Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Westwood Mall, Houston Texas

Westwood Mall closed in the late 1990's and was reinvented as the Westwood Technology Center, and now goes by the name of Southwest Corporate Center. The renovation was quite extensive and removed almost all of the former elements of the mall design. The former mall is open to the public during the weekdays, but a large portion of the parking lot is fenced in and requires a badge to park. Sears which opened before the mall is still open, but the mall entrance is closed off. Westwood also had a Joske's (later Dillard's), movie cinema, and was built in the 1970's just a few short miles from the Sharpstown/ PlazAmericas Mall. When First Colony Mall in Sugarland opened about 7 miles from Westwood in the mid 1990's Westwood lost a large part of their customer base. Foley's at one time was rumored to move from Sharpstown and build a new store at Westwood, but it never happened and the mall closed a few years later. This mall has very little Online information and even less photos from the years this property was a mall. If anyone has any photos they would like to share with the blog email me at southernmalls@gmail.com

The only photos of the mall interior that I was able to find Online are at
http://www.neoteklighting.com/clients_malls.html
http://www.neoteklighting.com/images/mall_westwood1.jpg

During the weekdays especially during lunch hour this property is filled with students and professionals and is much more successful than the mall was in the last few years it was open. Walking the hallways it is hard to imagine this was once a mall until you reach the center court. There is also an abundance of escalators and elevators in this mall which was probably an annoyance for the mall shoppers.  

The second floor main entrance going towards the center court. 
The second floor looking into the center court.
The second floor hallway from Sears to the center court. 
The second floor mall corridor looking towards Sears. 
The closed off Sears mall entrance.
Skylight detail near Sears. 
First floor Sears mall corridor headed towards the center court. 
Another view of the center court.
Second floor looking towards the former Dillard's entrance.
More center court photos.
The center court has a small restaurant and a newsstand.
Another view from the second floor into the center court. 
The second floor at the main mall entrance.
A directory of the property which shows the mall corridor and the former Dillard's.
Sears still operates and has a good location facing US 59. The store had not yet opened for the day when these photos were taken.
The main mall entrance.
A look at the former Dillard's store at the mall.

Here are a few wide views of the mall.
The first floor entrance to the former Dillard's.

Another look at the second floor entrance to the former Dillard's.

32 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tour of the former Westwood Mall. I know that you said that you were able to take some pictures of the Southwest Corporate Center quite some time back so I'm glad to be able to see them now. I never did visit the Southwest side malls all that often, but I did visit Westwood Mall at least once so I'm glad to be able to see what it looks like now. The food court portion of the office building does certainly still look like a mall food court. Having said that, it looks like the current version of the place is brighter looking now than it was when it was still a mall. I could be wrong about that. Perhaps my memories of the place are hazy or perhaps I went there at night or something.

    Unfortunately, I am not able to pull up those links of the old pictures of the mall that you posted. Perhaps the website deleted the pictures? I tried to pull of the pictures through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, but they don't seem to have the pictures either.

    I'm pretty sure that having Sharpstown Mall so close to Westwood Mall did not help either mall. Then again, I'm not sure if a hypothetical combined mall in either one of those areas would still be strong today. It may still exist, but perhaps the combination of crime perceptions and the opening of the First Colony Mall would have made a combined "Sharpswood Mall" end up being like Greenspoint Mall. Maybe not, but that's just a guess. I guess that I can't blame Joske's and others for wanting another SW side mall near Sharpstown Mall since Sharpstown was doing so well once upon a time and I'm sure Joske's wanted a piece of that action even if they were not able to open up a store at Sharpstown Mall.

    The Westwood Mall Sears is one of the largest Sears stores in the Houston area (along with the Midtown Sears and the Memorial City Mall Sears) and I believe that it was built before the mall was even built. It's not a particularly remarkable looking Sears on the outside, but I know that you have said before that the Westwood Sears is one of the nicer looking Sears in the Houston area on the inside. That's good since this Sears (along with the West Oaks Mall Sears) serves the Sugar Land Sears shoppers. I've seen some pictures of inside the Westwood Sears store on the Shop Your Way Rewards website, but the pictures aren't particularly detailed. Anyway, I hope to be able to visit the Sears at some point to see what it looks like in modern times. Like the Mall of the Mainland, it's nice that the former Westwood Mall still has a nice shopping option thanks to Sears. Of course, the Mall of the Mainland Sears is one of the smallest Sears stores in the Houston area.

