Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Park Fair Mall Was the First

In 1957 Park Fair Mall, the first enclosed mall in Des Moines, opened at what is now 100 East Euclid Avenue. This landmark has had its ups and downs.  In 1989 occupancy in the 200,000 square foot facility was only 9%. What was that, one store?  Very sad. In 1990, after the Denny Elwell Investment Co. purchased Park Fair and a Ben Franklin Crafts and Variety opened, 82% of the mall was in use. There were four ‘anchor’ stores – Ben Franklin, Sun Drugs, Fareway and Big Bear. They were all still there when I moved here just before the flood of '93, except for Big Bear.  Big Bear??  Apparently this was some kind of "multipurpose farm and home store". Only lonely Fareway remains of the Fortunate 4. But Ace Hardware and Dollar Tree moved in.  So Park Fair Mall's got that going for them.  Which is nice.

Des Moines Register, 11/07/1990 p. 1 Neighbors West
Des Moines Public Library Fun Facts

1 comment:

Heather said...

I lived here for all of that and more. I remember going to Park Fair Mall to visit the library. I remember the mall hosting our Jumprope for Heart fundraiser. So many memories.