Monday, February 26, 2007

Stewart-Lakewood Mall: Atlanta, GA


Stewart-Lakewood Mall is by far the most forgotten mall in Atlanta. It is located at the intersection of Metropolitan Parkway (formerly Stewart Avenue) and Perkerson Road next to Langford Parkway (formerly Lakewood Freeway). For me, this was quite a find. I did not previously know of this place, and popular interest led to me finding and presenting what sketchy information I have. Feel free to make any corrections.



Stewart-Lakewood Mall first came into existance in 1962 as Southside Atlanta's first full shopping mall. An open-air center with covered walkways, the mall featured many of the popular mall tenants of the day, notably a Lerner's, Jacob's Pharmacy, Woolworth and the usual shoe stores. I also understand that a two-level Penney's was at the mall, though information on where the Penney's was or if it was actually two levels is sketchy. I was told the mall was two levels, so either it had a basement or the Penney's was a two-story store. My theory on the Penney's is that it was on the north end of the mall and was later closed and demolished after the location at Greenbriar Mall opened a couple years later.


Southside Atlanta has suffered from tremendous decline since the day that Stewart-Lakewood opened. When it opened, the area was a working class neighborhood whose economy largely consisted of the GM Lakewood plant and the Ford plant down the street in Hapeville. White flight in the area began with desegregation in the late 1960's and the area around the center began to decline. Nevertheless, in that time a Woolco opened at the mall, possibly on the site of the JCPenney on the north end. The Woolco there closed with the chain in 1983, and by then the mall was in steep decline.


Fast forward to 2007, Stewart-Lakewood Mall looks like a phantom. The area around Stewart-Lakewood is now far from prosperous. Metropolitan Parkway is still known as a haven of crime and prostitution. What businesses operate along the road are hardly high class tenants unless you consider Church's Chicken fine dining and the Family Dollar quality merchandise. As you can see in the pics, Family Dollar is the only chain tenant even left in the mall today. The mall itself is only partially accessable with the back side completely abandoned. Almost a third of the mall was completely demolished when I arrived. Google Earth shows this is as vacant buildings that were already fenced off meaning a big part of the mall was already inaccessable. These apparently burned or were simply just demolished leaving only the front and side of the mall intact today.


Like its sister mall, Ansley, the stores had entrances outside the mall part, allowing stores to continue to operate without using the mall corridor. The Woolco has also been converted into a gym and bowling alley, which keeps the center from being completely dead. Nevertheless, it looks like a timepiece and has been modified very little since it opened over 40 years ago. It is hopeful that one day the neighborhood can support better retail and the mall can be restored to look like its cousin Ansley Mall.








Photos: Googie-style sign at corner of Perkerson and Metropolitan (Stewart), south side of mall and mall entrance, Google Earth image of main mall labeled, looking north into the only open part of the mall corridor, looking at the end of the open mall corridor through demolished buildings, demolished part facing Woolco and northeast entrance, the other open entrance, front side of the mall, detail of front court (no entrance), rear northwest side entrance (no mall here, Woolco on left), dead entrance, Woolco, demolished buildings from rear looking toward active mall.

64 comments:

  1. Good job! The area served by the mall was actually very 'middle class'(our defin of middle class has, alas, changed), with Ft Mac, Ga Power, and the State and 'traditionally African-American' colleges/univ. being additional employers. I do believe SL suffered for its 'googie-ness', its immediate identification as a '50s mall, even if it was built in '61-2. Even as a young child, we went to Greenbriar for "fancy" Sunday after church meals, at the ? Brer Rabbit Room? in Rich's with the fountain in the middle, not SL. For a glimpse of a SL original frock, go to http://southsideatlantamemories.typepad.com/ Thanks fo getting those bleak pics! ms ssam

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, much of area close to Stewart-Lakewood is starting to come back--very significant gentrification in College Park, along with fits and starts in areas a little West, and in areas near Fort Mac as well as in Lakewood Heights (on the other side of I-85). There's new in-fill housing very close to S-L.

    If the mall opened in '61 or '62, the JC Penney would have been a dry goods only store. Some from that era were 2 story, but wound up being 40-50K sf at most. The 2 story dry goods stores typically had the second floor in a basement that had no exterior entrance. Full line department stores and two story buildings, in the usual sense, started in '64. There was a JC Penney outlet in this plaza until at least the late 80s. It probably was the old dry goods store. The last of those that I can recall was at Congressional Plaza in Rockville, MD (a circa 1960 center) and it closed in the early 90s.

