Azalea Mall was Richmond's first enclosed shopping centre when it opened in Richmond's Northside in 1963. In its heyday, it was anchored by Woolco, Thalhimer's, and Woolworth's. There was also a Food Fair grocery store on the grounds (Pantry Pride took over after Food Fair bit the dust). Some of the more notable lesser tenants were Rees Jewelers, Worth's, Thom McAn, Edgar's (men's store), People's Drug (later to become CVS), and the Home Shop (a forerunner to today's Home Depot and Lowe's). I remember my folks buying shoes for my brother and me at either Hofheimer's (at one time they had monkeys in a glass display) or Juvenile Bootery. This may sound weird, but as a kid, I had a recurring nightmare about being accidentally locked into Azalea Mall all alone at night. My fondest memoury of Azalea Mall was in late July, 1975 just before Mama, Daddy, and I went to Nags Head, NC buying things at Woolco which we would need for that "long" trip. In general, I had fun tossing pennies in the water fountain in front of the Home Shop and Woolworth's.
Azalea Mall withered and dried up in the early 1990s with the addition of Virginia Centre Commons (also in Northside, a little ways up Brook Road) and it also was not helpful that the neighbourhood around Azalea Mall became more prone to crime and urban blight over the years. There mall closed in 1995 and it was razed in 1998. The only thing that remains is the Azalea Garden Center which is located at the same spot as the former garden centre for Woolworth's.
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