Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Mall: Huntsville, AL (Update with Exclusive Photos!)


For the first time, photos are now available of "The Mall". As one of the lost malls of Huntsville, this mall was a living time capsule. It is the creepiest mall I have ever seen, and it was in a very decrepit state when these photos were taken. The Mall was just one of a treasure trove of mid-century architectural gems (depending on how you look at it) along US 231 aka The Parkway. The Parkway was the original suburban strip in Huntsville, and it included all of Huntsville's original malls also including Heart of Huntsville, Dunnavant's Mall and Parkway City Mall. Only the last today continues to operate as a mall, today a newly reconstructed Parkway Place Mall. The photos in this article, taken by Evans Criswell on January 12, 1998, show the mall in its sad last days prior to demolition.




Some outside views of the front of the mall. The front actually got a new coat of paint and mostly functioned as a pseudo strip mall in its final days. Most of the stores had outside entrances.

What is obvious about The Mall is that it does not appear to have ever been renovated at any point in its entire existance. Like the earliest malls, it looks as if the original downtown stores that moved to the mall in the 1960's stayed there until their death with nobody there to replace them. The mall was only three years newer than Cobb Center that I used to know, and it reminds me in many ways, including the extremely dark interior. For me, this is a real treat as dark malls like this are so very rare. The place was an eyesore, but I wish somehow it could have stayed at least long enough for me to find it.







Entering the mall from the Penney's wing headed toward the center court. This mall is so very dark and scary. This shiny brass awning overhead blocks most of the light from the skylights. In some of the photos, it is obvious the skylights match those in the original Apache Mall in Minnesota. Note the long-gone local stores that probably started downtown including Newsom's Music, Budd's and Lorch's.

Evans Criswell, who submitted all of the photos of the mall prior to demolition, also posted on deadmalls.com a complete description of the mall. He did it much better than I ever could:

"The Mall" (the actual name of it) opened on March 24,1966 at 10:00 AM at the northwest corner of Memorial Parkway (US 231 and 431) and University Drive (US 72 west). It had Loveman's (which actually opened March 4, 1966) and JCPenney as its original anchors, and was a 425000 square-foot facility. Loveman's was the fourth store in the chain at the time, with locations in Birmingham, Bessemer, and Montgomery, AL. Loveman's was built with escalator wells and expansion to 2 stories in mind, but that expansion never occurred. The 126000 square foot JCPenney was the first in Alabama to have a catalog sales desk and contained a snack shop that could handle 40 customers. Both JCPenney and Loveman's had auto centers.





What is really amazing about this fountain is that they actually preserved the sculpture from it in the redevelopment. It is scary, meaningless brutalism that brings to mind "1984" more than it does fine art. While the fountain itself is attractive, it is not particularly outstanding. Nevertheless, it was a gimmick that effectively sold a mall with no real name. Of course, Loveman's and Penney's presence also helped.

A movie theater, the Alabama Theatre, built by the Martin chain (based in Columbus, GA), was actually the first business to open at the mall site as an outparcel on January 21, 1966 with "My Fair Lady" (in Super Panavision 70) as their first movie. The theatre's decorations were tangerine and gold and Griggs push-back chairs were used. The theatre was made into a twin cinema, completed on March 20, 1981 with "Cheaper To Keep Her" and "The Final Conflict" shown that night. The theater's last day of business as a regular movie theatre seems to be July 25, 1985. It reopened briefly as the "Alabama Pitcher Show" on January 29, 1986 with beer, wine, and food being sold in addition to movies being shown. On March 9, 1988, a "closed for remodeling" as was placed in the paper, and I believe that was the end of that theater's use. The mall's name was somewhat problematic, especially after other malls opened, so "The Mall" had the nicknames "The Loveman's Mall", "The Penney's Mall", and was also called the "Four Balls Mall" by some because at each entrance were posts with lighted spheres at the top. The Mall's sign also had that feature. Unlike most enclosed malls, many of the inline stores had doors to the outside, giving the front of the mall as "strip mall" appearance. The first time I saw it driving my on Memorial Parkway on March 3, 1988, I didn't think it was an enclosed mall. The JCPenney sign wasn't the current JCPenney logo, but the older 60's style logo that just said "Penney's" that was kept until the place was demolished.