    I saw Stewart-Lakewood a couple years ago. What struck me as odd was the warren of small store spaces behind the section facing the corner of Lakewood & Metropolitan. If that was original to the complex, it would have had poor visibility. I wondered if it may have been a conversion of space in a misguided attempt to accommodate offices or services. If it was original, it would have been very odd for that era. The intended tenants for small spaces like that probably would have had barber shops, small loan offices, etc. and those generally sought a little more visibility or accessibility.

    I'm curious how you dated this to the early 60s. The exterior looked like it would go back to the mid-50s, when JC Penney also opened a store at Moreland Plaza (Moreland (S of Ormewood). Like the Moreland Plaza area, Stewart-Lakewood is near a lot of pre-WWII housing, with some GI Bill houses as infill. That area was/is very blue collar, with recent gentrification in areas North and East. Places like that attracted very early strips in Atlanta (Hosea Williams Ave has other examples, along with places like Rock Springs Plaza on Piedmont). By the 60s, developers would have been setting their sights on places further out. Ansley is a bit of an exception, but also is a higher income area--which probably would have resisted shopping center construction. The recently demolished/reconstructed Lindberg Center dated to the 50s and was in a newer area. Also, S-L doesn't strike me as a real twin to Ansley, which has a much simpler design.

    BTW--there's a large dying mall (actually strip) on the other side of the interstate, further South. It's visible from the Marta. I think it's called Tri-Cities.

    ReplyDelete
  3. (originally posted to the wrong mall, sorry) One last possibility on the vintage of S-L. It may have opened in stages. This was typical of early strips. Perhaps, that's why it looks older than '62 and odd design elements.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was looking at dates when I wrote this post knowing that the very first large shopping center, the open-air Shoppers World, opened in 1951 and that large-scale shopping centers were otherwise not built until later due to the tax code at the time. I have heard 1952, but from the information I received from a contributor it sounded newer than that. It is possible it was built in phased from the 50's-70's.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, this is a great mall, in a state of disrepair, but still great. Totally untouched since its heyday. If you remove changing demographics and what not, this type of mall is supposed to be the new thing, right? Open air? Guess that proves that movement is overrated. I think people like new and they will flock to whatever it is because it's new. Lasting power, however, takes a great more skill.
    Scott

    ReplyDelete
  6. I already posted some memories about this mall in the Ansley Mall entry. That big sign with the three sides and supports looks very familiar, yet strange with the FAMILY DOLLAR banner on it.

    More memories, there was a hair salon named "Styles by Steele" there in the mid-60's, run by the mother of an elementary-school friend, Morris Steele. A movie theatre opened up next to the mall in the mid-late '60's, not sure of the year, but I saw "Fantastic Voyage" (1966) there. And there was the Stewart-Lakewood branch of the Atlanta Public Library on an access road behind the mall. Greenbriar was definitely more where-it-was-at by the early '70's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also Fantastic Voyage there as well as Wait Until Dark. Fantasic Voyage was so big and so fogotten about! A beautiful theater in it's time. All red inside.

      Delete
  7. I worked at the Woolco at SL from Jan 1970 til about June 1972. Always a lot of activity and traffic. Lots of weekend business. Many fond memories

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember going to SL in 1963 and shopping at Penneys, Thom McCann and maybe Belks. We always stopped at Orange Julius and had a treat. Later on in the early 70's I had a part time job @ Woolco. The store was always busy. Later on the retail stores closed, crime rates rose and cheap strip clubs, peep shows and seedy bars. I do think that part of town is trying to make a comeback. It would be nice to see that happen. There used to be an amusement park right down the street called FunTown. Does anyone remember that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. grew up on Shadydale Ave.November 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      OMG. I do remember Fun Town and that bowling ally with the skating ring. Those huge dinosaurs where the put-put gulf was. The Movie theater was call Stewart Lakewood Rocking chair theater. Does anyone remember "Zayre" the department store down the hill from the Movie theater.

      Delete
  9. This mall was built in the late 50's for I remember my parents being regular shoppers there from '58-'63.

    The corner sign is the original sign.

    What really sticks out in my memory was the huge Santa Clause place smack center of the mall every Christmas. It towered over the rooftops. As a child I laid the entire lenght of my body over one of his boots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i was there i so remember that santa. i worked at the lerners in 1967.

      Delete
    2. My Grand Father played Santa at Lakewood Mall in 1966.

