. A 12-bay Food Court was also installed in existing space adjacent to J.C. Penney. Inline stores setting up shop in the new Southwest Wing included Petite Sophistocate, August Max Woman, Pacific Sunwear and Rave Girl. Sears held its grand opening on October 27, 2001. The mall in Mehlville now spanned approximately 1,158,300 leasable square feet and housed 120 stores and services.

Construction continued into 2004 and 2005, as the north-facing front of the mall was expanded and reworked into an exterior-entranced Streetscape. A (17,200 square foot) Borders Books opened in April 2004, followed by Lacefield Music, Noodles & Company and Qdoba Mexican Grill.

WESTFIELD SOUTH COUNTY changed hands in August 2007. It became a property of a joint venture between Westfield and Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties. CBL would control the "investment vehicle." With this transaction, the official name of the shopping center reverted back to its original moniker, SOUTH COUNTY CENTER.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch / CBL & Associates Properties
St. Louis' Northwest Plaza

Stores in Greater St. Louis' original megamall opened between August 1965 and August 1966. In its original state, the complex housed over 1.4 million square feet of retail area.
Graphic from Louis Zorensky and Milton Zorensky. 

Sears became the first operational NORTHWEST PLAZA store in August 1965.
Drawing from Sears, Roebuck & Company

The mall's Famous-Barr and Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney (a.k.a. Vandervoort's) opened on the same day, in January 1966.
Graphic 1 from the May Department Stores Company
Graphic 2 from the Larchfield Corporation