The mall directory shows a mall void of life. Note the subdivided anchor on the left, which was Loveman's. Today, that is still standing as Books-A-Million & Toys 'R' Us.



Random shots of inline stores and a specific very funky 70's style store. I have no clue what that might have been, but it definitely brings to mind the disco era.


The bathrooms were on a second level above the mall offices. Why this part of the mall was up on two levels is beyond me, but this was on the west wing of the mall according to the map.

This was the main mall in Huntsville until it got competition when the Parkway City shopping center was enclosed around 1975 after being damaged by the 1974 tornadoes. The two malls did well together since they had different anchor stores (Montgomery Ward, Pizitz, and Parisian were at Parkway City). The Loveman's closed in either 1980 or 1981 and their stock was bought out by The Mary Shoppe. However, the largest blow to the mall occurred when the two-level Madison Square Mall opened out west on US 72 at Rideout Road in 1984. "The Mall" was by far the most seriously affected and it went down very quickly. By the time I'd moved to Huntsville in 1988, the Loveman's space was half-occupied by Toys R Us, and the rest of it was soon to be a Books-a-Million. The JCPenney closed in mid-to-late 1988. The mall already had many empty stores then.



Southeast entrance to the mall heading to the Loveman's mall entrance. The entrance in 1998 was split between Toys 'R' Us & Books-A-Million, but the Books-A-Million entrance was by then sealed off.

In the early 1990s, a good section of the southwestern internal part of the mall was being used my Calhoun Community College (called the "mall-ege" by many students), which drew enough people into the place for a few places to be open. After that moved out, there wasn't much going on. Art some point, Toys R Us and Books-a-Million closed off their entrances to the mall, and the mall interior hung on in that dead state until around 1998 when the mall was demolished (along with the Alabama Theatre) and replaced by a new development called "The Fountain" later on. "The Fountain" got its name because in the center court of the mall was a fountain that was preserved and placed in a traffic roundabout at the new development.



Whatever was done to the outside of the old Penney's looked very rough. It made it look like the whole side of the building was a big hulk of rust. The classic "Penney's" with the Blue P logo graced this building before it closed in 1988. The abandoned Alabama Theater is in the background.


A look inside the old Penney's, which I understand was used for a college for awhile.


A look at Penney's and the rest of the backside of the mall. Apparently Penney's had a single level extension in the back for services. Loveman's is in the background. The mall itself only had one back entrance, but three on the front.

For many years before its demolition, I'd occasionally go in that mall to look at all of the stores and the label scars. Many stores were vacated, leaving their old signs up for years, or if removed, were not repainted to hide the scars from the signs. The mall was a bit spooky at times, since I'd often be the only one around, except for maybe a senior citizen or two using the place to walk for exercise. I'd try to imagine how the mall would have been if I could have seen it in its original late 60s and 1970s glory. It was a relatively dark place.


Front side of the mall with all three entrances clearly in view. I can't think of any other mall with entrances like this that survived past the 70's.



A couple views from the back side.


A view of the back entrance. Apparently new paint and a fresh appearance were only reserved for views from the Parkway. The back looks very run down and abandoned.

The only thing left of the original mall today in 2008 is the old Loveman's building, which still houses the Toys R Us and Books-a-Million! A Home Depot was built right behind it, taking most of the space formerly occupied by the mall, and a Costco was added to the north. A Bennigan's and Zaxby's opened facing Memorial Parkway, and the Bennigan's is no longer open, and became Beauregard's. The theatre was demolished along with the rest of the mall before the new development took place. In the new development, there is a small traffic circle with the fountain from the original mall in the center.


Next to the mall, visible in the previous Penney's photo, is this Alabama Theater location. It was long since closed when this picture was taken. All photos above were from Evans Criswell. A special thanks to him for his generosity and for this rare opportunity.


YOU TUBE VIDEO CLIP


This video on YouTube shows the fountain in action. The fountain in this video still exists: now located in a traffic circle. Russell Wells first alerted me of this long lost shopping center, but it still lives today in this YouTube video! Also check out a couple pics below in the other images that he gave me.