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    1. The Sears was built before the mall according to the Chron articles I found when the mall was closing. I have a copy of the Westwood photos on my computer so maybe I will see if I can get permission to post the photos from the company that did their lights. They may even have more that they can send me, who knows? It looks like the mall was painted in darker colors with the posts painted dark brown or black. I can't really say for sure since I never went to the mall and pictures from the mid 1990's are not nearly as accurate as modern photos.

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    2. Hopefully the lighting company will respond to you and will allow you to post their images. That would be fantastic to see them and I'm sure that a lot of your other readers would like to see them too. If nothing else, perhaps the lighting company can re-post their pictures somewhere. They may have more photos, who knows.

      Yes, I seem to remember some dark colors at Westwood Mall. Of course, the last time I went there was sometime in the late 1980s I think so it's hard to say. I seem to remember it having rather contemporary colors for the time (blackish or brownish colors with some neon type accenting maybe), but I could be totally off on that. My memories might be of something else. 1990s photos may not be the best quality, but they are probably better than very foggy 1980s memories.

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    3. Here's an additional update. Westwood Mall was used to film the 1983 TV movie Adam. Most of the mall parts of the movie were filmed inside the Westwood Mall Sears, but a scene was shot in the mall itself. I tried to find that movie some time ago online and I couldn't find it, but I guess someone posted it on YouTube a few months ago. I guess one can watch the movie and get a small feel for how the mall and the Westwood Mall looked back in around 1983. The mall part of the movie is right at the beginning so one really does not have to watch much of it to see the mall.

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    4. Thanks for sharing that, the mall looks very similar to how San Jacinto Mall looks now which was common for that era of malls. Sears had so many different departments that you can see in that scene that have disappeared over the years. The store sizes are the same with several less departments so it has to be a challenge to fill the stores. Very sad situation for the family that lost their child, I cannot imagine what they went through.

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    5. It is very sad that the subject of the movie is a true story. It is interesting to get a good look at a real Sears store from 1983 though. The movie has a pretty good overview of Sears' video game selection within the toy department back then. I'm sure that you enjoyed seeing that given your interest in vintage video games.

      Sears stores had many more departments back then, but most Sears stores today are still pretty full. I suppose that the expansion of the major appliance departments at most Sears stores has replaced the space that other departments used back in the day. I suppose that the expansion of appliances was natural when Sears went from selling mainly Sears branded stuff to selling all the major brands. Sears stores had furniture departments back then, then they downsized those/eliminated them back when Sears was playing around with the HomeLife standalone furniture stores, but now they seem to keep expanding the mattress department here within the last ~10 years. Perhaps those departments now are larger than what the whole furniture/carpet departments were back in the day. It's hard to say based off of memory. Sporting goods/fitness departments seem a bit larger now than before too. It is pretty hard to believe that Sears is still filling their store with products given how many departments have been eliminated (like toys and paint) or downsized (electronics), but I guess things even out with the expansions.

      I went to the Westwood Mall Sears in the 1980s, but I really don't have any vivid memories of the place. I've been wanting to revisit the store for a while, but now I'm even more interested to check it out so I can compare the 1983 images of the store to the current version of things. I wonder if I would recognize the parts of the store that were in the movie.

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    6. The store really does not look too much different from the movie as far as the open floor plan. The Garden Center is still there but locked up to customers. It looks like the departments shown in the movie are near where the hardware, electronics, appliances, and sporting goods are now. Thanks again for sending over that video clip so I could check out how Westwood looked back in the good days of the mall.

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    7. That center court looks nothing like the mall center court. There were no food courts back then. My parents owned Courtyard Flowers a flower/plant shop in that space. I basically grew up in Westwood Mall. I don't know if there are any photos left from then. I'll try to find some.

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    8. Thanks for the correction Kendall. If you have any photos you want to share with the blog it would be great. Westwood is one of the forgotten retail centers in Houston. It is amazing that once Foley's decided not to open a store there the fate of the mall was sealed.

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  2. Part I:

    I wanted to go to a Sears store this week so I decided to make a trip over to the Westwood Mall Sears since we've been discussing SW side retail a lot lately. I visited the store sometime in the 1980s when the rest of the mall was still open, but I really can't recall any memories about the store itself from that visit 25+ years ago. Thus, it was kind of like visiting the store for the first time.