      Delete
  10. I remember fun town. It was near the skating rink and backed up to 75/85. I bought my first suit at Penneys. That was the first one I bought with my own money.I still have some Eastern airline cuff links that I bought at the drug store at Lakewood..They are stil in the box with the price on them. We spent alot of time up there when I was a kid. Those are some fond memories.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stewart-Lakewood, I believe, came about in the late 50's. I know I was a teenager when it opened. The first Strip Mall in this area was Campbellton Plaza, which contained a Belk's. Greenbriar took much of the business from Campbellton Plaza although I have heard it still has some stores. One of the biggest employers(that was served by SL) that has not been mentioned in the above is the Airlines, which helped in the defination of Middle class.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I lived in Hapeville on Stewart Avenue from 1945 through 1950, and the Lakewood Mall was there then. I believe there was a drive-in movie in the mall too. There was an amusement park in that area too nearby. When I was around 11 years old we went to that (1943). I remember that well. Lakewood Park was the site of the State Fair, when I was really young, I think 1939 or 1940. I went to Hapeville High and graduated in 1949. I left Hapeville in 1950 to move back to Atlanta and then to NJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think you mean the Southeastern Fair.

      Delete
  13. I grew up about one mile from this Shopping Center and it represents the basis for many of my memories from 1966 up until 1985 when my Mother finally moved out of the area. Of course by then the area had sufferred signficantly and business in the area closed and moved out.

    Relative to the Mall - Pennys was located on the "demolished" side of your picture. Other notable shops there (some of which have been mentioned) were Jacobs drugstore, Dipper Dan ice cream shop, a Barber shop, Lerners, King Hardware, A&P / Big Star grocer, Huddle House, Orange Julius, the Cricket Shop (women's clothing), Woolworth, a pinball/arcade place. And of course the movie theater located next to Woolco. There was also a Mr. Donut place located near where the Family Dollar sign now sits. There was once a jewelry store there whose name escapes me at the moment. Also, my dentist, Claude Duncan, had a practice there for years even right up until the place was declining.

    There was also a branch of the Atlanta Public Library that still persists to this day. I attended Perkerson Elementary which was right across the street from the Library. The school was demolished years ago and is now some administrative building.

    In the 60s ,during the Fall, one could easily see the fireworks from the nearby Southeastern Fair, which was located near the existing Amphitheater and where the weekend antique vendors setup shop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grew up within walking distance of SL and attended Perkerson Elementary.
      I remember the Woolworth's with lunch bar, Federal Bakery"yum", Cricket Shop (Villager dresses),
      The Beach Comer "Hang Ten", Musis (men's clothing store), Butler's Shoes,
      Jacob's Drug Store with soda fountain,
      furniture store(can't remember name),
      Colonial Grocery Store. So many quality stores. The clothing stores were pricey, but you could buy the latest fashions.
      There was no Belk's at SL.
      Greenbriar Mall opened and this began the decline of SL.
      Yes, I remember Fun Town. It was located down the street from SL. I had my birthday parties there.

      Delete
    2. Friedman's Jewelers. Dr Duncan was my dentist as well. Great memories.

      Delete
    3. This is great. i had two pictures of raindeer during Christmas in front of Jacobs Drug Store nd was trying to figure out where it was . Now I know it was at Lakewood Mall from reading your info. also , I need the name of the jewerly store too. I bought my first ring there with my first paycheck at age 16. Thanks

      Delete
  14. Yes, southside sue! I remember Funtown! My older niece and I would BEG my mom to take us there (by then it was in decline) and she wouldn't do it.

    We shopped at the giant Zayre there, at Woolco - some of y'all probably sold my dad the plastic swimming pools we broke every summer (heh) - and at the Sears outlet. I remember the twin cinema there, the Huddle House, King Hardware, Stewart-Lakewood Pharmacy on the corner and the one memorable trip to Dipper Dan's on a COLD autumn afternoon, believe it or not, that thrilled my niece and me -- probably around 1977 or '78. I even remember the Dipper Dan's sign.

    I often drive by Stewart-Lakewood when I'm coming home from work and want to avoid giant traffic tie-ups on I-75/85 south. I've never felt unsafe there because, truth be told, I grew up going to SL and as someone from East Point, it was my neighborhood. I wish the mall would be restored to what it once was but sadly, I think there's too much land there to not become condos, etc.

    My sister, who went to Russell High and graduated in 1968, still fondly reminisces about the old drive-in. She says it was so much fun to go there and see all her friends back in the day.

    They can rename Metropolitan Pkwy and Langford Pkwy but to me, they'll always be Stewart Avenue and Lakewood Freeway -- as they should be.