What is left of the fountain in The Mall today is in the middle of a traffic circle:




OTHER IMAGES OF THE MALL



1967 image of fountain with the actual logo (Russell Wells: photo)



Russell Wells created this amusing interpretation of what the sign on US 431 looked like for The Mall. I wonder if all doubleknit polyester was on sale at Penney's that day.

44 comments:

  1. The part of the mall used for the college was the southwest block, not the old JCPenney. If you look at the directory shot, the part used by Calhoun Community College was the upper left quarter of the inline store area of the mall, from the old Loveman's to the center on the upper side of the diagram.

    The college brought some life into the place, but not much, since most students entered and exited from the rear of the mall.

    I remember a clothing store called Roman's and some strange shops such as a Bestone Wig shop that was there for many years. After Books A Million and Toys R Us closed off their mall entrances, it made the inside even spookier and more dead.

    I'm glad I found those pictures. My directories of old photos need organizing in another manner besides just the date.

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  2. The funky 70s style store with the orange and tipped over L shaped beige area was a record store that had closed before I moved to Huntsville. It still had the name of the store on it, but I can't remember the name. It was very likely a Camelot Music that the independent store had taken over. I know there was a Camelot Music in that mall somewhere during the late 1970s and early 80s.

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  3. I have a feeling this mall was remodeled in the late '70s or early '80s. The brass ceiling grid and brick flooring don't look original, and the exposed concrete in one of the concourse photos looks like the original flooring.

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  4. That exposed concrete in that photo and the fact that the brass-colored ceiling stuff stops at the edge of the exposed concrete makes it look like that space was used by something during the time the renovation took place (if that's indeed what happened). Lots of older malls had plain concrete floors, like Heart of Huntsville Mall did, and Village Fair Mall in Meridian, MS.

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  5. Thank you so much for posting these! This brings me great joy seeing these. I remember throwing pennies in that fountain with my mom, and the smell of walking past the cigar store. Thank you so much! You made my day! :)

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  6. I grew up in Florence, AL which is about an hour from Huntsville, and we always went to Huntsville to shop. This was the only Toys R Us in North Alabama for a long time. I remember when there was a Super X Drugs at The Mall in the spot where the 50 Off Store was. I also remember a clothing store called Romans and the wig shop that Evans wrote about earlier. I believe at one point The Mall had a Hibbett Sports, Lerner, and a weird imports store that sold a lot of cheap looking home decor.

    I think a lot of the stores from The Mall moved to Parkway City at some point. I remember Parkway City also having a Hibbetts, Lerner, Circus World Toys, Spencer Gifts, County Seat, Brooks Fashions, Swiss Colony, Super X Drugs, and Lynns Hallmark.

    Madison Square killed The Mall, Parkway City,and Heart of Huntsville Mall, and now ironically, Parkway Place and Bridgestreet Town Center are killing Madison Square.

    I lived in Huntsville for about two years, and worked in Madison Square and Parkway Place. Almost everyone agreed that when Parkway Place opened, there was too much duplication between it and Madison Square. After about a year, Madison Square began to lose stores that were duplicated at Parkway Place like Ann Taylor, Gap, and Express. Other stores like Kirklands and Lane Bryant have also moved out of Madison Square into newer strip centers.

    Madison Square is probably going to be like The Mall in a couple of years if stores continue to leave.

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  7. That funky 1970s-style store was indeed a Camelot Music. I worked there for a couple years in the early 1980s. It was next door to Chick-Fil-A (visible to the left). I remember a few employees by their first names: Annette, Tanis, Gloria, and Scott. Dolly and Rick were my managers. One time two kids were looking at Paul McCartney Lps. One asked the other "Wasn't he in a band?" The other responded "Yeah, Wings." End of conversation. I used to create displays for the window on the right. I left Camelot around 1983 and I think it closed not long after. Phil Proctor

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    1. Hi Phil, I remember Camelot Music and you. (We went to the same high school.) I worked in the Bookland across from Chick-fil-A for quite a few years and always thought Camelot was a wonderful store. Loved listening to the music drifting across the Mall from Camelot when I was working the front of the bookstore.

