This Week - Shopping at Century Center Mall Print
Written by Steve Lackmeyer   
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 02:19

 

 

Writing about the Century Center Mall is easy for me - it's a part of my life. I was born a New York kid, rooting for the Mets and pitcher Tom Seaver until a hack New York sports reporter, Dick Young, helped team management execute a crime that would forever be known as the "midnight massacre."

Needless to say my love affair with the Mets was coming to an end as my father, Bob Lackmeyer, began to make arrangements to move the family to Oklahoma City where he was heading up development of the Sheraton Century Center Hotel and the Century Center Mall downtown.

The hotel opened with great fanfare in 1977, but the mall lingered for a couple of years even though the shell itself was done at the same time as the hotel. But in a city that seemed to spend 25 years chasing an elusive downtown Galleria, dad's efforts to create a smaller retail plaza weren't too bad at first.

Century Center Mall - under construction, late 1970s. 

An advertisement in the June 7, 1982 Downtowner immediately caught my eye because it reminded me of a cool retail addition that most people forget today - the mall was briefly home to the state's only FAO-Schwartz Toy Store.

Not the greatest shot - but the best I could do with my camera since reference materials at the Oklahoma History Center can not be scanned

 

The remaining advertising list represents a mix that Randy Hogan would love to land in Lower Bricktown: a gift shop, a western wear shop, a flower shop, a travel agency, clothing stores, a style shop, a cosmetics shop, jewelry store and an ice cream shop.

 

centuryrest2

 

The Century Center Mall was pretty much doomed from the start and most would say its an example of failed urban planning in the 1970s that dictated old retail had to go and be replaced by the same cookie-cutter style retail centers taking root in the suburbs. Today it is pretty much empty, used only as overflow space for meetings and banquets.

The final Century Center shops marquee.

 

 

 Century Center, 2009

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2009 22:39