    Stop renaming old Atlanta. Start revitalizing it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh yeah... There was an Otasco on the old "front" side of Stewart-Lakewood Mall, too - next to the old S-L Pharmacy. I think that's where Family Dollar lives now but in happier days, my daddy used to make the fatal error of taking me to Otasco w/him when he was looking at tools and I'd always see some weird toy that absolutely NO other store had and then he and my mama would be on the hook to buy it at Christmas. Those were the days. :-)

    I kind of miss Otasco. They always seemed to have a little bit of everything useful.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As a kid I too spent many days at S-L. I remeber the Bakery and the Pennys. Pennys was a one story store as was the W.T. Grant store. I got hooked on reading at th Atlanta Public Library that I believe still stands and is still in use. I grew up in Hapeville and before greenbriar in the late 60s this and Tri-cities shopping centers were the two closest shopping centers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just discovered this wonderful site. Sad to see such a great mall in pieces, falling apart but I enjoyed reading everyone's great entries!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I remember my parents taking me to the movie theatre there to see...oh, boy... Song of the South. So un-pc now. There was also a Sear's Outlet store there I think and I have vague memories of FunTown. There was a bizarre putt-putt golf place right on Stewart Ave. (next to the bowling alley) that had a giant dinosaur and all sorts of weird houses. It was almost like The Flinstones. The actual midway part of FunTown was long gone by then -- mid 70s -- but my parents have many memories of going there.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The Stewart Lakewood Mall was indeed middle class....however....my family moved to area in 1959, and the center wasn't new then....the Penneys was 1 floor shopping (poss offices upstairs).....Colonial grocery was an anchor, next to the barber shop...(anyone remember Smitty, or Ray?)There was a record shop across the atriun from the grocery...(Later Thomas Jewelers took over this space)...King Hardware later became Otasco....there was a Cafeteria at the old north end...before the Woolco-and theater expansion...Woolworth's stayed , so kids could budget their allowences...And of course Moms were at the Beachcomber, The Cricket Shop, or shopping for Dad
    at the National Shirt Shop....Dipper Dan was the place for ice cream....Usually after the saturday haircut...And no Birthday celebration was complete without a cake from the Federal Bakery...was it dated?....sure...but a very convenient shopping for the time...Not to mention the Library, where Mrs Larimore signed your summer reading certificates by hand....by the way ...as a former employee of Rich's at Greenbriar, the restaurant was the Magnolia Tea Room, just like downtown!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I do in fact remember Smitty from the barber shop as I went to school with his daughter right over at Perkerson Elementary which was located across the street from the library. Also recall that they opened up a stylist shop called "The Viking" and tried to take things upscale. For a while it worked but not for long. Also recall the Roman Lantern restaurant that later turned into the Jolly Fox strip club. The Paint store lounge later turned into Dee Fords but that was into the 80s by then which was my last meaningful contact with the area.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I remember the Mall very well,as a young child growing up in the nearby Joyland neighborhood. There was a JC Penny and a Kroger Food Market and many small shops.South of the mall was a small strip mall with a Sears Outlet store and a Zayre department store.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Zayre was actually north of the S-L mall, in what is now called "USA Flea Market #1." There was a Winn-Dixie grocery there in what is now Wayfield Foods (a whole blog could be written about places abandonded by Winn-Dixe and what they have become)

    The basketball place in S-L mall was a Warehouse Grocery store before that and nobody is really sure why it closed. It was a great store. Before that, it was a bunch of empty retail space and a sort of close-out foods store. Very weird.

    On the other side, yes there was an Otasco. They went under and Family Dollar came in. There used to be a Mcrory or something like it between the Family Dollar and the Huddle House.

    Looooong before all all that, I remember seeing TV ads for the stores at S-L. I remember it all lit up and glittering from the highway and thinking it was a wonderland.

    South of the S-L is a strip of stores that was once a Kroger and later became an Autozone and some other shops. Not sure what is in there now.

    Someone mentioned checking out Tri-Cities Shopping Center over in East Point. Yes, do. This is a shopping center that has had a Wayfield AND a Dollar General vacate. Wayfield left and installed their own lowprice "bag it yourself" concept called Buy and Save, which failed. It's now empty I think. Dolgen left. Not sure what's there now. One pawn shop left but the other one remains. (yes, there were TWO pawn shops! How low can you go!) Most of the strip is now a sort of urban sports bar and no that has not revitalized things AT ALL. I feel sorry for the people living in the nice, new houses on the south edge of the center.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so glad I stumbled accross this blog. I am an Atlanta native, born in 1960, grew up in the Gresham Park area. I visited all of the malls mentioned. It was such a different time back then and such good memories of growing up in Atlanta.

    Sandy

    ReplyDelete
  24. Collin, when did you see Song of the South there? My grandmother lived in EP and I believe I saw that movied at S-W sometime between '77-'81. Sound about right?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I grew up in the area and this blog made me nostalgic for the good old days. Thanks for putting this up!