    I was wondering if I would recognize the indoor areas of the store that were in the Adam movie. Well, luckily enough, I entered the store though the entrance that opens up right to the area where the video game department used to be in the movie. I instantly recognized it. Of course, that area does not have toys and video games now (it's a seasonal department now it looks like with a lot of outdoor furniture at the moment), but it is visually very similar to what was in the movie. The hardware checkout area is probably in the same place now as where it was in the movie. It was neat because it felt like I was stepping into history when I entered the store since I saw that area in the movie. I think I also saw the hallway with the store offices that was in the movie upstairs in between the linens and luggage departments. Interestingly enough, the employee break room (at least I assume it to be that, but maybe it is a training room) is somewhat visible in that area of the store as well. I also saw some of the green "fake grass" tiles in the store that are visible in the movie (though I'm not sure if the tiles still exist where they were in the movie).

    As for the store itself, well, we know that it is one of the larger Houston area Sears stores along with the Memorial City Mall and Main St. Sears. The noticeable difference about the Westwood store compared to other Houston area Sears stores is that the aisles are wider in most departments. I guess they don't have enough products/departments these days to fill all the space so they are just making the aisles and walkways within departments bigger. It did feel a bit strange because the Memorial City and Main St. stores fill up their space a little better, but it is nice to have wide aisles and things as some aisles and departments at some mid-sized Sears can be a bit crammed.

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    1. The second floor is more cramped in comparison to the first floor. I could see the store eventually shrinking to only use the first floor in the future if things do not get better for the company. I will have to take a better look at the store on my next visit to see where things are in relation to the movie. It is going to be a challenge especially if they continue to eliminate departments from the store. Did they have any Christmas stuff out yet, last year around September they already started rolling out Christmas items.

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  3. Part II:

    The area where the extra space is felt the most IMO is the electronics department. The electronics department at the Westwood store is still quite large even if the product selection is more or less the same as what other mid-sized and larger Sears stores have. There is a lot of space in between the aisles, but everything feels organized. We know that many electronics departments have been shrunk at other Sears to make room for other departments, but I guess this has not been as much of a problem at the Westwood store.

    The Westwood store seemed to have more of an electronics oriented feel to it than other Sears stores. They had an HDTV out near the escalators with a home theater audio system hooked up to it playing a 1980s Michael Jackson music video reel. The retroness of the music seemed appropriate, but the music was turned loud (and sounded quite good actually) and was audible throughout a large section of the first floor. It was good to see a Sears promoting their electronics like that as most don't do things like that anymore. I wonder if that setup has inspired anyone to make an impulse purchase for A/V gear at Sears.

    I know that you said elsewhere that the Westwood Sears is one of the better looking Sears stores in the Houston area. Well, I guess it depends on the department. The electronics department is one of the best looking ones in the area and there are parts of the men's department that looks nicer than usual, but otherwise it is pretty much similar to what other open style Sears stores have (with the exception of the Westwood store having more space). It's certainly not quite as fancy looking as the Baybrook Mall and Pasadena Town Square Sears. An argument could be made that the Memorial City, N. Shepherd, and Mall of the Mainland stores look nicer as a whole as well (though the latter is much smaller than the others listed).

    I don't know if this is an everyday thing, but someone was selling popcorn on a cart in the front parking lot of the store. Perhaps that seller gets enough business throughout the day between the workers in the offices of the old mall part and the Sears shoppers. The store didn't seem to be super busy during my visit, but it was in the middle of the week and it did have some shoppers. Interestingly enough, the receipt I got from the store still lists it as being the Westwood Mall location. Of course, the Mall of the Mainland location still puts the mall's name as the location as well.

    Sometimes I have trouble getting a total feel for a place with just one visit so I may have to visit the store again to get a better feel for how the store is laid out and to see some of the finer details. I didn't spend a lot of time in some of the departments at the store so I didn't see as much in some areas as I did in others. Although the store mainly has an open style layout, it has a few niches and things that may need to be seen again to get a better feel for them. I've now visited all of the Houston area Sears stores since December 2012 except for the San Jacinto Mall location (and the Brazos Mall location if you count that as being in the Houston area). It's certainly interesting to compare them because none of the stores are very similar to one another.

