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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Antique Mall: 1959

Antique Mall: 1959

April 13, 1959. "Cross County Center. Yonkers, Westchester County, New York. Dusk. Lathrop Douglass, client." Fanny Farmer, Woolworth's, Lerner Shops -- it's hard to know where to begin! Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.

 

Household Finance Co. Redux

Never borrow money needlessly,
Just when you must,
Borrow from the oldest company,
From folks you trust.
Borrow confidently at HFC!

Interesting!

I remember my mom shopping at Lerner's all the time in the 70s. Apparently they've been bought out and become New York & Co.

This picture surprised me, however, because I had always thought open air malls were an obnoxious new trend (it DOES seem very stupid in the snowy climate here), rather than an older way of doing it. I suppose open-air markets in the form of souks and medieval fairs were around a long time before, though. Still, enclosed malls are few here and increasingly being converted to open-air, much to my annoyance at holiday shopping time. Even worse, they put up loudspeakers all around them so that you don't get the one benefit of NOT being in an indoor mall, lack of irritating background music.

[A mall is, strictly speaking, a long outdoor plaza -- in the shopping center shown in the photo, the mall is the space between the two rows of stores. Once malls started being roofed over, they stopped being malls but kept the name. - Dave]

Household Finance Co.

You get more than money at HFC
You get speed, convenience, economy
At H, F, why don't you try us and see?

The Departed

Gimbels
F W Woolworth
The Lerner Shops
Fanny Farmer

Although the companies may exist under different names they have gone and are mostly forgotten.

There used to be a site for this

Views like this make me wish http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/ was still updated. The author just stopped posting in 2007 with no explanation, and it's been frozen in time ever since. Maybe in 50 years we can view it with the same sort of nostalgia we have for its subject matter.

[Another good one is DeadMalls. - Dave]

Meyerland Plaza

Take away the second story and you could almost convince yourself this was Meyerland Plaza in Houston.

Open Air Shopping...

... made its way to Europe in the 50s. After the bombings in WW-II Rotterdam built the state-of-the-art "Lijnbaan Mall" in 1953, modeled after modern American examples. Still very functional these days too!

Chain Stores of Yore

Woolworths, Gimbels, Lerners, and Fanny Farmers; popular stores of a bygone era.

Ugly Is as Ugly Does

I guess it's in the eye of the beholder,

Ugly then,

even uglier now.

Oh, that is SO much

like I first remember the mall that's closest to my house--the mall was built in about '61. Closed shopping malls would be another ten years in getting to Texas.

Not completely changed

While many former open-air shopping centers have been converted to enclosed malls, the Cross County Center is a rare exception. It has undergone extensive renovations over the years but remains an open-air center. This view is looking west along the central "Mall Walk." The Gimbel's anchor store is now a Macy's.

The Cross County Center does good business, helped no doubt by its location just over the Bronx line in densely populated southern Westchester County. It's one of the relatively few (sort-of) malls where a substantial percentage of the customers arrive by transit rather than automobile.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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