It is hard to believe that Kingsway Center used to be THE mall in Midland, long before Midland Park Mall even stuck a shovel in the ground to be built.
The name of the former mall was Dellwood Mall which had several stores in it and actually had the indoor part of the mall open.
Shops not only opened out on the parking lot but you could also access all the stores from inside the mall.
Some of the stores that used to be in the Dellwood Mall were Dunlap’s, and you can still see the arched entrances for Dunlap’s on the current building. That is the northeast corner of the shopping center.
There was also a grocery store called M System that occupied the west end of the mall and later it became a bowling alley before Richard Milburn Academy and the bingo hall were put in that space.
I grew up on Thomas, which is the street on the west side of the shopping center, so as a kid I used to walk over to the mall all the time and play on the coin-operated horses and go to the soda fountain area of Kresge’s, which was what K-Mart was known as before changing its name in 1977 and even get some Ice Cream at Baskin-Robbins which is now a barber shop.
There was also a Firestone in the part that is now Family Dollar, and Thornton’s was on the backside where the health department and senior center are now.
This was quite the wonderland for a kid that grew up just a few feet from the mall and it is sad for me to see that it is just a shell of what it used to be back in its heyday in the 50s to the 70s.