    ReplyDelete
  26. What was the name of the bowling ally in Hapeville back in the late 50's into the 60's not sure how long it was there but I thought it was in the Mall? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the Dixie Bowl. It later becamea bar and then a furniture store.

      Delete
  27. How wonderful all these posts are! I am a new "transplant" to the area. My partner and I purchased a home on Brewer Blvd and drive past this strip mall on a regular basis. I've often wondered what it must have been in it's heyday. We moved to Sylvan Hills from the Landmark/Historic Castlebery Hill neighborhood.

    We certainly don't fit the traditional demographics for the neighborhood,then or now, but we saw value in the property and the longevity of the negihborhood.

    I love to research the history behind the neighborhood I live in. Thank you for posting these pictures. For Ben Bradley, the Library is still on the "back side" or SW corner of the mall on the Corner of Lakewood Ave/Perkerson Rd & Fleet St. Next to it was a Wachovia Bank at one time. It has since closed.

    Investors see this area an a new potential Gentrification district. I firmly believe what was old will become new again.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What! This is Stewart-Lakewood Mall? I've always wondered where this was. lol I've been here plenty of times. I love this website. I've learned a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  29. CNN just re-ran their 2006 documentary about the 1979-81 Atlanta child murders and had old local news footage of S-L mall showing the Big Star and the S-L sign featuring all the old shops like Otasco, etc. Sadly, Lubie Geter, one of the murdered children, sold things outside that Big Star for spending cash apparently and was likely taken from the S-L mall area. Really awful. And seeing that reminded me of how close all that scariness was happening near where I lived in East Point back then as a kid. We still shopped at S-L right around that time -- before we moved in the early '80s south of ATL -- at the mall there. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  30. Patrick - Remember that shop next to the ginormous Zayre? I don't know its actual name but still can see that sign that just read "WIGS." So '70s. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  31. I came to east point in 1952. S-L MALL WAS A Multi phase build. the orginal section was the area of the dollar store facing stewart ave. the second build was the jc penny block. That explains the cut off shops on the west side of the orginal. Last expansion was in 1967 with the building of the theater and adjoing shops. Zarye was built to the north just prior to the theater by a couple of years,maybe 1965. area was cut off by the new lakewood fwy, which started the decline of S-L. Funtown closed I believe 1967-68 due to the owner not wanting to intergrate/allow blacks to attend. He also owned a bowling ally just north of funtown. On Sylvan rd, that was the orginal location of Harley of atlanta. just south of lakewood fwy. farther south on sylvan was a rock quarry operated by the ga prison system that closed in the mid 50's. the orginal chain gang would march up springdale rd (dirt at the time) from the building which still stands at the corner of clevland and springdale. The prisioners would be chained and busted rocks all day then march back. Old farmers market located on sylvan rd at murphy ave. moved from that location to forrest park in the 60's. murphay ave and sylvan also had a packard? auto assembly plant as well as a great dane trailer plant on sylvan. A side note, during the time before atlanta airport had east west runways the main runway was north south, in the early 60's when the first jets were appearing the noise was terrible, thus starting the migration/decline further speed up by the white flight in the late 60's

    ReplyDelete
  32. WoW, How fun reading memories about this mall. I grew up on St Johns Ave right across the street from the mall. I walked home from school every day right thru this mall and would always (if I had some money) stop at Dipper Dan and get a cherry coke (the real kind with cherry syrup). There was a savings and loan bank that we would breeze thru everyday to snag a lollipop (they didn't seem to mind). Great Memories! My brother won a yo yo contest at the mall. I too fostered a love for reading at the public library.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is so neat reading all the memories. My mom worked at Delite Beauty Supplies. Down from Rhodes furinture in the curve going toward Stewart Ave. I lived on Brewer Blvd. and walked to the mall just about everyday.Anyone remember Henry the Mailman? Went grocery shopping at Colonial Store then they change there name to Big Star. My parents gave me a gold cross which came from Thomas Jewelry Store. Had one of my Birthday Parties at Dipper Dan's Ice Cream Store and loved to watch the ladies decorate the Birthday Cakes at Federal Bakery, remember the gingerbread man hanging up in the store?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Back in the late 60's/early 70's, we lived in EP but my grandmother lived in an apartment on Sylvan Circle about a 1/2 mile west of S-L. I have many of the same memories of this center, especially Dipper Dan and Woolco. Forgot all about Federal Bakery. I think there was one at Headland and Delowe SC, also. My birthday cakes would come from there if I wanted chocolate or Rich's, if I chose coconut.

