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The Crossroads of History

Remembering retail haven Crossroads Mall



 



Back in the day, shoppers who wanted to hit the mall had a couple of choices. Penn Square, which opened in 1960, was all open-air … but that led some customers to complain that it was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Shepherd Mall, built in 1964, let shoppers browse in a climate-controlled indoor space. But it, like Penn Square, was on what was then Oklahoma City’s north side.
 

Then came Crossroads Mall. The name was chosen because of the nearby intersections of I-35 and I-240, two major crossroads of Oklahoma City. It opened on Feb. 17, 1974, and the new mall provided a much-needed shopping destination for residents in that area, while drawing visitors from not just the metro, but across the state.

“As a third grader in 1976, I remember attending a birthday party at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor at Crossroads,” says Oklahoma City resident Starla Jones. “It was located right inside the front door by Montgomery Ward. They brought out a mountain of French fries and ice cream, and the ice cream cones turned upside down were made to look like clown hats. I have so many good memories of Crossroads during those years.”

When it was built, Crossroads Mall was one of the largest construction projects in the state. It was also among the 10 largest shopping malls in the country, with four major anchor stores that included John A. Brown, Dillard’s, Montgomery Ward and JCPenney.

“I remember my mother always shopped at JCPenney and Montgomery Ward, which my dad referred to as ‘Monkey Ward,’” Jones recalls with a laugh. “When I was a kid, I remember standing in the middle of the mall waiting in line to see Santa. Then as a teen, I recall throwing change in the fountain and going to the game room and driving the bumper cars. We would also walk through Hickory Farms and try out the samples they had sitting all over the store.”

Eventually, the mall went into decline. Crime and safety concerns in the late 1990s became an issue, as well as the loss of major anchor stores including Foley’s and then Macy’s. An attempt at re-branding as “Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads” even failed.

“I had not been to Crossroads for about five or six years,” Jones says. “The last time I went, very few stores were open, and I could tell it had seen its better days. It really was sad to watch its slow death through the years.”

The once magnificent mall known as Crossroads closed its doors permanently on Oct. 31, 2017.

 

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Calendar

February 2018

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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
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Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
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Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
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Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
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Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
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Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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415 Couch Dr.
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Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
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Cost: Free with admission

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415 Couch Dr.
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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Cost: Free with admission

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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
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Cost: Free

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Cost: Free

Where:
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Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
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In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
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More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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415 Couch Dr.
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
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www.onthechisholmtrail.com
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View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe are transforming the second floor of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom with the multisensory installation Wake. This exhibit highlights the interplay of water,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom
1146 N Broadway Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
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Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

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Website »

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A world premiere theatre piece hits Oklahoma with an inter-dimensional art show: “The Cowboy Who Fell From The Sky” - an immersive, post-apocalyptic, pop-up folk concert....

Cost: $20

Where:
OK Shakespeare In The Park On Paseo
2920 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »


Contact Name: Michael Todd
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe are transforming the second floor of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom with the multisensory installation Wake. This exhibit highlights the interplay of water,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom
1146 N Broadway Drive
Ok, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s newest art exhibit, “Prairie Moderns: The Artwork of Don Holladay,” will open in the Nesbitt Gallery with a reception that is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Nesbitt Gallery
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1301
Contact Name: Layne Thrift
Website »

More information

A world premiere theatre piece hits Oklahoma with an inter-dimensional art show: “The Cowboy Who Fell From The Sky” - an immersive, post-apocalyptic, pop-up folk concert....

Cost: $20

Where:
OK Shakespeare In The Park On Paseo
2920 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »


Contact Name: Michael Todd
Website »

More information

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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