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Respected Contributor
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Registered: ‎09-12-2010

My Iowa cousin sent me an email today that she did some shopping at a local mall in Des Moines (Merle Hay for any Iowans here). That mall was a favorite of mine when I was in high school in the 1960s, and it's still in business....that's at least 60 years! Of course the mall has changed over the years with stores closing and new ones opening, but I think it's amazing that they've been able to stay relevant for so long. We have a couple of malls here in the St. Louis area that have been around for a long time, but I think those are the exception rather than the norm. Do any of you have shopping malls that have been around forever?

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

There's one here, built in 1970, and it's still got stores in it. I haven't been inside in decades so I have no idea what those are. There's a JCP, Burlington and Dillard's there plus an huge food court in the mall.

Respected Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

@jannabelle believe it or not, I grew up about a mile away from Merle Hay! In junior high, a friend and I would walk to the mall every Saturday, stop at Bishop’s Buffet for a piece of chocolate pie and window shop. I also remember getting warm peanuts in little paper bags at Younkers. Hmm, a lot of my memories are food related 🙂.

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

We still have a Mall that was built in 1972.  A few stores have closed, but most are still open.


Day after day the whole day through, wherever my road inclined, four feet said 'I'm coming with you!' and trotted along behind. Kipling





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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

@jannabelle  I wonder if there’s still a bowling alley in the basement 🎳.

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

@Tucsongal2, oh how I remember Bakers Cafeteria....and Younkers and Bakers Shoes. We were almost neighbors back then - I lived off Franklin Avenue. You must have gone to North or Roosevelt! Back to mall though - it was one of the first "open air" malls in the midwest from what I remember. Younkers is now Macy's, and Sears has changed to Kohl's, but at least it's still open!

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls


@jannabelle wrote:

@Tucsongal2, oh how I remember Bakers Cafeteria....and Younkers and Bakers Shoes. We were almost neighbors back then - I lived off Franklin Avenue. You must have gone to North or Roosevelt! Back to mall though - it was one of the first "open air" malls in the midwest from what I remember. Younkers is now Macy's, and Sears has changed to Kohl's, but at least it's still open!


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We were almost neighbors because I went to Franklin junior high in the early 70’s, then we were all split up between Hoover, Roosevelt and North. To keep it shopping related however, do you remember the Place store? I think that was the name, a five and ten cent store. And Heaven to Seven?  Wow, what a trip down memory lane! 

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

@jannabelle @Tucsongal2 

Another Des Moines gal here-grew up there -high school in the 50s. LIved in Beaverdale area. Merle Hay was bought from a monastery that owned the land and developed into shopping mall.

Thanks for the memories of Baker's Cafeteria, Bishop's Buffet and Younkers.

Happy to hear Merle Hay is still thriving!

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

@Tucsongal2, I went to Franklin JH as well....but in the early 60s, so I'm a bit older. And yes, I do remember Place's....it was a great store for anything and everything! I went to TRHS and graduated in '66. Such good memories of DM!

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Re: Long Term Shopping Malls

@Cal22, thanks for the comment and memories...I didn't know that the mall had been purchased from a monastery! I do remember Bishops Cafeteria, and the Beaverdale area. My mother managed a beauty shop on Beaver Ave. Merle Hay Mall is still thriving - not the same one we grew up with, but I'm glad it's still there!