    FOR THE LOCALS: There is a restaurant/bakery on Old Dixie Hwy between I-285 and Charles Grant Pkwy (Aviation Blvd)called Blanchard's (near the fire station). Doesn't look lie much, but for those of you that want a rememberance of the cookies Rich's Bakery once made, go here. I swear they have the recipe. It took me back the first time I had tried one of their sugar cookies. PB tasted the same also. Didn't get any but the cream horns and brownie's looked the same.

    Wasn't there an Arlens (there's a store you might have forgotten about) at S-L or adjacent. I do remember one at the old SC on Ponce across from Sears. JCPenney did operate a store here for many years after G'briar opened. I recall that the building was dark brown and had the old JCP signage (not the 60's one with the stylied 'P', but individual letters spelling JCPenny in mustard yellow) on the front of the building which faced the woods behind S-L.

    We went to Funtown as a kid, but I thought it closed a little later than 68-69. That would have made me 0-5 when we went, which seems young. I also remember the bowling alley, which had a super 50's facade.

    For some reason I could sit and stare at the ZAYRE sign forever; watching each letter light up one at a time, go black, light up all at once, go black, then start over.

    Does anyone remember Lums? There was one in the small strip center in the 'V' formed by Perkerson and Sylvan (across the street on Sylvan was the first Burger King I ate at). They sold hot dogs steamed in beer. My parents would never take us there to eat, and being very young, I thought only drunk people ate there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember Lum's. I was looking up to see what happened to this chain and ran across this blog. The Arlens that I remember was on the corner of Stewart & Cleveland Avenues.

      Delete
  35. I remember walking up to this mall in the late 60s through the mid-70s with my late, paternal grandmother. We would walk up to the mall and I would go to Dipper Dans, Orange Julius, grocery store, and the Woolworth. She visited the grocery store quite often (that was before the Kroger was built across the street from the trailer court where she lived with and cared for my Uncle (her bachelor son) who was a Trailways bus driver). Zayre was further down on Stewart Avenue and we would sometimes walk all the way down there too. We would stop at the McDonalds (later the Wendys and Mrs. Winner's Chicken) and eat lunch on our journeys to the Lakewood Shopping Center and Zayre. She lived down in the trailer park (Greenwood?) on Stewart Ave. The trailer park is long gone too. It was bulldozed back in the 80s after a drug bust (my grandmother was dead by then). Back in the day whenever we would walk up to the Lakewood Shopping Center it was a safe, neat, clean mall to shop at, but eventually the crime and prostitution began to take over. I miss those old days and the times spent with my late grandmother. I also miss my late Uncle. They are both dead now. I often dream of those days spent with her at the Lakewood Shopping Center. Now I am a middle aged man not much younger than my grandmother was whenever she moved to that area in 1962.