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    1. Westwood is one of probably only a few Sears stores that was built before a mall and then has outlasted the mall.
      The Brazos Mall Sears I actually went to in the past month. The store is mostly an open rectangle with an extension where the Tools and Auto Center is. From some angles the Sears and JCPenney at the Brazos Mall appear to be two stories, but they have only a one story sales floor. The San Jacinto Mall store has the new logo, but not much else has changed there.

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  4. The Westwood Mall Sears could probably close the top floor to customers without having to eliminate departments or thin out selections within departments. 2nd floors at two-level Sears stores tend to be small, but the Westwood 2nd floor is really small relative to the 1st floor. It's interesting that you talk about the Brazos Mall Sears looking like a two level store even though it is one because the Westwood store looks like a one-level store from the outside up close since the 2nd floor is so small. One thing that is a bit odd about the Westwood Sears is that they have kitchen wares on the 1st floor instead of being on the 2nd floor with the other housewares.

    I don't know if you could get photos without being seen, but it would be nice to get some photos of the Westwood Sears where the Adam movie was filmed and perhaps compare that to stillshots from the movie. It's more recognizable than I thought that it would be, but it helped that I entered the store from the right door. Although the movie says that the long hallway is on the first floor, it's actually on the 2nd floor (assuming that they are the same hallway). Oh well, movies aren't always accurate that way. The movie has the family entering the store from the wrong doors relative to the department that they step into too.

    The Westwood Mall Sears is one of the less interesting Houston area Sears stores to look at from the outside, but the backside of the store is more interesting than the front since it has odd covered parking spots. This is actually visible in the movie. Also, the signage is oddly small on the backside.

    I'd like to visit the Brazos Mall and the San Jacinto Mall, but both are really out of the way for me. Maybe I'll get to them someday. At least I've now visited all the Houston Sears stores that are reasonably accessible to me in the last couple of years. When you say that the San Jacinto Sears has the new logo, are you saying that it has the current logo? That would be very unique if so. The only two Sears that I know of with the current logo is the Baybrook Mall Sears and the Oakbrook Center Sears in Chicago.

    The Brazos Mall Sears sounds like it might look a bit like the Mall of the Mainland Sears albeit maybe with a more open design. The Mall of the Mainland Sears also has a rectangular design with the attached auto center sticking out a bit. One interesting one-story Sears is the Garden City, KS, Sears that opened in an old Wal-Mart. The store does not look like a Wal-Mart and looks like a one-story version of the Pasadena Town Square Sears (Sears used that design quite a bit in the 1990s though).

    I did not see Christmas stuff at the Westwood Sears last week. I'm sure that it is coming soon. They still had a lot of summer stuff out in the seasonal section. I was at a Sam's Club two or three weeks back and they had a full Christmas aisle already though so maybe Sam's/Walmart is one-upping Sears this year. Kmart gained some attention last year for their very early Christmas TV ads. This year Kmart is already airing a Christmas commercial that they are claiming isn't a Christmas commercial. It's quite funny like many of Kmart's recent ads. It probably makes sense to advertise Layaway early though.

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    1. The San Jacinto Mall Sears has the same logo as the Baybrook store which is odd since that mall is in such bad shape physically.
      Last year in late January I visited 2 Kmart stores that still had at least three aisles in both full of Christmas items. It looked like they were trying to bring in Summer stuff, but there were still so many Christmas items left. Valentines stuff was out but it could not fill nearly enough space to keep the corner of the store from looking empty.
      I would not make an extra trip to the Brazos Mall since it is about a hour south of the city, but if you are going to the beach it is on the way.
      I have been travelling outside of the city a lot recently so I have been out of touch with a lot of what is going on around the area. The majority of my backlogged updates are from outside of the area, but there are 5 more Kmarts to see and some new malls.
      Kmart needs all the help they can get so I can see why they are putting these ads out now. The comments in that article from consumers are a bit harsh. Kmart is trying to tout their layaway program which is about their only competitive advantage left.

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  5. I’m pretty shocked that the San Jacinto Mall Sears has the current signage. Maybe the old signage was damaged and needed to be replaced? That’s the only explanation that I can come up with. The new signage at Baybrook Mall makes sense as that is one of the best performing malls in the country much less Houston, but San Jacinto Mall is certainly not a high performing mall as a whole. Perhaps that Sears does really well though. Who knows. Is there new signage throughout the store? On the mall entrance as well?

