Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Penneys Architect Sketch – February 1966

Midway Mall is in the news again – with the usual concerns about its future. (Here's the latest story, courtesy of the Chronicle-Telegram, about a possible sale of the aging shopping center.)

Thus, it's not a bad time to take a look back at the time when the Mall was new.

The above photo – an architect's sketch of the proposed J. C. Penney Co. store then under construction at Midway Mall – appeared in the Journal on February 3, 1966 – 49 years ago this month. An article accompanying the photo made reference to the Penney Co., the Higbee Co. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. as the Mall's principal occupants. It also stated that approximately 200 men and women would be employed in the new store, which would occupy about 175,000 square feet.

Of course, the Higbee Co. is long gone, but J. C. Penney and Sears are still hanging in there. (I still think of it as Penneys – never J. C. Penney.)

Here's a vintage shot of the store from an earlier post.

I gotta confess, I haven't driven around to the back of the J. C. Penney store in years – so I had wrongly assumed that the view in the architect's sketch was lost to the Mall's expansions and additions over the years. Then I saw this Bing Maps view (below) and realized there still was a back entrance to the store.

So I drove over to Midway Mall this past overcast Sunday afternoon to grab a quick shot. (Of course when I got there, a person was loitering outside the store, leaning against one of the supports. Fortunately, they began pacing back and forth – enabling me to get my photo (below).


Mark said...

I hope the mall stays. I still stop by there every once in awhile. Lots of memories.

Dan Brady said...

I agree. It's still pretty nice and with the planned improvements to the Mall access (such as the elimination of the 49th Street bridge), getting there should be easier. It would be a shame to see it turned into some kind of healthcare complex (the rumor you hear the most these days).