      The fountain was one of my all time favourite places to hang out before and after work – nice and cool in the summer. Loved watching shoppers stop to throw coins in the fountain as they made their way down the Mall.

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  8. The stores that stick out in my mind are Budd's (the upscale - for Huntsville - men's clothing), Leroy's Hip Pocket (never went in there, but I think they sold disco jeans), Brooke's (trendy women's clothes), and the mother of all disco stores, London Transit. LT was plush royal blue carpet, chrome spiral staircase, plexiglass clothes racks suspended from the ceiling by chrome chains, along with a British doubledecker bus parked on the street outside. I couldn't afford to walk through the place.

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  9. You were wrong about it never being "renovated". The original flooring was smooth concrete alternating with pebbly concrete in large sections, The ceiling didn't originally have those diagonal hanging metal strips that got added sometime in the early '80s along with the idiotic brick-looking floor tiles. And I would argue that the fountain was actually quite beautiful in its own abstract way. I'm a committed modernist, though, so I tend to like that sort of thing. I miss that place.

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  10. Yes, "The Mall" was renovated in the early 80s. In the late 70s there were stores such as: Masons Jewelers, Saks, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Hickory Farms, and Langs Sporting Goods to name a few. Across from Cardland was a bookstore that I can't recall the name. In the 80s, stores such as Hibbetts, Brooks, and Chick-Fil-A moved in. There was a "Bobs Old Fashioned Lemonade" kiosk put in placearond '78 or '79. Lovemans anchored until 1980. On the backside of the Mall was a Brunos grocery store and in that corridor was also an ice cream shop. The pictures on this site don't do it justice. The memories I have from shopping in the early to mid 70s with my mom are wonderful. I graduated from hs in '83 and moved away to college so that's pretty much where my memories fade.

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    1. The bookstore you're referring to was Andan's Bookland. It was owned by the Anderson family. I worked there thru high school...one of many jobs to pay fir college.

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  11. I remember as I small child going there,and one time there was an organ grinder with a monkey. As I recall the monkey would tip his hat for a tip. He would shake your hand after you put money in his hat. Such fond memories.

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    1. I remember the little monkey tippin his hat too.My dad worked in Wardens Barber Shop and I remember there was a hall running behind all the stores for taken garbage out or making a slip exit.

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  12. Thanks for posting this, J.T., and Evans for your detailed recollections (which I found on deadmalls.com earlier). I lived a mile from The Mall until I was 3 — born in '77 — and continued to visit with decreasing frequency until I left town in '96.

    I remember it just as you found it: dark, cavernous and a bit creepy — but that's part of its appeal in my blurry memories. The only part of the mall that seemed "bright" was the staircase leading to the restrooms! I don't recall being in the restrooms themselves, but something about the '60s tile on the upper walls and the windows left me with a lingering memory of that stairway feeling "heavenly."

    I was young, but I do recall a few other tenants:
    - There was a credit union branch at the end of the hall just outside of Loveman's.
    - I believe Hornbuckle Records had a space on the north end of the main concourse; not sure if I ever actually saw the place or just a lingering labelscar.
    - There was a video arcade which I remember being across from the restroom stairway — and I never set foot in there either since I was so young. I remember you couldn't see directly inside and it seemed very mysterious!
    - When I was a teenager at the beginning of the '90s, the Tattooed Lady comic shop had a space in the last slot next to the then-vacant JC Penney's, before they moved further north on the Parkway.

    Finding these photos and the YouTube video tonight have been a real treat!

