Labelscar readers know that we’re not afraid to trek off the beaten path, and when people tell me that one seven mile stretch of tar is all there is worth seeing in a city, it only encourages me to venture away even more. This is the first in a string of posts about the malls where Las Vegas area residents actually shop.
The Boulevard Mall is a General Growth Properties mall located approximately 2 miles east of the strip at the corner of Desert Inn Rd. and Maryland Parkway. With approximately 170 stores including four anchors and 1.2 million square feet of floor space, it is the second largest mall in the valley and the oldest continuously operating one (the long-defunct Charleston Plaza Mall was the oldest). Built at what was apparently the “outskirts of town” at the time, the Boulevard Mall is now positioned pretty much in the middle of the city, near the popular tourist regions and much closer to the center-city than many of the area’s other malls, especially the Galleria at Sunset, which is its other competition on the city’s southeast side and is located way out in Henderson.
The Boulevard Mall was my favorite mall in Las Vegas by some measure, both because of its unusual floorplan and unusual decor. Judging by the time capsule (!) located outside of Macy’s store (which was a time capsule in and of itself!), it seems the mall was originally constructed in 1966. Note the cheerful optimism that the mall itself would still be standing in 100 years, which is something that the odds seem to generally be against:
However, judging by the unusual floorplan and differences in decor inside and out, I think only half of the mall dates to the 1960s. My guess is that the Boulevard Mall was originally constructed as a simple “dumbell” style mall in 1966, with a single hallway connecting the Macy’s and Sears buildings, and the JCPenney store halfway along the corridor. I believe that the mall was later almost doubled in size via the corridor built parallel to and behind the original corridor, connecting JCPenney and a new Dillard’s store with an entrance to Macy’s midway. Essentially, this new wing created a mirror image of the old mall, and made it possible to pass through both Macy’s and JCPenney to access one part of the mall from the other. Of course, this is all speculation, but check it out:
I also think it’s worth mentioning the crazy, swooping supports in the front mall and the super-jazzy exterior. I thought this was a really fun mall, and if you know something else about it, please tell us!
Someone else thought to take some pictures too, so check theirs out. I’ll be honest, it would really hurt my feelings, but you just might like them better.
Older, “Front Mall:”
The passageway between the two halves:
Newer, “Rear Mall:”