The first mall in Phoenix was Park Central Mall, which opened at the corner of Central and Osborn Road in 1957. It wasn't long before the Christown Mall followed in 1961, which was notable for being the first indoor, air-conditioned mall in the state.
Soon, other malls began sprouting up all over the valley:
Maryvale Mall - opened 1960
Tri City Mall, Mesa - opened 1968
Los Arcos Mall - opened 1969
But the grandest of all was Metrocenter Mall, which opened in Phoenix in 1973. The mall was located in the northern part of town, just west of Interstate 17 between Peoria Ave and Dunlap Ave. It's worth noting that in the early '70s, I-17 only went up to about Camp Verde. It didn't connect to Flagstaff until 1976, and even then it was just a two-lane highway between Camp Verde and Flagstaff.
|Metrocenter Mall under construction in 1972.|
Image Credit: city-data.com
Metrocenter was a record-breaker in many ways. With over 1.4 million square feet of space, it was both the largest mall in Arizona and the first two-story mall in Arizona. A $21 million dollar loan was granted to build the mall - the largest commercial loan in the state's history (up until that time).
|Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, AZ.|
Image Credit: barbarastew-art.com