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  13. I found some of my notes about this mall! The information came from newspaper ads and articles from the respective time periods:

    Here's a list of stores that were to open on March 24, 1966:

    Loveman's
    Jarman Shoes
    The Gift and Linen Mart
    The Mary Shoppe
    Kinney Shoe
    Universal Photo
    Lerner Shops
    Butler Shoes
    J.C. Penney
    J.C. Penney Auto
    Bramblette's Beauty Salon
    Warden's Barber Shop
    Redstone Credit Union
    Piccadilly Cafeteria
    State Farm Insurance
    Elbo Florist
    The Mall Music Center
    Gateway Book Shop
    National Shirt
    Ford Shoes
    Russell Stover Candy
    The Time Shop
    Trammell Locksmith
    Casual Corner
    The Alabama Theatre (already open, outparcel)

    Stores "opening soon" after the mall opening:

    Wig Room
    Saks of Huntsville
    Bill's Men's Wear
    Merle Norman Cosmetics
    Mason's Jewelry
    Select Hobbies and Gifts
    Blocker Shoe Repair
    La Petit Cafe
    F.W. Woolworth
    Walgreen Drugs
    Buddy Dale Millinery
    Schwobbitt Clothes
    Hickory Farms of Ohio
    Chambers Card and Candy Shoppe
    Rankin's Mens Wear
    National Food Stores
    Lorch's Jewelers
    Hartsfield Optical
    Gilberg's House of 1000 Fabrics

    Other notes:

    J C Penney 126000 square feet upon opening. First J C Penney in state with a catalog sales desk. Charles M. Westbrook was the manager. Replaced the chain's downtown store which opened in 1925. That downtown space is now a law library on the East side of the square.

    The Loveman's store advertised an out of business liquidation sale May 17, 1980. US Bankruptcy Court Case #79-B-1320-1323. May 28, 1980 "Last 2 Days" ad. This means that May 29, 1980 or May 30, 1980 was its last day in business. June 5, 1980, The Mary Shoppe had purchased remaining inventory of Loveman's.

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    1. WHAT ABOUT LONDON TRANSIT? ! ALL THE COOL KIDS GOT THEIR JEANS THERE.

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  14. My grandparents lived in Huntsville from around 1968-1984, my grandfather worked for TVA. I loved visiting The Mall as a child and throwing coins in the fountain, I remember it as a vibrant place. It's very weird to see the fountain sculpture in a traffic circle. There was also a Super Slide at one of the malls there, I think it was damaged in the tornado outbreak in the mid 70's. I spent most of my summers visiting, great memories.

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    1. The Super Slide was at Parkway City; behind Mongomery Wards. I sold it but don't think it was damaged in storm. The people of Huntsville enjoyed the Slide a lot longer than most areas.

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  15. My grandparents lived in Decatur, AL and used to take me here as a kid in the late 80s or early 90s. We mainly went to the Toys R Us and my grandparents even then called it "the Dead Mall." I beleive this mall is where my fascination with dead malls comes from. Thank you so much for posting these. I have a distinct memory of eating orange sherbert by that fountain.

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  16. I spent some of my growing-up years in Huntsville from 1964-1969 (my Dad was stationed at "The Arsenal" until his retirement in 1968), and remember my parents taking my younger brother and myself to this mall during the grand opening in 1966. One of my uncles (Jack Stroud) was a jeweler in Mason's Jewelry for years. I also remember throwing pennies in the fountain...it was actually a very cool, modern mall when it first opened. Reading this and looking at the pictures brought back many happy memories...Thanks for the post!

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  17. It's strange that "My Fair Lady" would be the first movie shown at the Alabama Theater in January, 1966. It opened nationally on Christmas Day 1964 and won 8 Oscars at the 1965 Academy Awards. It hard to believe Huntsville was THAT far behind.

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  18. Anyone remember 'Albert Pick Motel' on North Pky? How about the original round 'Hardees Restuarant' located in the same parking lot as 'Hornbuckles Records', 'Longs Electronics' and 'Robins Music'. How about 'Trailor Island'? Does anyone remember the 'Tiger Terrel Show', 'Johnny Evans' or 'The Benny Carl Show'? And how 'bout when Benny Carl, sponsored by 'Sinclair Gas' (Sinlair had their station in the front of the parking lot of Haysland Square and later changes to USA gas with the HUGE American flag) had a live broadcast from the 'Haysland Square Shopping Center' on South Parkway, when they were giving out little dinosaurs to all the kids? They made the toys right there on the spot pouring molten plastic in the molds, cooling them, pulling them out and handing them out. This should tell you how long ago I was there, when we moved to Huntsville, we came by plane and landed at the Old Huntsville Airport at Airport Road and the Parkway.
    That ought to pick a few brains, have fun!

