Sunday, August 3, 2014

Longview Mall, Longview Texas 2013

The Longview Mall in Longview Texas opened in 1978 features 4 anchors, 2 junior anchors, and is slightly larger than the Broadway Square Mall in nearby Tyler Texas.
Bealls is a fairly new store that moved from across the mall to this newer store. This was originally a Wilson's and then a Service Merchandise store. The former Bealls is/ was being used for Lunar Golf. 
The mall feels much larger than the nearby Broadway Square mall. Most of the anchors appear to have a second floor but only the Sears actually has a second floor. 
The mall was very busy on my visit, so there are few interior photos. The corridor looking from Sears towards Bealls.
Looking from JCPenney down towards Dillard's and the food court. 
The food court entrance to the mall.
JCPenney has these unusual red tiles all across the outside walls of the store. 
The back entrance to Sears.
The Dillard's was expanded and features one of the newest store designs.
The L'Patricia junior anchor was a Selber Brothers store.
The North side of the Sears store.
Across the street from the mall is an obvious former Mervyn's that is now a Burlington Coat Factory (not pictured).

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the pictures of the Longview Mall. This looks to be a pretty interesting and useful mall. The mall seems to be maintained pretty well, but that’s not too surprising since it is a Simon mall. The mall still has some retro elements, but it looks like the grey/tan paint and flooring prevents the mall from looking too retro. The grey colors on the inside of the mall are a bit boring, but it’s not too bad. At least it isn’t a totally cookie cutter design. It’s a bit interesting that the mall directory picture lists both RadioShack and Software, etc. being at the mall. Perhaps RadioShack isn’t too odd (though it is a bit of a mall rarity these days in Houston), but Software, etc. sure is odd these days. The mall’s website lists a GameStop being at the mall, but not a Software, etc. store. I wonder if the store was renamed long ago without the directory being updated to reflect that.

    The Bealls at the Longview Mall looks quite nice. It’s certainly nicer than most of the current Palais Royal stores in Houston. It kind of reminds me of the older Bealls/Palais Royal stores in Houston that had a bit of a department store look to them, but those stores had a darker look to them than the Longview Mall Bealls.

    It’s not totally unusual for JCPenney stores to have the red tiles on the outside. Perhaps the most famous example of this is in the movie Back to the Future. The JCPenney at the Twin Pines Mall (Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, CA, in real life) has a lot of red tiles on the façade if you look carefully at the store in the movie. Here is a still frame from the movie of the store where you can see a little bit of the red tiles. The JCPenney at the Puente Hills Mall closed a long time ago and was subdivided, but the mall is still open and appears to be doing okay at least.

    I wonder if the green lights on the outside of the Sears and L’Patricia are a seasonal thing (I’m guessing these pictures were taken around Christmas) or if they are that color all the time. It’s a bit strange. Maybe it’s some kind of camera effect? Maybe the green lights are some kind of mall theme? Perhaps it’s another case of Sears wishing for Christmas 24/7/365?

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    1. They probably forgot to update the directory and used the same template when they make changes to the directory. I did not even notice that Software Etc. was on the sign when I took the photo. The store is a Gamestop and shows no evidence of ever being a Software Etc. The Back to the Future still is interesting and I did not realize that JCPenney stores had used that color at other stores. I know Sears had many stores with red tiles and I thought at first that Sears may have been in that anchor spot first, but that was not the case. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
      I think the green hues are possibly the camera not recognizing the colors correctly on the Sears and L'Patricia storefronts.

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    2. Some retailers used the reddish orange tiles at their stores in the mid-to-late 1970s. Perhaps the most famous non-movie example of this is the Regency Mall Montgomery Ward in Augusta, GA. Regency Mall was yet another DeBartolo mall that was a spectacular failure. Anyway, the Skycity blog has done a very interesting series of posts about the mall and this post has some good photos of the reddish orange tiles on the Montgomery Ward store. That post also has a picture of a very old Software, etc. store that used to be at the mall. I'm not a big fan of the reddish orange tile look so I'm happy that the trend faded out as the disco era came to a close. Still, it's an interesting aspect of some stores from that era.

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    3. Skycity did a great job on the Regency Mall posts and helped to give that mall a proper burial. It would be great if many of the companies that built these failed malls would publish their photo archives online. I learned from my research on Belle Promenade Mall that many of the photos from that era have either been destroyed or have been buried in storage areas never to be found again. Even demolition companies were unable to find photos for me.

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    4. It would be great if mall owners published more information about the history of their malls online. Of course, dying mall owners probably don't want to admit that they own a dying mall or show off how far a mall has fallen under their ownership. Successful mall owners may want shoppers to think that their mall is new and not old. Plus, some malls change ownership over the years so who knows where the archives may exist. It would be great if mall photos and stories were archived since many malls are integral parts of the communities they exist in, but I guess most owners just aren't interested in that since it doesn't really directly make them money.

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    5. The best bet is the Internet Archive for recent malls that have failed like Mall of the Mainland but you have to know the exact site address to look up that information. Older malls that closed before 2005 that are not on Deadmalls or Labelscar are nearly impossible to find photos for unless someone goes and picks through a library for hours. You also have to know the dates of the mall and which publication to look for to find photos.

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  2. This mall has a quite interesting story. All three main anchors once existed in downtown Longview. JCPenney and Dillard's were across Tyler street from each other on the corner of High St., and Sears was two blocks south, at South St. and High. The mall was initially opened with Dillard's, JCPenney, Bealls (across the way from where it is now), Osco Drug, Selber Bros. (L'Patricia now) and Wilsons, later Service Merchandise and now Bealls. Sears had committed to build a store, but construction got started late, and the store was not ready for opening day. It wasn't even close. They stayed downtown for another year or so. Initially, JCPenney had an auto center on the north side of the building, which closed with all the other Penney Auto Centers. There was a Payless Shoe Source in the parking lot, and pretty much nothing else there. It was quite a gamble for the time.

    Slowly, other stores started moving in around. Skaggs (now Albertsons) was first, then a Red Lobster. By 1982, construction started on North Loop Plaza on the east side of the mall. There were two major problems with North Loop; 1, it wasn't accessible from the mall, and 2, It never reached 100% occupancy. Brookshire (now closed) and Gibson's both built in the center, but Gibson's only lasted 2 years before being converted to Howard's, which only lasted 3-4 years. It is by far the biggest commercial real estate failure in Longview.

    In 1987, Mervyn's (Now Burlington) and Target (now Hobby Lobby/Mardel) moved in across the loop. At that point, the area had filled out, with Lowe's coming in a few years later a half mile west on the loop. Lowe's didn't stay there long.

    Bealls doubled their original Mall store in the late 1980's (my aunt worked there and Sears at one time). When Service Merchandise closed, that store was remodeled for Bealls, enlarging the store again.

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    1. Wow thank you for the history on this mall and Longview retail. I have only visited this area a handful of times and this was my first visit to the mall. I think this mall puts the Tyler Mall to shame.

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  3. The Longview Mall seems to be doing much better than it was five years ago. At that time, there were quite a few local, fly-by-night discount retailers, but it seems like it has been buttressed by more quality stores.

    The mall has changed a lot ... would love old maps / store lists. I remember the Sears, JCP, Dillards, and Selbers + Wilson's / Service Merchandise. There used to be the requisite movie theater (two screens, saw Empire there) and Picadilly cafeteria at the entrance. I think the Picadilly must be storage now, and the movie theater (south side, Sears wing) was a church and now is like a kids play place.

    The mall used to have cool fountains in front of the big three anchors with colored tile - I think green, red, and yellow, but I am not sure.

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    1. I was actually at this mall within the last month. They have a Dick's Sporting Goods store under construction in the former Beall's near Sears. The Beall's is also now a Stage even though it is mostly the same as it was.

      Thanks for some extra information about this mall. Longview Mall seems to be much larger that Broadway Square in Tyler, but the Wikipedia size listings for the malls have them listed as being almost the same size.

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  4. There is now a Charming Charlie store and Payless shoes store both with exterior facades and entrances, they flank the mall entrance in section B between the main mall entrance and JCPenny. H&M recently opened and is located just inside the main entrance in section c. They converted the old Piccadilly location as well as a few smaller spaces into the new H&M. The Dicks sporting goods is also open in the old Bealls location in section c. They enlarged the building and build an entirely new fasade for it.

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    1. Thanks for the detailed update Rob. I last went here when I visited the Kmart closing sale last year. It sounds like they have really improved the mall over the past year.

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    2. No Problem. There is an interesting mall /shopping center I came across called Liberty Square in Texarkana Texas. Its on S. Lake dr. in the south west part of texarkana. It had a theater and 2 mall like entrances in the middle and other store on either end. The larger store was a Gibsons.

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    3. I have never been to Texarkana, it is around 5 hours from where I live. I have been meaning to make the trip one of these days to see the Kmart up there. Thanks for letting me know about that old mall, if I am up there I will check it out.

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