The Pig Stand

The Pig Stand was supposedly the first chain to ever offer, drive-in service. Fort Worth was home to the original location, eventually expanding to Houston by location number 7.

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Kmart Pointe West

I found this image while researching other properties. I figured it would be worth identifying for the sake of prosperity.

This photo is of The Big Kmart at 333 S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450. It was located where Mason meets I-10. This location is now a Fiesta. The entire building is dedicated to Fiesta, with the exception of the Garden Center which is now a gym. The Fiesta opened in April of 2008.

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Phillip’s 66 Cornerstore

Cornerstore was originally founded as a Subsidiary of Valero Corporately owned gas stations, as a brand to operate their C-Stores under. Eventually Cornerstore would be spun out on their own, and later purchased by Circle-K. Due to the long history CST had with Valero, most stations sold Valero fuel. However, a select few did not.

This was one such example, a Phillip’s 66 Corner Store. Which is located and still operating as of 2018 in Tomball, TX

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Exploring the Abandoned KFC in River Oaks

The Closing of Luby’s

So Luby’s, like many other Cafeteria chains hailing from the 1950s has experienced many woes over the years. The largest was the bankruptcy that nearly killed the company. I came across a list of locations which closed during the 2003 bankruptcy proceedings. The close date for all Texas locations was March 31, 2003 all locations outside of Texas closed April 3, 2003. The list illustrates the breadth the chain once had reaching from Tennessee to Arizona.

City and State Address
Dallas, TX 2377 Stemmons Trail
Dallas, TX 12230 Forestgate Drive
Greenville, TX 7600 Wesley Street
Sherman, TX 3113 Highway 75 North
San Antonio, TX 4300 Thousand Oaks Drive
Grand Prairie, TX 980 West Pioneer Parkway
McKinney, TX 920 North Central Expressway
Irving, TX 2250 Walnut Hill Lane
Tyler, TX 2829 West Northwest Loop 323
Mesquite, TX 24315 L.B.J. Freeway
Garland, TX 3255 Broadway Boulevard
Arlington, TX 701 North Watson Street
Orange, TX 4040 IH-10 West
Houston, TX 6704 Highway 6 South
Lewisville, TX 2401 South Stemmons Freeway
Fort Smith, AR 6201-A Rogers Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 601 West Bell Road
Tucson, AZ 7140 East Rosewood Street
Mesa, AZ 1404 South Longmore Street
Glendale, AZ 5285 West Bell Road
Oklahoma City, OK 3800 North MacArthur Boulevard
Tulsa, OK 115 East 15th Street South
Tulsa, OK 3140 South Garnett Road
Memphis, TN 5240 Summer Avenue
Memphis, TN 6705 Winchester Road

 

In addition I also found a shorter list of locations that had closed prior to the March 31, 2003 date.

 

Amarillo, TX (closed first week of March) 2101 South Coulter Drive
El Paso, TX (closed first week of March) 7825 North Mesa Street
Fort Worth, TX (closed March 24) 7624 Grapevine Trail
Albuquerque, NM (closed first week of March) 4710 Montgomery Boulevard
Nashville, TN (closed first week of March) 1501 Gallatin Pike North
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Exploring an Abandoned Dairy Queen

I recently had the chance to take some video of an abandoned Dairy Queen in Nacogdoches. I uploaded the results to YouTube!

Northwest Mall December 2017 Update

As it had been nearly 6 months since my last visit to Northwest Mall, I figured it was time for me to stop by. From the outside it looks like not too much is going on, and the views from the inside support that as well. All the stores with exterior entrances are still open, including Thompson’s Antique Center, Palais Royal, The College of Health Care Professionals, The Post Oak Club, and Chapa. Upon speaking to an employee at Palais Royal it appears that the mall may be up for sale, and as a result the renovation is on hold.

Looking to the A-Entrance you can see that all tables, chairs, ropes, etc.. have been removed from the food court.

 

The plants next to the stage have been removed, but the soil is still there.

 

The cart advertising the opportunity to have your own cart at the mall is still there.

 

The former Dryer’s is oddly still intact, however it closed prior to the mall.

 

Looking toward the old JC Penny, all carts have been removed. I noticed that one of the permanent booths was actually for sale at the antique center soon after closing.

 

While I didn’t get it in this picture, an emergency exit arm has been affixed to one of the four doors to the outside.

 

It looks like the temporary wall, is a bit further back than I originally thought.

At this point it doesn’t look likely that the mall will reopen, and if it does it won’t be anytime soon. If anyone has any information please feel free to leave it in the comments below, and we’ll see where we are in the next 6 months!

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Riverpark Shopping Center Sugar Land

I recently came across a few pictures of the Riverpark shopping center from the year it opened. For the most part it looks the same, the biggest exception would be the closure of Gander Mountain. Not represented are some smaller closures such as Joe’s Crab Shack and Chili’s. Enjoy the pictures!