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    1. one of my favorite memories at The Mall was the little monkey that a man would bring to the mall who took coins from you and tipped his red hat :) Do you remember that?

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    2. In reply to Alex, I remember almost of the places that you mentioned except for the Tiger Terrel Show. I remember going on the Benny Carle show one time. Benny Carle is still alive and you can Google him and see interesting stuff. I do remember the Hardees, I place it at the north east corner of the parking lot near El Palacio. There was also one at Hwy 72 and the Parkway. Kids would get a free paper hat. The building was futuristic like the Jetsons.

      The big store the was Miracle City, I think. It is now The Rock Worship Center.
      I recall the Sinclair Gas dinosaur injection thing. That really impressed a 7 year old. Gas stations were always giving stuff away, like: towel, glasses, antenna toppers. Exxon was named Esso or Enco previously and Chevron was Standard Oil. Remember the plastic tiger paws you would hang on your rearview mirror?

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    3. I remember getting my dinosaur!! And I remember kissing that monkey at The Mall right on the mouth!!!

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    4. There was a Service Merchandise there at one time, if my recall is correct.

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    5. Hi.... No Service Merchandise was farther up the Parkway heading south. So sad that these are days gone by

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    6. Don't forget about the Green Stamps and Plaid Stamps! This has been a wonderful walk down memory lane.

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  19. I seem to recall a large closeout-style business that occupied the Penny's store sometime after Penney's closed, but it also closed a few years before the building was leveled (maybe I'm confusing that from another dying mall when I lived somewhere else). Based on local inflection, the name of the place should almost be written as "THE Mall" as that's always how I heard it said, with emphasis on "The".

    I want to say Books A Million closed off it's internal mall entrance after the fire that damaged the roof and led to a slight renovation of the store. I can't say I blame them, as the extra entrance required them to man another register, lest patrons simply walk out with the merchandise.

    Toys R Us, after a nationwide store renovation, closed off their internal mall entrance a couple years later. I think the last things to survive in the mall proper were Calhoun and the RFCU.

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  20. The thing I remember about The Mall at its prime was the bakery there. The yummy smells from the baked goods filled the whole area where it operated. One of my favorite all-time record stores, the local Underground Records, moved into the space across from where the bakery had been during the mall's downward spiral.

    What I loved about this mall was the uniquely 70s styling it had. No other mall I've ever been to had a personality like The Mall. I've always had a contempt for Madison Square Mall for causing this mall's demise. I certainly will cry no tears, and may in fact go by and take pictures, if it ever does eventually close and get razed.

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  21. These pics and comments brought back so many good memories. I do have a favorite memory I have not seen posted here...Does anyone remember the Santa workshop that was placed in a glass window as you exited Penneys into the mall? It had animated elves building toys. It must have been early 70's for me to remember but I loved it!

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  22. My grandfather was the Manager of Woolworth's there. And later when they moved to the Heart of Huntsville Mall until the HSV location closed in around 1994. I do remember as a young one thinking it was really cool that Toys R Us was right thee around my grandfather's store. Thanks for this page, it really brings back memories of the good ole days!!!

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  23. This brought back great memories! Thanks.

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  24. The interior shown in the above photos was the result of a 1982 remodel. The original interior had clearstory windows (which were left in place above that brass ceiling after the remodel). The windows were frosted white glass with an occasional random color pane, in the 1960s style. The interior of the mall was much lighter then. Shrubs and small trees grew in large planters in the interior.

    The Loveman's store was owned by Loveman's of Alabama, which went bankrupt in 1979, eventually forcing all of the Loveman's stores in Alabama to close. There were some Loveman's stores in Tennessee which were a separate company and were not effected.

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    1. I did not remember the date of the remodel. I do remember the planters and the mall being darker after - I think the floors were changed with that remodel, too.

