cosmic08

Greenspoint Mall Memories

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Purpledevil    282
2 hours ago, IronTiger said:

 

The mall itself was only 1 level, Tiger. There once was a second floor in the center court, which was originally a café. Each of the department stores had a second floor, i.e. Lord & Taylor, Montgomery Ward's, J.C. Penney's, Joske's, Foley's, and Sears. Sears & Joske's closed off their second floors off first. As of today, there isn't a second floor open to the public anywhere within the entirety of Greenspoint.

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Timoric    747
3 hours ago, IronTiger said:

I found this in a Texas Monthly ad from 1982 while I was looking for something else: https://books.google.com/books?id=CC4EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=magnamart+san+antonio&source=bl&ots=jlX0dLkUwF&sig=zj7TJP5TB_oKHjQE3WqOJEpB2ic&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiR_bKS7t_XAhVB8IMKHU6eDRIQ6AEIMzAC#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

5a1c9acd9e973_2017-11-2717_06_43-TexasMonthly-GoogleBooks.png.1b4f2b7bef565484257e414bdb34c91c.png

 

(The name and logo of Greenspoint were located under it, so it is Greenspoint). The presence of the stairs is intriguing, I thought Greenspoint was only one level.

We moved to Las Cruces, NM when I was 13 and I missed Houston. Texas Monthly Microfiche in the library at my school had so many great pictures of the 1980s boom Houston office buildings that I loved viewing at the time in 1985-87, we moved back to Houston in 88 thank goodness.

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IronTiger    736
13 hours ago, Purpledevil said:

 

The mall itself was only 1 level, Tiger. There once was a second floor in the center court, which was originally a café. Each of the department stores had a second floor, i.e. Lord & Taylor, Montgomery Ward's, J.C. Penney's, Joske's, Foley's, and Sears. Sears & Joske's closed off their second floors off first. As of today, there isn't a second floor open to the public anywhere within the entirety of Greenspoint.

I was aware that the department stores all had (originally) upper levels, much like the situation at Memorial City Mall (except for Target). The "upper level café" is new information to me, though, and I don't think I've ever seen a set of stairs in the center courts. I'm going to guess that it was removed in the renovation in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and the space walled up. Without a floorplan or being there it's a little hard to tell, but this walled up area near the skylights sure looks suspicious...

 

EDIT: It is not the same court, but the correct court with the fountains and correct columns still seem to lack a staircase...

Edited by IronTiger
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Purpledevil    282
15 hours ago, IronTiger said:

I was aware that the department stores all had (originally) upper levels, much like the situation at Memorial City Mall (except for Target). The "upper level café" is new information to me, though, and I don't think I've ever seen a set of stairs in the center courts. I'm going to guess that it was removed in the renovation in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and the space walled up. Without a floorplan or being there it's a little hard to tell, but this walled up area near the skylights sure looks suspicious...

 

EDIT: It is not the same court, but the correct court with the fountains and correct columns still seem to lack a staircase...

Given what I remember of the café and waterfalls, I'd be pretty certain it was all demo'ed when management renovated the mall in the late 80's. That's when the ficus and all of the cool sculptures were removed from the corridors, and my favorite water feature in front of Montgomery Ward's met its demise. It used to fill up with water on one end, dump the water when full, and raise up on the other end striking a brass pipe that let out the most beautiful gong. The walled up area near the skylights would be too high to conceal the stairs. The skylights were there from the beginning, and cascaded sunlight down onto the center court and subsequent café area. Ah, yes. The days when Greenspoint was still classy.

 

What predated Target at Memorial City Mall was Montgomery Ward's. It was an old dookie brown colored building that simply screamed 1970. Indeed, it too had a second floor. Sat right across the mall corridor from the recruitment offices for the Armed Forces, and oh yeah, the best Whataburger that Memorial has ever known.

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IronTiger    736

The Chron archives tell me that the Greenspoint renovation happened in 1988 (April to October). @hydeaway is almost certainly the person who wrote the DeadMalls.com article, and 1988 was when the trees and fountains disappeared and the floors were replaced with "almost glow in the dark multicolored tiles" rather than the dark brick-like tiles it used to have. It was Federated that opened the mall in the 1970s and built the two expansions that would add Joske's and Montgomery Ward to the mall, but it was Prudential Insurance Co. (or rather a pension fund that Prudential ran) that was the one to run Greenspoint into the ground, with the decline happening under their reign and a single 1988 renovation that somehow made the mall worse.

 

In terms of the cafe, at about 4:35 of this video you can see the skylights of the center court with a kiosk (Houston Visitor's Center) protruding into the court, with a white wall above it. However, according to the aerial photograph of said center court, you should be able to see the skylight from any corner, as they go all the way to the end, if you look at the center court from above on Google Earth (it is on the side opposite where they peak outward). Since I have no idea what the café area looked like since I was born after 1988 (1991, thank you) I have come to the rudimentary conclusion that based on the video, the aerial photos, and the old photo, that the café (which I still don't know the name of) was on the side closest to Sears and Joske's, and the 1988 renovation tore down the stairs and walled up what was left, explaining why you can't see the other end of where the two skylight sides meet.

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