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Wonderland Mall - Livonia MI


As Wonderland Mall is facing demolition in the spring of 2004, let this photo essay serve as a reminder to this early version of the shopping mall and some of the stores that we visited in our earlier days. The mall was built in 1959 with Montgomery Wards serving as the anchor. It also featured 2 more retailers that Michiganders know and love, Winklemans and Hughes and Hatcher. Like many malls, it was originally designed as an open facility, then later converted to an indoor.

With the demise of Ward's, some of the smaller stores began to struggle as the design did not allow for many exterior entrances. The retail world seems to be going away from indoor malls, with most new centers incorporating a few large anchors with smaller stores clustered nearby, interspersed with parking. Examples of this would be Fountain Walk in Novi and Eastwood Center in Lansing. As a result, some of the old indoor malls are being converted back to outdoor, with Tel-Twelve in Southfield, Northland Center in Southfield and now Wonderland, which will be converted to a "Power Center" with 2 or 3 larger stores surrounded by a few restaurants or coffee shops.

So the circle is complete, from outdoor to indoor to outdoor again! The truth however, is that the small indoor mall had less character and local flavor than the traditional downtown retail district, and now the enormous "big box" centers will complete the trend toward the total homogenization of the commercial landscape.
ABANDONED STORE ALL CLOSED
ABANDONED STORE ALL CLOSED
ALL GONE BATH & BODY WORKS
ALL GONE BATH & BODY WORKS
CAFES CAFE ENTRANCE
CAFES CAFE ENTRANCE
CINEMAS CLOSED STORE
CINEMAS CLOSED STORE
DEMO DEMO1
DEMO DEMO1
DEMO FROM MIKE ENGEL DUNHAMS
DEMO FROM MIKE ENGEL DUNHAMS
DUNHAMS EXTERIOR EERIE
DUNHAMS EXTERIOR EERIE
EMPTINESS EMPTY
EMPTINESS EMPTY
EMPTY HALL EMPTY MALL
EMPTY HALL EMPTY MALL
EMPTY STORES EMPTY WING
EMPTY STORES EMPTY WING
EMPTY WING ENTRANCE
EMPTY WING ENTRANCE
ENTRANCE HALL EXTERIOR
ENTRANCE HALL EXTERIOR
GNC MAIN CORRIDOR
GNC MAIN CORRIDOR
MAIN HALL MALL
MAIN HALL MALL
MORE DEMO FROM MIKE ENGEL PEARLE VISION
MORE DEMO FROM MIKE ENGEL PEARLE VISION
SHUTTERED STORE SIGN
SHUTTERED STORE SIGN
WARDS WARDS AUTO CENTER
WARDS WARDS AUTO CENTER
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