Crestwood Court’s latest blow is part of a series of problems for the mall, which opened as a 550,000 square-foot, L-shaped outdoor center in 1957. Back then, Crestwood was on the outskirts of suburban development for St. Louis. The city of St. Louis itself was a booming metropolis with over 800,000 residents, and suburban St. Louis County had half as many residents as today. Things couldn’t have been sunnier for Crestwood Plaza, as it was officially known until the late 1990s, before a series of rebadging efforts due to new ownership changed it to Westfield Shoppingtown Crestwood and, finally, Crestwood Court. For our purposes, we’ll just stick with the name Crestwood.
In 1954, more than 30 years after Country Club Plaza opened, construction began on a new style of suburban shopping center. Located on the north side of Kansas City, in an area known as the Northland, Antioch Center was built on a 42-acre vacant section of land that had just recently been annexed into Kansas City in 1950. Just like The Plaza, Antioch Center was built with the automobile in mind. However, the auto-centric developments of the 1950s trended toward building on the edges of cities, where land was cheap and plentiful. Such a large space could have a retail center located in the middle of the property, with a sea of parking lots surrounding it on all sides for convenience, and more developer control over every facet of the project.
Located in the solidly middle class north county suburbs of St. Louis, Northwest Plaza has had a very rich and interesting history. Its ups and downs can be tied to popular trends in retailing, from open air center to enclosed mall; and now, with an uncertain future and new owners, Northwest Plaza is failing again. But why [...]
Opened in 1958 at the corner of U.S. 40 and I-70 in east Kansas City, Blue Ridge Mall was a major shopping center anchored by The Jones Store, JCPenney, and Montgomery Ward. Once the fourth largest mall in the Kansas City area, Blue Ridge Mall slid into a quick decline and today is nothing more than a Wal-Mart Supercenter [...]
The fountains here are still running, but for how much longer? UPDATE 5/31/07: The mall has closed permanently. Our first post from Kansas City focuses on a one-million square-foot behemoth of broken dreams. Opened in 1980, the two-level Bannister Mall is located at the interchange between I-435 and Bannister Road in southeast Kansas City. Once a [...]
Situated smack dab in the middle of the good ol’ U.S. of A., Kansas City is a rich tapestry of Americana and the result of many different historical and regional influences. What originally began literally as a cowtown predicated upon the spread of agriculture and the railroad became a center for housing livestock and manufacturing amid [...]
I’m not really sure I knew of the “dead mall” phenomenon until 1998 or 1999, which seems to be when the first generation of these retail elephants started to drop. That was also around the time that I lived in the midwest, and my blogging pal Prangeway and I would troll around a seven-state area [...]