These Walls: Northpark Mall in Oklahoma City

By Chambers, Kelley | THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 29, 2009 | Go to article overview

These Walls: Northpark Mall in Oklahoma City


Chambers, Kelley, THE JOURNAL RECORD


In the 1950s, Thomas Morris had a vision of growth as he looked at the undeveloped areas in northwest Oklahoma City.

Morris could see a shift as city residents began to migrate north from downtown when looking for a more suburban lifestyle. He began purchasing land north of Hefner Avenue and N. May Avenue to build homes. But for people to move to an area, he knew they would also want and need retail.

Morris was advised to hold onto key corners along May Avenue for future retail development. At the time when Morris began building, the Stonegate and Camelot housing additions and many of the major roads in the area were still dirt and gravel.

In 1967, Morris purchased the land at NW 122nd Street and May Avenue that would be the future home of Northpark Mall. The land for Northpark was bought for $2,500 an acre. He already had built his first shopping center, Village Plaza, at May Avenue and NW 109th Street.

The single-level Northpark was finished in 1973 with the 26,000- square-foot Safeway grocery store and the four-screen Shambourg's Commonwealth Theatres serving as anchors.

The mall was built with a flat roof and masonry exterior with large windows in many of the retail spaces and covered entryways.

In 1977, the young mall expanded, and by 1980, Northpark was full of retailers. …

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