Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Northcross Mall Video



I found this video on you tube and found it to be a good summarizing of why I am interested in malls. Most teenage boys go to malls to meet and look at girls. When we were younger our parents dragged us there to look at things for hours, and to pass the time we got into trouble. Me and my friends are the reason that the nearby mall installed bumps in the middle of the escalators to stop people from sliding down in between the railings. We also would take our skateboards and ride in the parking lot to impress our girlfriends of the day. (Credit to freekpath on you tube for the video.)

Northcross mall featured in this video was once a bustling mall in Austin. It was anchored by Bealls and Oshman's (later Sports Authority). The mall had an ice skating rink by the food court. On a trip to Austin in the early 1990's me and a friend were dropped off in this mall for a few hours, and I had a chance to see it in its hayday. I did not return to this mall until 2005, and the mall was nearly empty. Bealls, comic book shops, the ice rink, and some offices were all that was left. In most malls the anchors are clearly facing the mall, but in this mall you had to make a right turn at the two ends of the mall to enter the anchors. In 2008 we returned to the mall to find only a small hallway left with a guitar center, a training school and the ice skating rink left. The old Oshman's has been demolished and there is a Wal-Mart scheduled to begin construction on that portion of the mall property. If any readers have any more information about this mall please add a comment.

10 comments:

  1. I work at Wallpapers To Go at Northcross Mall. Yes, there are more businesses than listed above. Go Dance and Gsllery of Salons moved from the missing end of the Mall, and a new Ice Rink was built. Norris Conference Center is also very much alive. Recently, McAlister's Deli opened on the Burnet Rd. side and there will be an Army Recruiting Office and Dickie's BBQ on that side. The main entrance for the Mall is on the Anderson Ln. side. Also, there is a Walgreens in the parking lot area. We may have gotten a facelift, some transplants and an amputation, but Northcross Mall is still very much alive. Come visit us and see for yourself. Martha

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  2. I played ice hockey at Northcross, back in 1987. I loved that place. Glad to hear it is still around.

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  3. I helped build Northcross Mall along with my dad; starting in Sept 1973. I was 18 . It was my first real job . I was one of the first long hair laborers in the local union and was treated like shit by a lot of rednecks there. My own memories of taking l.s.d. and working in the rain and other memories of accidently pouring a quart of eggnog down my shirt while climbing to the roof up a ladder to smoke a joint remain. Thanks for filming this place before it is gone . All of that funny angled wood that goes around the inside of the mall was put up by my dad and me. I found an abandoned kitten born in Bealls while it was being built . It wasnt weaned yet. I was desparate to find someone who had amother cat that would adopt it . Lo and behold the milliomaire who was building the place put his son to work there in construction in the summer of 1974 to I suppose make him a man or show him what real work was like or something. This young rich kid took that orphan cat home and his siamese cat adoted it.He was aman after all . All the rednecks I worked with told me to drown the cat in a bucket of water.

    My dad told me that years after he was dead I could drive by the mall and remember where we worked together/ I am also sentimental about the beautifull field and woods that was there before the mall and felt guilty about being a part of its destruction . Northcross was on the edge of the country at that time. All to be wiped out.Never thought it would go. Thanks for the video. danclark

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    1. Long Hair Laborer, do you remember a basement being built at Northcross Mall?

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  4. It was actually anchored originally by Frost Bros, a very high-end competitor of Neiman-Marcus; Oshman's was much later. That whole end of the mall had very tony stores, including Leon's. Northcross first opened in the late 1970's and it was really something. I worked at Chelsea Street Pub there.

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    1. Thanks for the info, I went there in the late 80's for the first time. The Oshman's was new at the time and was really state of the art.

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  5. I grew up going to Northcross a lot, I lived around the corner. My family actually knew the owner of that Bealls, and we keeping one of the waiting room chairs when they tore it all down. I was deeply upset when they decided to tear it down, it was such a beautiful mall. Unfortunately it is a dying culture, so I understood why. I am so happy that I found this blog to read, I was actually searching "northcross mall pictures" when I found this.

    So many memories - those "court" lines on the floor of Oshman's that I'd try my best to stay on when walking, the fountain outside of Lamb's candy (that looked CREEPY when the water was off), Hidden Talent (I had my 10th birthday there) and of course the rink. Beautiful architecture, that little room with the skating outfits was so intricate and, again, a dead kind of doing things now. At Christmas they had a mini-train to ride in the food court for kids. The teal and mauve tile, and bright teal railings and benches. I got a horrible stomach ache when I saw it torn down in person. Okay, I'll stop before I get too far into it, haha, I could go on forever about this mall because it's so special to me.

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    1. I went to the mall once in the late 80's when it was really busy. I did not get a chance to go back until I believe 2005. The mall still had Bealls at this time and very few stores. There was a sign advertising big changes to the mall at the time. For a city the size of Austin, I am surprised that there are so few malls.

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  6. Frost Brothers (the upscale Houston-based retailer) was the original anchor in the demolished Oshmans/Sports Authority anchor space at Northcross.

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    1. Thanks for the info. The only time I visited the mall in its heyday back in around either 1990 or 1991 the Oshmans store was brand new so I missed out on the original lineup of stores.

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