One panoramic shot, split into three for resolution purposes. Section one, above. Click each to enlarge.
And here’s the full image, low res.
Typical suburban shopping strip. Anchors (Sears, Kresge, Walgreens), plus the regional grocery store (Kwik Chef), and the mom & pop shops.
I confess, I think that me in the background spending my $3 to buy an airplane model in Kresge while mom and dad were at the grocery.
Love it. Especially the kissing Buicks. Looks like it was a warm day.
Latest models are the 68 Mustang and Cutlass, and the 68 Bonneville brougham 4 dr. hardtop. Any of which would be nice to have, today, along with the 66 Mercury Parklane 4 dr. hardtop. Interesting to see the 63 Bulck 2 dr sedan face to face with a 4 dr sedan The 2 dr sedan was quite rare. one must have really wanted a full size Buick, to have bought the entry level LeSabre model. for the damr money one could have gotten a slightly better equipped Skylark, if it had to be a Buick. Or, Well appointed, but not loaded, Pontiac Catalina, or a Chevy Impala.
Could that be an aqua ’69 Mercury in picture 2? Parked next to the blue ’68 Mustang. Not sure what the gold colored car on the other side of it is.
The gold car looks like a ’66 or ’67 Chevy II.
Yes it’s a “69” .
I’d say the golden car on the 1st picture is a 1968 Olds 98 Coupe, so my guess for the year is naturally 68 at least, but probably not much more than that since there are still 50s cars and generally not a ton of other 68+ models.
The odds of two ’63 LeSabre sedans, especially one being the rather rare 2-door, sitting like that face-to-face are shockingly low. I’m trying to come up with an explanation other than pure coincidence.
Oh wait! There’s a brown ’64 LeSabre sedan coming to join them!
Here’s the same shopping center today.
This is the former Sears Town Shopping Center in Clearwater, Florida. It’s now known as Clearwater Plaza (the Sears store is long gone) – at the northeast corner of Missouri Ave. & Lakeview Rd. in Clearwater.
Ironically enough, this shopping center opened exactly 60 years ago this week; grand opening was on Oct. 31, 1963.
White MN12 Cougar in the today shot!
Funny enough I’m pretty sure I was at this very shopping center at the corner gas station, Missouri ave was the route my Dad took to avoid the bottleneck roundabout in/out of Clearwater Beach directly when we’d vacation there.
Nice work from Eric703! This is the closest I had gotten in Florida (a mid-1960s ad with matching store names):
As to the cars—a great assortment there…fun to peek closely at this:
When I have ss time, I will play “Name the Car.” I can see so many that I can identify by make, model and year. Great photo! Thanks.
Beautiful photo. Probably made by the driver of the 1963 Buick (4 doors) who has the passenger inside looking at him.
It’s difficult to choose one of these cars.
Today’s cars are all similar, expensive and poor. This photo leads me to think so.
This is c. 1968, and yet the oldest car I see is a ’60 Cadillac. All cars of the ’50s (over 8 years old) have been wiped out. And this is no road salt Florida. So I’m guessing Clearwater is a fairly affluent area?
Are any of the stores shown in the pictures still there? (I’m guessing no).
The newspaper ad for Taft Shopping Plaza: I’d like to meet the commercial artists who create, draw, and design things like this. I don’t think they get enough credit!
Came here to say this. Today, you would see plenty of 10-, 20-, even 30-yr old cars in the lot. My 180,000-mile Tacoma is 23 years old. No major issues yet.
Love it! Anytown, USA, circa 1968!!
Not quite Anytown; in California by 1968 one would have seen a LOT more imports than that solitary Beetle. On the other hand, one “SUV”, the Scout, and no pickups. That is very representative of 1968 America outside a rural area.
In a direct reflection of automotive trends of the time even the building architecture is long low and wide!
What’s the red sedan under Dean’s? It looks like it has a mid 70s rear bumper.
Only one Mustang and one Beetle? No other foreign make?
I think that is a ’67 Olds 88. The rear bumper is confusing, but it might be the car next to it.
See the roof of an “International Travelall” close to the “Sears” and “Keys” , signs.
Can only (amazingly) find one “VW”.
The yellow “Riviera” is the one I want..
Nice pic, I can remember places like this .
One thing you don’t see anymore (in my experience) is local or maybe regional department stores (or even markets).
My Grandfather ran a “mom and pop” grocery store, but it was small, I’m not counting that though…I’m talking about larger stores that were regional or local.
We lived in Burlington, Vt. starting in 1965 (we moved around a lot in my parents’ younger years…actually moved away in 1969 and back in 1975). They had a JC Penny store downtown, but at the head of Church St. (the main shopping area I guess even now, though I haven’t lived there in 43 years) was Abernathy’s which I think was local. There was also a Jupiter and a Center’s. Winooski had Forest Hills (a discount store) and in South Burlington was Gaynes (my sister’s friend’s father was a principal in that store) and though Grand Union was regional supermarket, we also had Grand Way, which I guess was regional Department store. I’m pretty sure all those are gone now.
Even the city I’ve lived in 1900 miles away in the sunbelt seemed to have many more regional stores (markets and department stores) when I moved here 40 years ago. I can’t recall them all, but Gellman’s used to be on 6th St. (main road downtown known for music venues) and I’m pretty sure there were several others on Congress (likely the historic main road downtown in Austin, goes from the Capitol south crossing the Colorado river. Several supermarket chains (and even drug stores) have disappeared, we used to have Scaggs Alpha-Beta, Tom Thumb Paige (which became an Albertsons, but that chain has since left Austin), Warehouse Grocery, Appletree (used to be Safeway). Now, other than “ethnic” grocery stores (primarily Mexican but also Indian and Oriental) we really only have 4 major grocery store chains (Walmart of course, and Target , Whole Foods (which originated here), HEB (a regional grocery store based in San Antonio), Randall’s (a Houston based chain who carries some brands that remind me of Safeway), Sprouts (mostly carries produce and healthy food), and Fresh Plus. Department stores are similar, we’ve of course lost Sears, Montgomery Wards, K Mart, and Discount Pharmacy, but used to also have Sound Warehouse, Frisco Electronics, Scarbourogh’s, Joske’s, Foley’s and Dillards. Similarly most local hardware stores have gone away, along with (sadly) machine shops.
Also, there were far fewer chain restaurants (most of them were hambuger, pizza, taco and similar…there were also more local fast food restaraunts though most have disappeared but food trucks have filled in much of the void).
I used to think that as the population increased, the variety of stores would do similarly, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here…there are more locations around the city but sadly there doesn’t seem to be as much variety as the local stores carried. I put this down to inventory cost, which I know is a big drain, but it also serves to have me ordering more by the internet to get the selection I’m looking for (at the cost of being able to inspect the item before I buy it, other than pictures). I’ve gotten past the edict to “buy local” for many things, maybe I’m extra picky but I can’t find the variety I’d like (even with 10 times the population, we’re over a million now).
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