    ReplyDelete
  36. So excited to find this site, I remember going to the Southeastern Fair every fall, and Fun Town with the Wild Mouse ride, My cousins and I took skating lessons at the rink next to Fun Town. My favorite memory of SL was the Santa they put up every year, as a child it was amazing. My husband and I have come back to Lakewood for the concerts, the memories I get just being back in that area are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Please understand. I don't mean any disrespect but much of what you stated is false. I grew up, and went to Perkerson "Grammar" School which is the parking lot of the Stewart/Lakewood Shopping Center. We played fox and the hound (hide and seek) in the woods that they made the shopping center. We watched them build the shopping center and later the Greenbriar Connector, which was it's name (166) before they changed it!!Woolco came much later and wasn't in the original shopping center. I knew of only two people who worked for Ford or General Motors. Yes, it was a lower-mid class people who worked very hard for their money. Most men worked two jobs, while there wives stayed home to raise the family. J.C. Penney's and W.T. Grants were on the same side (which I think is west) where their backside was facing the grammar school. F.W. Woolworths backside was facing Stewart ave. and just across from the other two stores. When it opened, it was marketed as the largest (amount of stores but not by volume) in the Southeatern U.S. Some other stores were Colonial Stores, Kroger, Cricket Shop, Economy Auto, Jacobs Drug Store and Western Auto to name a few. This shopping center surpassed Lenox in the amount of stores. Keep in mind that both shopping centers were not covered (malls)at this time.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Moved into our house in 1956. There was no S/L Shopping Center there. We lived about 1 block from where it was built and we used to play hide and seek in the woods where it was built. Penney's backside faced Fleet Street. Some other stores that haven't been mentioned are Western Auto and Economy Auto. I'm pretty sure that Funtown closed because of Six Flags opening. Lakewood Freeway was also called Greenbiar Parkway. I watched them build it. It was solid slabs of concrete layed down with a rubber material in between each one for expansion.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Funtown closed due to the owner being a racist!he wouldn't allow blacks to go into Funtown and when it got to where he couldn't prevent it,he closed the place down and it never opened again.
    if JC Penney was in the location of Woolco,I don't remember that;I don't think it was.Who remembers the photography studio on the end closet to Woolco?
    I remember Western Auto,Economy Auto,and what about the fabric shop about midway of the complex?Granny was a sewer so we wnt in there wth her.I remember the fabric dyes burned my eyes.Hated that store!
    What about federal bakery? Loved that sweet smell,right next to Woolworths.Do you say Woolworths?Loved that store.The kitchenette,we always got a coke and a piece of pie or maybe a burger.Then there was the toy section.Oh boy!My favs!
    Once on a saturday,an old local children's tv show in Atlanta called Tubby and Lester(copying Laurel and Hardy),did a live stage show there right in front of Woolworths.We were there and I got picked to play a game and I won!(don't remember the game I played).The prize was a board game of some sort(don't remember the prize either).
    My granny bought me my very first set of real drums from Woolworths.Small,for kids but they were real and not the paper toy sets.Which I also had one of.
    Stewart/Lakewood shopping center was a grand place in its day.Safe,beyond safe!
    Then also the Zayre just a little north of it,went there tons of times.
    Don't forget Shakey's Pizza with the Keystone cops movie shorts playing on a big screen.
    Then there was Arlan's down further south at the intersection of Stewart Ave and Cleveland Ave.Granny bought me the Monkees album Head from there.Hey hey We're the Monkees!Good times.
    Then there was the Old Hickory House just south on the hill.Great BBQ!
    Woolco was a cool store back then.I hung out in the records section of the store.Looking at 45's and albums and begging Granny to buy them for me.yeah I am a musician/singer these days.
    Thom McCann shoe store,had to have those Buster browns.
    Well gotta go,yall reminise and have a good day.YALL!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh I forgot,Stewart/Lakewood was not a two story mall.Woolco or even JC Penney if it was there(but I don't think it was),was still a one level store.it was actually sitting below ground level due to the terrain,and when you walked in the doors,from either the front or the side doors that came from the end of the mall,you had to walk down a set of steps to the store level.None of the mall stores had a second level.However,I do think Woolworths had an upper level that was not for the public.I think it was for offices and extra storage.The rest of the Stewart/lakewood mall was all one level.
    What yo may be doing,is confusing Stewart/Lakewood with Greenbriar Mall over off of Cambellton rd and I 285.It was completely enclosed and had a Richs store on one end and a JC Penney on the other.Those two stores had multi levels.Three to be exact.Escalators were used to get to the upper and lower levels.However,the mall itself was again one level which included all the rest of the stores there,but the mall did have a theater on a lower level that was accessed by escalators in the middle of the mall.I watched many a movie there.The mall stretched a good distance being that it was one level.Lot of walking.It had concrete figurines of animals in the mall for kids to play on.I did.
    But anyway,Stewart/Lakewood was only one level.I know cause I was there nearly every weekend for years as a child in the 60's with my Granny.She loved that place,heck,so did I!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great memories here, as alot of you remember the same things I do about Stewart Lakewood.
    I, too, was spellbound by the giant Santa they would put out every Christmas. It was much taller than the roof and, if any one else remembers, his hand waved. I think I was afraid of it, but I wonder now how tall it actually was compared to the fact I was 6 or 7 years old at the time and everything is huge back then. My cousin worked at Browz-a-bit, the bookstore that was not far from the Orange Julius. We often ran in the bookstore for Archie comic books and cousin would let us run around in the storage attic upstairs. The Federal bake shop made all my birthday cakes when I was a kid. Best cakes ever. Sadly, nobody knows how to make them like that any more. I also remember Tubby and Lester from local t.v. being there one day, as well as Officer Don and Orville the Dragon on another occasion. What fun! The drive-in movie people are remembering is where the Kroger City Center is today. It was a huge gravel lot with a snack bar and I used to dream of the day I could go there on a date with the cool crowd. (I was a kid at the time). It was torn down in the 60's and Arlan's was built in it's place. Thanks for all the fun memories here.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The Federal Bake Shops (at both locations mentioned) were run by my Grandpa. He also maintained shops in Forest Park and downtown Atlanta. I think the Atlanta shop was near the Healey Bldg. His last store to close was at South Dekalb Mall. It closed sometime in the late 80s. My Grandpa was a master baker and I miss his donuts and cakes on a daily basis. :) Thanks for all the fond memories folks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember going to this shopping center many times in my youth. What I remember about the Woolworths was a fold-down seat for husbands to wait outside the fitting room for their wives to try on underwear. The J.C. Penneys was open until the early 1980s and was located in the part that is now demolished. Woolco was added around 1970. It was the part that is now the bowling alley. I also remember a quirky bookstore called the "Browse-a-Bit. It only had paperback books but it was an interesting place to browse. There were several chain stores there, Rhodes Furniture, W.T. Grants, Woolworths, Lerner Shops, Big Star, Kroger and even a movie theater. I ride by there everyday on the way to work and see how it has died. Probably the best thing to do there is to completely raze it and put up a Walmart.

