These historical photos of Quenby Mall above were provided to me by the Stanly County Museum. The first, originally photographed by Rodney Mauldin, shows the interior as it looked in May 1967. The second photo shows the exterior with the sign, number of stores inside the mall and Belk's prior to the conversion to the big "B" Belk that was used from 1967-2010.
A directory of "Stanly County Commons" showing the many services that operate out of this former mall. The right side of the mall according to that image has had its hallways reconfigured. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
When Quenby Mall opened, it featured a total of four anchor stores: two mainline and two junior anchors. The largest of those anchors was Grant's, which forms the north endcap of the mall and occupied as much as 1/3 of the mall's total square footage. Second to this was Belk, which was one of the very few Belk stores anchoring a mall signed originally as "Belk's" before the "Big B" era. Belk formed a large chunk of the mall's inline space on the southwest west side. In fact, Quenby Mall is possibly the oldest enclosed mall in North Carolina to have operated a Belk predating stores at Southgate Mall in Elizabeth City and Pennrose Mall in Reidsville. The third anchor was a Harris Teeter supermarket, which was built on the southeast corner and likely lacked mall access. The last of those was an Eckerd Drugs, which was behind the mall shops on the east side of the mall between the former Harris Teeter and hallway next to Grant's accessible next to the adjacent mall entrance. Aside from those four anchors, the mall space itself had a whopping 10 inline tenants. Indeed, it was by no means a large mall.
Northwest entrance wing next to the former Grant's/JCPenney. The former anchor's mall entrance was to the center of the hallway on the left. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
Northeast entrance wing just beyond the Grant's/JCPenney mall entrance. Doors and walls have clearly been reconfigured on the left. Near the end of the hallway on the right was where Eckerd Drugs connected to the mall. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
A couple views opposite Grant's/JCPenney looking toward the now removed south entrance wing. Belk was previously on the right at the end of the hall past the drywall. A hallway to the left where the drywall is now used to take shoppers to the southeast entrance and Harris Teeter, which likely did not have direct mall access. Photos by Mike Kalasnik.
Drywall today covers the south entrance wing, which is now divided up into offices. Belk used to be further down on the right. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
Here is looking back to Grant's with the former Belk on the left. The white overhang jutting into the mall on the right was where the Singer store was originally. The wall of the former Belk extends to the overhang in the background. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
Three shops were located on the left with the hallway ending in front of the old Grant's/JCPenney. Entrance wings extend to the left and right in front of it. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
In these images, the JCPenney labelscar is still barely visible. Clearly JCPenney made significant modifications to the former Grant's including the brick wall added on the right and removal of the metal awning seen in the 1967 photo. Also note the dropped ceiling and off-center text for "JCPenney". This shows that the ceiling had not been dropped prior to conversion to Stanly County Commons. Photos by Mike Kalasnik.
Nothing resembling an old school mall directory here. Maybe they could direct you to its replacement mall, but it's dead, too. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
Quenby Mall began to die quite early due to the fact it was very small, built too close to downtown and was on the wrong side of town when development began to spring up on the NC 24 by-pass. However, it did enjoy 15 years of dominance in the market. During those 15 years, Grant's was replaced with JCPenney thus the mall gained a certain level of legitimacy as a regional mall. However, Belk, JCPenney and Harris Teeter soon realized that they were outgrowing their stores within the mall. Needing more space, both Belk and JCPenney bolted for slightly larger and much better located Albemarle Mall in 1981. Albemarle Mall itself was a very tiny mall, but it provided more space for both stores with greater visibility and was attached to a larger strip center. When both stores departed Quenby Mall, no anchors came into fill the void. Harris Teeter remained in the mall a few years longer, however, replacing their store with their current store less than a mile away in 1989. Eckerd looks to have joined Harris Teeter in that move later moving again across the street from Harris Teeter only to be re-branded Rite Aid in 2007.
Former Belk exterior entrance. The entire southwest corner of the mall was taken up by Belk. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
In the 1960's, Belk added auto centers to their malls. This one was located on an outlot on the northwest corner of the mall. It was likely closed the same time that Belk relocated to its present location at the now demalled Albemarle Mall in 1981. Photos by Mike Kalasnik.
Exterior shots of the front of the former Grant's/JCPenney. Unfortunately the mansard awning was removed after the mall became Stanly County Commons. A window sits in the place of the former exterior entrance. In the first photo, the mall entrance sits to the right of the former Grant's. Photos by Mike Kalasnik.
Here is the northeast (back) entrance of the mall. The county board of education on the right was previously Eckerd Drugs. Grant's/JCPenney was on the left. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
This simple sign replaced the 60's faux-Colonial Quenby Mall sign sometime in the 1990's. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
This building on the outlot was either a walk-up ATM or Fotomat. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
Since the mall had 14 stores, it is not clear where every store was in the inline shops based on available information. However, anchor information is all confirmed and accurate with exception to the exact dates that JCPenney was in the mall.
No longer functioning for retail uses, what is today "Stanly County Commons" is only open during business hours throughout the week. Obviously shopping is not going on here, but if you work for Stanly County there is a good chance you work in this building. Once the principal shopping destination for Albemarle, today there is no reason to go there unless you are a resident of the county in need of county services. At least in its repurposed form, however, a relic of the early mall era managed to survive.