The main anchor of the center to this day is still H-E-B

 

Gander Mountain closed in the summer of 2017. Most recently is operated as a Spirit Halloween location. It may reopen under Camping World’s new brand Gander Outdoors.

 

 

Whataburger is still as popular as ever, however the smaller strip center to the left has had a major change in tennants including the obvious level as of Blockbuster Video.

 

Walgreens has been spruced up a bit on the outside but remains pretty much the same overall.

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Katy Mills Opening Day

All images in this post were taken by Darel Rex Finley. With his permission, I have used them to write this post.

When Katy Mills Mall opened in 1999, it wasn’t surrounded by much. To the South two recently developed, and unfinished neighborhoods, Pin Oak Village and Falcon Point. To the North, downtown “Old Katy”. With no development to the East or West. Even the outparcels of the mall were underdeveloped, with a Walmart and Toys ‘R Us, being the only other retail nearby.

The idea of building a mall here puzzled some, as it seemed to be “out in the sticks”. The reality is that this was a prime location for a mall. The suburbs were booming, and the developer, The Mills Corporation, had gone through a bunch of trouble to build this mall. The land on which the mall sits was part of the Katy Prairie, specifically they were wetlands.

The Mills Corporation had given a large donation to the Katy Prairie Conservacy to help purchase new land, and prevent environmental backlash. The Army Corps of engineers had to permit and supervise the draining of the wetlands as they had a protected status. As well, the land was owned by the City of Houston, it was sold to Katy who then sold it to the developer. During development competing companies tried to open two rival malls both of which would fail.

The mills corporation was finally able to build the mall pushing the original goal of early 1999 to late December, just in time for Christmas. The mall was sold on the outlet concept, but in a traditional mall setting. Many stores in the nearby Sealy outlets would jump ship to Katy Mills. This would help to make Katy Mills the premier shopping destination for most of West Houston.

The mall was designed in the standard “Mills fashion” the mall had a racetrack layout with a center food court. Each segment of the racetrack was considered a neighborhood. Each neighborhood was sponsored by a company. Upon entering the mall you were told by an automatic speaker which neighborhood you had just entered.

The mall had a theme of a day out at the mall with the Star Family. The colors and styles were meant to evoke the idea of children creating the decor using only construction paper and scissors. The food court had its own unique theme, entitled Katy Field Day the individual stalls were each themes to look like a child’s lunchbox, and the ends of the food court were flanked by full service restaurants.

The corridors were designed with a rising and falling pattern. The changes were dealt with by a combination of ramps and stairs. The floors were wood under a heavy coat of lacquer. Trees were placed at certain intervals in planters built into the ground. The ceiling was unique in that no drop ceilings were used or required by stores. Meaning that for the most part if you looked up you could see straight to the roof.

With the exception of anchors and the two full service restaurants, store fronts were limited to their logo and minimal branding. They could add some individual touches but for the most part they were very standardized. The ideal behind this probably fell to the fact that Katy Mills was considered to be an Outlet Mall, but the conformity would diminish over the years.

Certain areas were themed based on their sponsor, such as the Coca-Cola neighborhood. It featured a giant white polar bear (Coke’s mascot at the time) sled shaped benches and moving spotlights with snowflake shaped filters. The theming reflected the company, and save for the sled shaped benches would be stripped when Coca-Cola was no longer sponsor.

Northwest Mall June 2017 Update

Northwest Mall closed the interior of the mall March 31st, 2017. It was a sad and unexpected occasion. I made a final visit to the mall to try to talk to some of the shop owners. I found that everyone was unaware of the closure, until Mid-March, and for the most part lacked concrete plans of where to go or what to do next.

Once the mall closed, the interior sat untouched for a few months. During May the exterior doors were walled off and covered. With the exception of, The entrance near The Post Oak Club, which had a wall built further  back, and a door installed to accommodate entrance into the interior of the mall. The entrance near Chapa Club, the former movie theater, had a similar recessed wall built to accommodate the building’s interior emergency exit.

All stores with exterior access have remained open. The Antique Center of Texas, former JC Penny, closed their gate to the mall, and it has been walled off. Including a plastic covering to prevent dust getting into the store. Palais Royal, has not covered any of their windows or entrances.

The Food Court as viewed from Palais Royal

 

Zooming in on the doors, the original “Entrance A”.

 

A shot of the Macy’s Wing through the Palais Royal gate.

 

A view of the JC Penny’s Wing.

 

A Final Panoramic View of the mall.

 

As you can see little to nothing is going on. There are some construction dumpsters out front, which are loaded up. However only time will tell if Northwest Mall’s revitalization will actually be put into place. If interested you can find the rest of the album and higher resolution photos here.

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