Saturday, July 22, 2006
Traveling over Georgia, I had honestly believed there were no open-air malls left from the 60's and 70's. I was wrong. Nestled in the Morningside area near Midtown was one of the best preserved specimens of an open-air mall: Ansley Mall. Built in 1968, it is not a mall in the sense of what you typically would call a mall. This little open-air mall features maybe 25 tenants and a Publix grocery store. The Publix was not original to the mall and was built on the site of what had been originally a Big Star. Other major tenants at the mall include CVS Pharmacy (probably a former Revco), Piccadilly Cafeteria (previously Morrison's Cafeteria, next to the Publix), Moe's Southwest Grill, L.A. Fitness (formerly Woolworth's) and a Pet Supermarket. Many of the tenants at the mall have entrances both to the main parking lot and to the mall itself.
When I first saw Ansley Mall on the map, I thought it was just a glorified name for a strip. Au contraire, it is definitely a mall and quite attractive though gaudy with its 80's-style reddish decor. This mall would probably also not be well-known outside of the area beyond those that shop there. I had heard of it, but never knew where it was or what was in it previously. What I do know of Ansley Mall is that it is located at the heart of the gay community in Atlanta, which is a major reason this mall did not fall on hard times like its sister mall near Lakewood.
Regarding its sister mall, this twin known by several names is located off of what was then Stewart Avenue (now Metropolitan Parkway) near Hapeville and is feature in a later post. Unlike Ansley Mall that caters to a slightly upper class crowd, the other mall fell on hard times and is partly vacant with much of the abandoned portion destroyed by a fire several years ago.
Photos include main entryway, part of the mall, lush vegitation at opposite end of mall next to the Piccadilly (pictured on the right), more of the mall with a Moe's Southwest Grill sign overhead and a view of the center court (click on the image for larger size).