    I did come across a picture of another Sears store that got new signage (at least at the mall entrance). This one is the Haywood Mall in South Carolina. That mall appears to be a strong performing mall. Here is a before picture and here is an after picture. As you can see, Sears remodeled the whole mall entrance to go along with the signage instead of just reusing the old white tile entrance like what was done at Baybrook. Perhaps we’ll see Sears renovate more mall entrances in the future. The shiny tiles look upscale, but all of the white looks a bit bland IMO. Well, at least Sears spent the money to upgrade the store which is a good sign.

    The Mall of the Mainland Sears also had Christmas stuff out until February at least this year. Granted, there wasn’t much left after late January or so so it wasn’t as bad as the Kmart that you saw. I was at the Mall of the Mainland Sears this past week and I didn’t see any Christmas stuff yet. I saw Christmas stuff at the Mall of the Mainland Sears in September last year. We’ll have to see if they put the Christmas stuff up this month or if they’ll wait longer than they did last year. The Mall of the Mainland Sears did have a whole section of Dallas Cowboys gear though near the children’s departments. I’m not surprised to see a lot of Cowboys stuff at Sears/Kmart, but it is a bit weird still. I guess I can’t complain because I actually saw a couple of NY Giants t-shirts at the Clear Lake Sears Outlet a month or so back.

    Yes, layaway is one of Kmart’s rare strengths and it makes sense for people to start thinking about Christmas layaway so they can make their payments. Some people may find that offensive, but I guess they just have to understand the business of layaway. At least Kmart is acknowledging the weirdness of Christmas ads in September with their humorous commercial. Like other Kmart ads, that ad has gone viral on YouTube. I saw that it had over a million views already. One interesting thing about that ad is that it prominently featured RCA TVs. RCA branded TVs seem to be gaining in popularity again (not just at Sears/Kmart) after a bit of a lull when the RCA TV brand name license changed hands a few times in the 2000s. Of course, Kmart and RCA have a bit of a history in terms of Christmas commercials.

    I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the new malls and Kmarts that you visited.

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    1. Yes the mall has the new signage as well, but the inside of the store is mostly the same as before. The store signage was actually in good shape on my visit just before the new signs were put up. My guess was that they are starting on the East and Southeast side of town and will eventually replace all signs but Mall of the Mainland still has the old sign so that is not the case. Maybe individual store managers can make the call to replace the signs if they are willing to eat the cost from their store budgets.
      The Haywood Mall is a very successful mall, I went there over 10 years ago when the Greenville Mall was still open just a few hundred feet away. On my visit the Belk there had a grand piano being played in the center of the store. The mall had all of the popular stores and a few higher end stores while Greenville Mall had mostly high end stores and empty spaces. Montgomery Ward and Oshman's were 2 anchors at the Greenville Mall which did not make sense since the owners tried to make the mall upscale.
      It looks like the Giants are doing much better so far this season so hopefully you will see more gear for sale soon.
      The uniforms from the Kmart commercial were interesting, they are probably worth some good money these days if there are still any left.

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  6. The Westwood Mall Sears signage, at least the sign on the front of the store, has some faded lettering and should probably be replaced at some point soon. It might be the Sears that has signage in the worst condition in the Houston area (aside from the Main St. Sears perhaps which has much older signage). Of course, the store has the weird small sign on the back side of the store. Maybe they should a bigger sign up there even though that isn't the most visible part of the store.

    I'm not quite sure what the story is with the Mall of the Mainland Sears signage. The store was built in an era where Sears was using their 1984 era logo, but the store (including the mall entrance) has the the 1994 era logo. Obviously then the signage was completely changed at some point even though many other Sears kept their 1984 era signage. The signage appears to be in good condition (it's easy to get a good look at the Mall of the Mainland Sears signage since it hangs fairly low compared to most other stores) so maybe it was installed close to the end of the era when Sears was using the 1994 era logo, but I don't know if that is true. If it is, perhaps Sears feels that it is too new to replace again.

    I don't know how Sears decides which stores get new signage. Maybe the store managers have some pull in the matter as you say. It is odd that of the four stores with the new signage that I know about, three are in what I would consider to be elite performing shopping centers. The other one, the San Jacinto Mall location, is in a mall that is in rough shape. Odd, very odd. Of course, it's hard to explain Kmart's signage situation so it may just be an oddity across the company.

