Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Pontiac Mall/Summit Place Mall

Remember this place?

Our readers sure did. We posted this photo of the Summit Place Mall (formerly the Pontiac Mall) to The Oakland Press Facebook page and the nostalgia just burst forth through the floodgates.

Summit Place, formerly known as the Pontiac Mall, was a major shopping destination for the area from its construction in the 1960s until its mid-90s decline. The mall finally closed its concourse in 2009 after a majority of its stores relocated or went out of business.

The mall is notorious for its apparent contribution to the decline of Downtown Pontiac’s commercial appeal, and it subsequently suffered in the wake of the opening of Great Lakes Crossing. It was also the burial site of Little Jenny, an elephant starring in the 1954 film “Elephant Walk” that died during a circus held at the mall site, according to an Associated Press report from 1972.

So it killed downtown Pontiac and there's a dead elephant buried somewhere. It wasn't all bad, though. The mall was a major part in the lives of many residents growing up in Oakland County who shared with us fond memories of people-watching at Kresge's, seeing movies in the theatre, having lunch at Ted's Cafeteria and shopping at Hudson's as well as holding various jobs to help pay the bills.

What memories do you have of this place? Share them with us in the comment section here or via Facebook.

—Andrew Kidd

The Oakland Press wants readers to share old photos of their favorite places while growing up in Oakland County. Make sure to include the location of the picture, the year the photograph was taken and the names of any people in it.
Mail your photos to The Oakland Press c/o Andrew Kidd 48 W. Huron St. Pontiac, MI 48342 or email them to Selected pictures will be featured in the print edition of The Oakland Press.

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