Memories of Livonia's Wonderland Mall

If you grew up in Metro Detroit between 1960 and 2000, you likely remember Wonderland Mall.

Photo: DetroitYes
Photo: DetroitYes

Morning Musings 🤔

Growing up in Western Wayne County, I had access to several shopping malls. 

The three main malls I remember going to are Westland Mall, Twelve Oaks and Wonderland Mall.

Wonderland Mall was the closest to my family. I remember visiting it often. I remember when it closed. I remember when a new strip mall (and a Walmart) took its place after several years.

Do you still go to malls? What's your most memorable mall? Let me know. You can also read some awesome memories of Wonderland Mall here.

- Ken Haddad (Have a comment or topic idea? Contact me: Email | Twitter)

Morning Dive 🏊

Wonderland Mall, originally named Wonderland Center, sat on Plymouth and Middlebelt (or Middle Belt) roads in Livonia, Michigan.

The 74 acre site, dual level facility was opened in August 1959, designed by Louis G. Redstone.

The 1959 mall roster included Zuieback's Suburban, Marianne's, Winkelman's, Lerner Shops, Kinney Shoes, Leib Brothers, Singer Sewing Center, Hughes & Hatcher apparel, Rafter's Restaurant, F.W. Woolworth and S.S. Kresge 5 & 10s and Wrigley's and Food Fair supermarkets.

It was originally an outdoor mall, before being enclosed in 1986, and then being reopened as Wonderland Mall.

An expansion of the mall started in 1989, when a 129,000 square foot, 1 level extension was built for a Target and a 6-screen movie theater.

Over the next several years, many popular chains filled the mall, including Office Max, Old Navy, and Bath & Body Works.

An entertainment wing was opened in 1997, which featured Jeepers!, a family restaurant and animated indoor amusement part. The mall's food court expanded and was renamed Boardwalk Cafes.

After some of its main anchor stores vacated, Wonderland Mall closed in early 2003, with only Dunham's, Office Max and Target open, with exterior entrances. 

By 2007, after much debate, a Wal-Mart SuperCenter was opened where Wonderland Mall once stood.

The Wal-Mart became an anchor for the Wonderland Village, which opened in 2007, as a strip mall, including Chili's, Potbelly, LA Fitness and Target.

You can actually still see the Wonderland Mall website (last updated in 2000, it seems) right here.

Chatter 🗣️

  • Dark sky park: There are many secret spots in Michigan, the places you went with as a child, beautiful and unique places you've discovered on a road trip. This a story about one such a place: Headlands International Dark Sky Park. Local 4's Nightcam wrote a blog.
  • Trick-or-treat times in Metro Detroit: Halloween is here and that means your kids are probably itching for candy. Some communities have designated certain time windows for trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
  • The NFL Trade Deadline is today: Will the Detroit Lions make a trade? We're following the latest rumors and news here.

Housekeeping 🧹

Hey, if you like this newsletter, let us know. We'd love your feedback. We also offer several other newsletters that probably cater to at least one of your interests -- unless you're only interested in landline phones. We don't have one for landline phones. Sorry.

- Ken Haddad (Have something to say or a topic idea? Contact me: Email | Twitter)

Let's Link 🔗

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