    I remember you talking about your visit to the Greenville Mall when we discussed the Montgomery Ward there. I didn't know anything about the Haywood Mall prior to finding those photos, but it seems like an interesting mall. Sears certainly seems to think that it is an important location.

    Do you remember that guy who posted the 1990 video of the Naperville, IL, Kmart? The same guy who posted his collection of Kmart in-store audio cassettes? Well, he has a collection of Kmart memorabilia from the 1990s including one of those red vests. Of course, he worked at Kmart so I'm sure most of that stuff is his own stuff. I'm not sure how much a 1990s Kmart vest is worth now, but I do remember those vests and those name tags very well.

    Unfortunately, I've never seen a lot of Giants gear for sale in Houston even in the seasons after they won the Super Bowl. I guess the bad season they had last year led to some clearance goods making their way here, but hopefully the Giants will continue to play well and their gear will sell better this year. I'm not going to get too giddy about wins over pretty mediocre Texans and Redskins teams, but this year's team does seem to have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Anyway, there is a store at Almeda Mall that has some Giants collectible items (plus the Lids there too).

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    1. The Kmart video especially in the beginning gives you a feel of what it was like to shop in the stores with the background sounds and store images.
      I am not sure how many more Sears stores will get the new signs and it seems like Kmart is just removing the Big from their signs instead of upgrading the whole sign.
      One thing I forgot to mention is that the Sears in Waco is almost identical to the Baybrook Sears store but slightly smaller. It is the only anchor at that mall with 2 floors.
      Are you talking about Hibbett Sports at Almeda? They have good stuff from time to time at better prices than some of the more known stores like Foot Locker.

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  7. It seems like many Kmarts have had the "Big" part of the signs removed just leaving the mid 1990s style Kmart logo. Some others have received new signage though. I'm not really sure how Kmart chooses which stores get the new signage because some of the stores have have closed recently or will close soon have new signage. The Sears with new signage seem like more obvious choices with the exception of the San Jacinto Mall Sears. Perhaps that Sears is an exceptional performer even though the mall around it isn't. Baytown and the East side of the metro area does have a blue collar reputation and perhaps Sears does well with that demographic. The Pasadena Town Square Sears seemed to be doing quite well during my visits to the store.

    Are you talking about the Richland Mall Sears in Waco? I know someone who shopped/shops there. It was built at around the same time as the Baybrook Mall Sears so perhaps it isn't too surprising that it uses a similar design. I've seen a picture of the Richland store and I think it has at least one entrance at the corner of the store like how the Baybrook Sears has it's entrances on the corners. Has the Richland Sears received the updates that the Baybrook Sears has received?

    I enjoy the Kmart videos uploaded by that YouTube user. That user has also uploaded videos about vintage audio gear and VCRs. It's probably worth checking out if you have not seen it already. I do remember many of those sounds at Kmarts back in the day. The "Attention Kmart shoppers" line is still very famous and I also remember the KMRT fake radio network.

    I think the store at Almeda Mall that has Giants stuff (and other NFL teams) is Gift Palace. It could also be Belts of the World. Those two stores are very close to one another near the food court and maybe they both have stuff. I have not been to Hibbett Sports, but they may have some Giants stuff too. I'm not surprised that Hibbitt Sports is cheaper than some of the bigger name mall shoe stores though.

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    1. I have some news to report. The Buyers Market Mall on Airtex is gone. The parking lot and large sign remains for now. The former Designer Depot anchor at the Spring Deauville Mall has been redeveloped as a Banquet Hall. See the website for pictures http://www.springreceptionhall.com/
      The other mall entrance that still remains is still the same for now.
      The Kileen Kmart is store with a removed Big Kmart sign. The old Kmart part of the sign was centered but the labelscar from the signs remains. I had a chance to check out the store and it was a busy location. The clothing areas have the newest signage like some of the New Orleans area stores. There is also a music section still left but it was only a very small area. A small room in the back of the store is used for clearance items. Other than those items, the store did not have too many retro elements or the cassette lady.
      Yes the Richland Mall Sears is the one. The store does not have many updates with the exception of the electronics area.
      I have passed by those stores at Almeda but never stopped in. I still plan on the Almeda/ Northwest article but now I am going to get more photos from inside Northwest.

