Sakowitz Bros. of Houston, Texas was a GORGEOUS department store
Retropolis has been celebrating the fifteen happiest states in the United States. Texas is number fifteen. That doesn't mean that it's at the bottom of a list. It's still happier than 35 other states in the country.
As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, one of my happiest activities was strolling the malls with my mom or with friends. Typical for a teenage girl, yes, but even more typical for a Texas teenage girl. Texas is so hot that malls are very much a part of Texas culture. They are a great way to cool off while checking out what's new. According to Wikipedia, the Dallas - Forth Worth Metroplex has "more stores and shopping centers per capita than any United States city or metropolitan area." (see Wikipedia link below)
Some malls and shopping centers in Texas are gone, such as Prestonwood Mall, which had an ice skating rink in the center and some great department stores, including Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, and more. Unfortunately, it became TOO much of a teenage hangout, plus larger malls in the area that opened after Prestonwood Mall created too much competition. Dallas used to have a Sakowitz Department store too, which, as I recall, was a large department store that stood on it's own, rather than being part of a shopping mall.
I found this video on YouTube of the original Sakowitz Bros. department store in Houston. I had never seen it before. Wasn't it beautiful! Five stunning stories! I loved the second 1950's modern building just as much. More Sakowitz stores opened elsewhere over time, but the stores all went out of business by 1990. The only store left with the Sakowitz name is Sakowitz Furs, a fur store in Embassy Plaza in Houston.
Although many malls and shopping centers in the US have come and gone over the years, the first self-contained shopping center in the United States is still doing very well. Highland Park Village first opened in Dallas in 1931. It has classic boutiques, such as Chanel, Hermes, and Harry Winston, as well as newer boutiques, such as Tory Burch and Jimmy Choo. This is what Highland Park Village looks like today: http://www.hpvillage.com/
Happy Texas shopping, ya'll!
Thank you to houstonartsandmedia for creating this video of the history of a beautiful old Houston department store and for sharing it on YouTube.
Here is a listing of malls in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex with the year that each mall opened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shopping_malls_in_the_Dallas–Fort_Worth_Metroplex
The history of Sakowitz: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakowitz