Lakewood Center Takes Shape, October 1950
Joe Eichenbaum, the Center’s first general manager (far left) and architect Albert C. Martin (center left), discuss the Lakewood Center plan in 1950 with representatives from the May Company. (Tom May is on the far right.)
Eichenbaum later recalled that the idea of a suburban shopping center was so new that many retailers didn’t want to invest in it. “Retailers,” he said, “feared tougher competition in a mall. No one wanted to come in first because it was so new.” Department store companies also feared taking business from their profitable downtown locations.
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