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  8. Thanks for the confirmation that the Airtex Buyers Market Mall has been demolished. As I mentioned before, I drove by the area on I-45 a few weeks back and it seemed to me that the building wasn't there anymore even though the sign was still there. Well, I guess I know now that it is true that the building is gone. Oh well, at least the Fry. Rd. Buyers Market Mall is still there (I guess at least) and is presumably an At Home store now.

    Thanks for the photos of the Spring Reception Hall. I didn't realize that there was some recent redevelopment going on at the former Spring Deauville Fashion Mall. I have not been by that area since I stopped working in The Woodlands about a year ago. The lobby of the hall still looks like the mall.

    Hopefully you were able to get some photos of the Killeen Kmart that you will be able to post. I believe the Killeen Kmart is the closest Kmart to where I live, but the Lufkin Kmart is probably the closest Kmart to you. Anyway, because of that and the modified mansard slice type design of the store, the Killeen Kmart has been of particular interest to me. The store seems more modern than other similar designed Kmarts in this region that you have posted pictures of.

    It's probably a good idea to get some pictures of Northwest Mall because who knows what and when things are going to happen over there. It's an interesting mall anyway even without the sale situation. Maybe you can grab a bite to eat over there and we can compare notes about the food court's offerings. I'm definitely looking forward to the Almeda Mall/NW Mall comparison post. I think your readers will enjoy it. I know that I will for sure.

    If I remember correctly, next month is the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Houston Main St. Sears. I'd like to visit the store that month, but we'll see if I can make it there. The early closing time makes it a bit tough for me to get there. I know that you did a story about the store somewhat recently, but perhaps you could put something together for the special occasion.

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    1. I just happened to be in the area of the Deauville Mall one recent evening and I passed by both the mall and the Buyers Market Mall. The hallway shown in the reception hall photo is the corridor where the Designer Depot sign was at. I would like to see the rest of the mall that is still left one day before it is all gone.
      There are at least 9 At Home stores in the Houston area according to a billboard I saw yesterday so the Buyers Market has probably been converted.
      Yes I got around 20 photos inside of the Kileen store. It takes a little over 3 1/2 hours to get to Kileen from the Northside of Houston. I also passed by the Temple and Kileen Malls and have images to go with future posts.
      I am probably going to check out Northwest fairly early or late on my next visit to be able to take photos without being bothered. I just need a few more to be able to have a good comparison of both malls.
      I wonder if Sears will do anything to mark the anniversary. I could probably get some better images of the store since the camera I used in my article was going out.

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  9. I'm not sure if the Main St. Sears will do anything to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the store. I think that they should. Perhaps they have something planned and I just don't know about it. Not too many retail locations stay under one store for 75 years, that's for sure. A store like that Sears has probably touched many, many Houston families. Perhaps it would be nice to get some new photos of the place since it has a pretty unique and retro look to it.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the post about the Killeen Kmart. The Killeen Kmart is too far away for me to justify driving there just to shop at the Kmart, but the thought has crossed my mind a time or two. I do know a little bit about the Temple Mall, but I don't know much about the mall in Killeen. It'll be nice to see photos of those places as well for sure. Small city malls are often the most interesting malls.

    I figured that the lobby was the former Spring Deauville Fashion Mall Designer Depot corridor itself, but I wasn't sure. It's sad to see the vintage signage gone, but it's good that the corridor has finally been redeveloped. It's a good thing that you photographed the corridor before the redevelopment just like how it is good that you were able to photograph the old Airtex Buyer's Market Mall before it was demolished.

    I'll go ahead and reply to your Marshall Mall reply here since we're talking about future post topics anyway. The Macy's at Sage article should be interesting. I'm really looking forward to the Pasadena Montgomery Ward post and the unbuilt Houston malls post. It'll be interesting to discuss unbuilt malls like the Deauville FM 1960 & I-45 mall, the DeBartolo Conroe Mall, the Hwy. 6 & 529 "Copperfield Mall" that I believe was proposed by one of the Mall of the Mainland developers, the 288 mall, and a couple of the 1980s proposed Grand Parkway area I-10 malls.

