Lindale Plaza: A Look Back at the Beginning of Lindale Mall [PHOTOS]
The northeast Cedar Rapids shopping center known as Lindale Mall has been welcoming shoppers for decades. However, its history goes back well beyond an enclosed mall. Let's look at the way it was in the beginning.
Lindale's history can be traced all the way back to the mid-1950s when Younkers wanted to open a store in the bustling downtown area. When that didn't pan out, Sears & Roebuck and Younkers combined efforts on a grand plan for a large shopping area somewhere else in the city. They moved fast.
By the fall of 1956, plans had been solidified. The big shopping center would cover nearly 41 acres on the northeast side of the city and would be called Lindale Plaza. In September of 1959, ground was broken on the project.
Lindale Plaza took shape quickly. By the complex's dedication in mid-September of 1960, 23 stores were already open. They included Killian's East, May's Drug, Seiferts, S.S. Kresge 5 & 10, and a 3-story Younkers. Just three weeks later, Sears opened its 2-level store on the east end of Lindale Plaza. The shopping center would also become home to an Eagle Food Center grocery store and other businesses, as well as longtime favorite The Bishop Buffet.
By 1967, Lindale Plaza also had a movie theatre. The Plaza Theatre opened in the summer of 1967 and would close in late 1987.
In the late 1970s, Lindale Plaza would slowly turn into Lindale Mall as the shopping center was enclosed. It began with the north central entrance in 1977. The following year $2 million was spent to renovate the roof, adding more stores and a food court.
During that same time period, Lindale Lane was created in open space from a vacant store and the concourse of what had been the plaza's lower level. It added nine more stores and was called Lindale Lane. Twenty more stores were added in what was the basement level of Younkers. That portion was called Lindale Square.
By the late fall of 1980, all the work was done and the shopping complex was completely enclosed. It was officially renamed Lindale Mall.
In 1981, Von Maur moved into the former Killian's East location at the mall. Today, it is the mall's only anchor, with Younkers and Sears both closing within two months of each other in 2018.
Over the last 30 years or so, Lindale Mall has undergone several renovations, nearly all of them on the Collins Road side of the mall.
More than 62 years after it all began, Lindale Mall has approximately 90 businesses in the mall and its surrounding footprint. Let's take a look back at how it all started:
A Look Back at Lindale Plaza in Cedar Rapids
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