Friday, April 24, 2009

Northline Mall Houston Texas
















Here is the first mall submission from Houston Texas; the Northline Mall.

Not much is on the internet about this mall so this is what I have put together from my own research. A Montgomery Wards opened up by itself before the mall was built at the northern portion of the site. Northline mall opened in the early 1960’s at the corner of I-45 & Crosstimbers Rd. The anchors were Joske’s TG&Y and Montgomery Ward. This mall possibly may have been outdoor and enclosed after its opening. The design of the mall is very simple and has not been really updated since the 1980’s. There was a jewelry store that still retained its 1960’s style fixtures and sign until closing. Joske’s closed in 1989 and was replaced in 1997 by a Magic Johnson theatre. During demolition of the old Joske’s the inside retaining wall fell into the mall killing several people. Montgomery Wards stayed open until the chain closed in 2001 and the retro neon sign stayed on for a while after its closure. In 2001 the TG&Y closed as well with the rest of the chain. A branch of Houston community college was located in the back of the mall. A Picadilly cafeteria and Chinese restaurant were located in the southern end of the mall until 2005. The lineup of stores when we took the photos was very small only with about 10 stores left and a mini anchor Palais Royal. A Burger King was the only restaurant left. About 30 stores and restaurants closed in the last year of business. The Wards was torn down in 2006 and the parking lot was torn away to make room for the new big box development and rail line downtown extension from Main Street. The mall was torn down in November of 2007 and the big boxes have popped up all over the site. Palais Royal, Ross, and several others are open or under construction. The college that was connected to the mall is still standing but looks to be abandoned to make room for what is rumored to be a new Wal-Mart. The Magic theaters were originally to have stayed open but those were demolished as well. The good news is that several of the mall in-line stores and CiCi's pizza have opened up in the new strip centers within a very short time of the mall's closure. The site has been renamed Northline crossing and they even have a billboard advertising the center on I-45. I have added some photos taken before the mall's demise.

9 comments:

  1. Northline was built as an enclosed mall in the early 1960s following Sharpstown. Gulfgate was the first regional mall in Houston and was originally outdoor and later enclosed. Gulfgate's anchors were Joske's, Sakowitz and a grocery store (I cannot remember the name of it). As mentioned, Northline also had a Joske's as an anchor. In the early malling of Houston Foley's would not anchor a mall where Joske's was and vice versa. Hence, Almeda, Sharpstown and Northwest had Foley's while Northline and Gulfgate had Joske's. Northwest Mall's opening took some of Northline's business but Greenspoint really took its toll. Northline became more crime infested (or at least got that reputation) with more merchandise being shoplifted from Joske's than they sold. They remodeled the mall in the 1980s to try and attract new tenants (which they did for a brief time). When Joske's was sold off to Dillards (after Campeau took over their parent, Allied Stores) they chose to promptly shut down the Northline location. During demolition, a wall collapsed killing several people (mall walkers). Magic Theaters opened at that end of the mall when construction was complete. Now, of course, the mall has been demolished.

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  2. I forgot about the wall collapsing in the 1990's; that was a nationwide news story. The mall had a valid reputation for crime since this mall had several violent crimes committed there. ( A friend of mine was carjacked in 1994 leaving work there). Even with all of the redevelopment the area still has not gotten better. The IHOP in the parking lot there has been robbed twice in five years, and I am sure there has been many more crimes that I do not know about.

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  3. The grocery store in gulfgate was weingartens.

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  4. Thanks Anonymous; I did not get an opportunity to see this mall during its heyday. The only holdovers that I saw were the Montgomery Wards, TG&Y, and Picadilly that were still there in early 2000.

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  5. Does anyone remember the name of the Chinese restaurant next to Picadilly restaurant in northline mall back in 2001

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for the information, if you have anymore store names from the mall I would be happy to add them here. I know some of the stores returned to the new development, but a bunch left in the late 90's-early 2000's and never came back.

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  7. I used to get my haircut next to Picadilly's/Shay Shay. $5 dollars, early 90s.

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  8. what is the story with Pricebusters food at northline mall?

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