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  25. This was where we hung out every weekend with my cousin Jimmy. He would drive us to the Mall and we would peruse the vinyl at Newsomes Music. It was here that a guy offered me 2 free to the Edgar Winter show if I would put up posters. I accepted and he gave me posters (wish I still had one) and 2 generic "ADMIT ONE" tickets. I took the posters and tickets but never dreamed they would work! On the day of the show I was on crutches from a recent ankle surgery and actually got in early on one of these tickets. I watched Edgar Winter warm up and got my pick of the seats at the Madison County Coliseum! What memories!

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  26. I worked at the Tiffany's Bakery in the Mall when I was in high school back in the late '70s. Scrubbed pans and mopped the floor after school.

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  27. I vaguely remember going to "THE Mall" (as we locals called it) as a child in the 80s and 90s. I bought my first pet (a hamster) at a Noah's Ark pet shop in 1991. It was already starting to sport quite a few vacant stores by then. The last time I remember being there was in 1994 to buy another hamster. It was really going downhill then. It was a lovely mall before Madison Square was built. Madison Square really did sound the death knell for THE Mall. It's news to me that Parkway place is now sounding the death knell for Madison Square. Parkway City Mall was practically dead before they renovated it into Parkway Place in the late 90s. Sounds like it shall get THE Mall's revenge on Madison Square!

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  28. I can smell the sugar cookies just looking at these pics.

    My family would go to the Piccadilly's after church when we moved backbto Huntsvilke in 84'. It had a definate 70's feel with dark wood, with a wooden screen that seperated the dining room from the food line. Ultra chic. :) I even took tae kwon do at The Mall around 85' 86". Wasnt there eventually a club on the backside? The velvet something or other..

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  29. I have a good tip on actual Parkway Place Mall directory. I hope it will help you ...

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  30. I cannot thank you enough for posting these pictures and I hope you don't mind that I saved all of them for my personal use. People said that the Mall was dark and scary. The truth is I found real comfort and peace there. Like it had stood the test of time. Some of my best life memories are in Huntsville between 1988 and 1995 (actually through today). I used to LOVE going to Noah's Ark. The people were so kind to me and let me pet the cats. It was there that I first saw a Bengal Cat! I used the payphone in the center to ask my wife to marry me and it was there that I learned my mom had cancer. I used to go just to walk and think. I miss it so much. Your pictures and history are like stepping back in time and it feels so good and sad at the same time. All we need is a flux capacitor! My best friend of 30 years died 20 days ago and we spent so much time there. In one of the pictures, one of the first ones, I can see his car in the parking lot! I am not ashamed to say there are tears in my eyes as I write this. It's funny but when you are in a era of your life you think things will be this way forever and you really pay no heed to its changing but it always does. I am glad that I truly appreciated the time I spent there at the point in time I was there. Some think it silly that an old building would be so special to someone but it will always have a place in my heart. Thank you once again, I found your post and photographs at a time when I really needed to see the old days and old ways once again. So 25 years after its demise The Mall once again makes me feel at peace. Thank you.

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  31. I lived in Huntsville in the early 60's, going to Whitesburg Elementary. I remember Frishes (or Big Bob's) Hamburgers also getting my haircuts in a barber shop inside one of the stores there. I still remember some classmates names from back then. They would be the class of 1973!I have other memories of Huntsville as well.

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  32. I just found this site. I lived in Huntsville from 1963 - 1974 when I graduated from Butler and left for college. I remember ALMOST all the things on this blog. Fabulous dinners at Britlings, when "The Mall" opened, even when Haysland Square (as it was originally known) opened. I had one of those Sinclair dinosaurs and I spent many quarters on that monstrous (or so it seemed) super slide at Parkway City. (For a quarter you got 3 rides, as I recall). Used to love to spend time (as a kid) at Parkway City and got an extra treat when an Eastern Airlines Lockheed Electra or Southern Airways Martin 404 would zoom overhead landing at the "old" airport.

    My H.S. years were funded by my job at KFC (remember the Bergerons?) for 2 years. The kitchen wasn't air conditioned back then....talk about a hot, greasy job!

    And oh my....Irelands steak and biscuits (cheapest place in town to take a date to a "good" restaurant), the Westbury when it was a 1 screen theater (saw Earthquake there with those massive speakers that shook your seat).

    I loved growing up in Huntsville....still miss it sometimes.

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