      Delete
    2. Wow! I remember those days, I grew up off Stewart Ave, went to Capital View Elementary School. On Saturdays my parents would take me to Stewart-Lakewood shopping. I remember Western Auto, JC Penneys, Baker Shoes, Bulter Shoes, The Criket Store, Woolworths (they had the best french fries), Lerner, Big Star and the Roching Chair Theater, I saw my first movie there! Does anyone remember the Pet Store, what was it name? I went to Dipper Dan Ice Cream Palor all the time (does anyone remember the double sided cone?) Does anyone have picture of the way it was back in the day!!!!! Deckner Girl

      Delete
    3. The Pet Store was "Pet Jungle" The owners name was Don. They also did pet grooming. I worked there when I was a student at Perkerson Elementary. Started washing dogs for the groomer and washing the dog cages.
      It was 3 stores in. The first was an Orange Julius (chili Burgers), then a Spencers and the Pet Jungle. Next to it was a place called the "Popcorn Box" . They sold popcorn and cotton candy, and hotdogs that were made by running electricity through the middle of them.

      Delete
  43. I used to work at the S-L Pharmacy back in the late 80's. The shopping center was run down even back then. Nonetheless ,it was an experience to say the least.
    Can you say "whibubz" ? - I still don't know where they are at.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Don't know exact dates but do know that there were 2 phases of the Lakewood-Stewart Shopping Center, a strip mall, which later was expanded into Stewart-Lakewood Mall in the late 1950's. I think it reopened as a mall around 1959. The original shopping center, which opened around 1951-52 only had 5 or 6 stores, a Jacob's Drugs & Colonial Store(grocery, later Big Star) was on the south end with the other stores going north. Penney's was part of the expansion & did have 2 stories. There are several pics of the mall after the expansion on the Georgia State University Library's Collections site.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Would anyone happen to remember the name of the shop directly behind Family Dollar/ Colonial/ Big Star? My father rented that space for most ofthe 90's and I've always wondered what used to be there.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I worked at Penney's at this shopping mall, circa 1960. It was a single story for the sales floor, there was an upstairs space for administrative offices, etc. You could go there any time of day or night without any concerns about crime!

    ReplyDelete
  47. My dad worked for Jacobs Drugs. Jacobs Drugs started out on the front side of the mall, right in the corner there of Stewart Ave. Then later they moved to the back side of the mall, no visibility. It still survived for many years before the closing. I remember going there and my dad letting me walk around the mall while he was in the drug store working. I was maybe 7-8. Yeah, in the 60's (late) people let their 7 & 8 year olds walk around. We didn't worry about things that today's kids have to worry about. Our dentist, Dr. Duncan was in this shopping center as well. Went to him up until 1983 when I moved away from the area. I can remember in 81 or 82 thinking how different the mall was from the late 60's. It's decline was really 1/2 way done. A lot of the stores were vacant and some of the stores that were in there were nothing that anyone knew of-no big name stores. By that time Jacobs Drugs had closed it's doors in this location. I don't remember a lot about the 60's with the mall as I was very young. I just remember going there and walking around to the different stores. I do remember going to a Woolworth/Woolco, something like that to mess around why my dad was working. I would "Play" in the toy department. Someone mentioned Smitty the barber, my dad went to him, I remember him & he would always joke with me and tell me to climb in his chair so he could shave my head. He would then laugh & give me a lollipop.

    ReplyDelete
  48. What a place that was to a child in the early 1960's !!!
    They had a huge Christmas Santa on display over the holidays.. The large marque was amazing to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually found some pics specifically of that display (and the mall around it) recently from the 1960's. I hate how hard that mall fell.

      Delete
  49. Grew up there and really miss the great times I had at Stewart Lakewood Mall, Zayres, Woolco, and Funtown. It was a great place to grow then and know of no other since. We are sort of a time-warp of fun memories. Too bad Polictics destroyed the community. There will never be such a place again.

    ReplyDelete
  50. J.t. Can you post the pictures somewhere?

    ReplyDelete