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    1. I will probably not be able to make it to the Main street Sears in the near future, but I do intend on getting some better photos of the store.
      Both Kileen and Temple malls have a similar L shape from one end of the mall to the other. The Kileen mall is slightly larger and has one more anchor. Kileen along Hwy 190 also has much more retail than Temple and I did not find much retail outside of that stretch of highway. Temple has most of their retail on the South side of the city along I-35 and the loop. Waco has large retail districts in several spots across the metro area. Maybe I did not find some of the retail clusters in those other areas.
      Once I find out about something that would be of interest here on the blog, I try to make a trip as quick as possible because things can change rapidly. About a month ago I noticed a tall Blockbuster sign that was still intact off of 59. I kept meaning to pass by and photograph it, but two weeks later they took it down. The Blockbuster store in the shopping center had been closed for several years. At all of the recent Blockbuster store closures, workers took down the signs quickly once the stores closed. Finding a 1980's era mall that was mostly untouched and in great condition is very rare. I can see the last section of the Spring Deauville Mall redeveloped soon since that is the last part left. The rest of the center is now full and there is a leasing sign there.
      I posted the unbuilt malls article tonight. Sorting out the Katy Malls was a task since there were 3 proposals in the late 1990's just before Katy Mills was built. The Wards will be next and then the Macy's. The Macy's by the way is being demolished, I drove by the other night since I was in the area around 2am. The crews were working on what used to be the 3rd floor and had a large chunk of wall cut out, no roof, and cutting torch spark reflections could be seen. They had a bright spotlight so you could see what was going on while I was stopped at the traffic light. I actually walked through the Galleria 3 one last time in January and did not know at the time that it was about to close. I noticed only one store in business and it would have been a perfect time to get photos, but I did not think it was going to close until the Macy's did.

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  10. Thanks for the unbuilt malls post, I've already left a lengthy comment on that post. I'm looking forward to the other new posts. I'm sure I'll learn a lot more about the Temple/Killeen/Waco retail scene after I read your posts about them. Of course, I'm looking forward to the Pasadena Montgomery Ward post too. That's too bad that you won't have a new post about the Main St. Sears in time for the big anniversary, but maybe you can do a Fall general update post where you can mention it. There are a lot of post subjects from 2013-14 that have seen major changes like the Airtex Buyer's Market Mall demolition and the Spring Deauville Fashion Mall changes.

    Wow, that's pretty brave to be in The Galleria area at around 2am. It'll be interesting to see how the mall changes. At least the mall will make more sense after the changes. The Galleria 3 has always been a real oddball.

    It's pretty remarkable to think how well some of the mall parts of the Spring Deauville Fashion Mall were preserved after all this time. Not only are the images of that great, but the pictures gave photographic evidence of a little known Kmart concept store. Those photos may go down as some of the best ones on this blog. It was a great thing that you were able to get pictures of the place before it was remodeled. Sadly, the preservation is mostly gone now, but at least the building is being used again by the public. You're probably right that the rest of the building will be leased here soon.

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    1. The Galleria 3 suffered like so many other malls where the mall was expanded through a department store. Here here is one of the most famous malls that expanded through a department store only to close and demolish that portion of the mall in 14 years. I am actually more scared around the Galleria area in the afternoon and evening due to the crazy amount of traffic, lol.
      Speaking of the Buyer's Market Mall, I updated the article with a late night photo of the sign that is still standing. There is a new building under construction on the Southeast corner of the property so I am sure the sign will come down soon also.

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  11. Westwood mall did get an update in 1988 according to the Houston post archives from July 1988. The mall looks the same except the colors where different. The columns were black and with gold or silver strips. The strips are still there but they painted it all grey. They described as the new look to be high tech. This is when they added second floor entrances to the stores. I know Dillard's fully renovated that store but it says sears also renovated the store maybe for the second floor entrance. Also it says escalators were added . It also shows a nice interior shot facing sears. its definitely a nice article to find.

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    1. Where are the Houston Post archives located? I have been trying to find a link to these for years. Thanks for the extra info about Westwood, not much can be easily found online.

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    2. I had to use the microfilm rolls available at Houston Baptist University with the corresponding index book to find the article. I don't know if they are for the public anymore.
      They should have them at the public library in downtown.

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    3. Ok, thanks for the information. Downtown would probably have them, I am just too lazy to make it down there.

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  12. It also shows the floor and it looks like its the same floors but a different color like they paint the floor. The stripes are originally to the mall. If its the same then that really strange.

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