Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Comment from Tom:
In 1955, we moved to Decatur, GA and in the Belvedere Plaza Shopping Center there was a WT Grant store. It was originally one floor, but after Thanksgiving, they opened a stairway to the lower level that became Toyland along with Christmas merchandise. In the early 60s, the store was remodeled. They put in a lunch counter with booths, like Woolworth’s had and they made the lower level a permanent part of the store with appliances, plants and the pet department and stuff. One of the most outstanding things I remember seeing for sale at Grants were individual goldfish in 5″ by 4″ plastic bags that were attached to a display board. The top of each bag was folded over with a paper label stapled to it. The lunch counter cooked the frozen French fries on the grill, under a cover and when they were served, they were so hot you could not eat them. They made the coffee in old-fashion glass vacuum pots where the water gurgled up from the lower bowl to the top bowl and then after a minute or two, they turned off the heat and the coffee went back down. We moved before the store went into a decline and I don’t think I went into another Grants after that.
Roswell Boomer said:
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Belvedere Plaza Shopping Center, located in Belvedere Park (at Memorial Dr — S.R. 154 — and Columbia Drive), was one of the earliest malls in the Atlanta area. Opened around Labor Day in 1955, the center was an open-air strip and not an enclosed mall, but it still had many of the major mall tenants of that era and competed with Columbia Mall (later named Avondale Mall), which opened at the adjacent corner of the same intersection in 1964. The center had a two-level portion with an escalator and many of the major mall tenants of the era. The shopping center included one anchor, a two-level Rich's, and also included a bowling alley, Woolworth's and Davis Brothers Cafeteria as some of its major tenants. The Rich's was located in the front of the center and was the second suburban store built after Lenox Square. Rich's at Belevedere opened in 1959.
The area around Belvedere Plaza fell into sharp decline in the 1970s and 1980s and lost its major anchor, Rich's, in 1986. The Rich's location there was the first to ever close in the chain. The center since fell into sharper decline, but has been somewhat redeveloped since that time into a smaller center, anchored by a Kroger, some small take-out eateries, and a store offering the unusual combination of wigs and beepers.
Belvedere Plaza is within the Belvedere Park neighborhood that has recently become one of Atlanta's hot real estate markets. New families, young urbanites and investors have recently discovered this intown neighborhood. The large trees, parks, new homes, and location only add to the neighborhood's intown appeal and charm. The neighborhood is located approximately six miles east of the State Capitol Building in downtown Atlanta.