Saturday, November 2, 2013

Winrock in the early 1960s

The attached photo, a scan from another postcard I bought online, shows the interior of the Winrock Shopping Center in uptown Albuquerque.  Judging from the layout of the mall, and the fact that the little girls are wearing dresses, I'm guessing this photo was taken shortly after Winrock first opened in March 1961.  I originally thought that the view here is west-facing, but the amount of light coming through on the right side of the photo (presumably south) suggests that the perspective is actually facing east.  Thus the photographer was probably standing near the entrance of the old J.C. Penney store (years before it closed and re-located to the nearby Coronado Shopping Center).  Montgomery Ward, always one of my favorite stores, would have been at the far end of the mall on the right.  Winrock was an open-air (but roofed) mall in the early days, not being fully enclosed and temperature-controlled until years later; a number of additions were made over the years, including what once was the most-popular food court in town.  However, for whatever reason(s), Winrock just couldn't compete with Coronado, and when Montgomery Ward ceased retail operations in early 2001, the mall went into a nosedive from which it has never recovered.  There's always talk of efforts to revive Winrock, but none of them seems to involve any plan to recapture its old charms -- and perhaps that's impossible, at any rate, now that Walmart, Target, and (and the rest of the Internet) dominate the lower end of the retail world.  Still, I'm the sentimental sort, and I feel a great deal of nostalgia for Winrock in its various configurations.

[Update 5/9/14: I found this aerial photo of Winrock in the 1962 Sandia HS yearbook (which, of course, means it also dates from shortly after the mall opened).  I've marked Ward's, Penney's, and Cook's Sporting Goods, where my mother bought me my 12th birthday present in 1971, a pair of Adidas Superstar basketball shoes -- the "Air Jordans" of their day and expensive at $16.95/pair.]