Montgomery Ward Grand Opening

November 15th, 2016, 10:48H · Topics: Around Town, Business · Print

“Here is the opening of the new Wards Store at Normandy Mall. It was a high school band playing but I don’t remember which.” LS

It must have been quite the big deal. The Montgomery Ward opening was preceded by Jacksonville’s first three malls, the Gateway Center in 1958, the Philips Highway Plaza in 1960 and the Roosevelt Square in 1961. The information that I have found varies but the 107,400 square foot Montgomery Ward appears to have opened around 1964 as a stand-alone store followed by the fully enclosed Normandy Mall opening a number of years later.  Montgomery Ward changed it’s name to Jefferson Ward in 1980 then back to Montgomery Ward in 1986, closing for good in 1988. In 1996 the former Ward space was purchased and renovated into a Winn-Dixie Marketplace with storefronts for eight businesses. The new shopping center was renamed the Normandy Village.


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  1. 1 Susan February 18th, 2017 21:42H

    I would wager that this is probably Paxon high school that is performing. Paxon is closeby and Normandy Mall was the place to go for many of us who lived in the Paxon area. Also – since it’s black and white, we can’t tell what the uniform colors are, but Paxon is Blue and Gold (with a little white thrown in)

  2. 2 Jim Gray May 11th, 2017 21:40H

    There was a separate but attached building behind the north end of the mall that housed a Woolco store. Later, Sam’s Club occupied that building before it moved to Argyle Forrest on Youngerman Circle.

  3. 3 Steve mullins May 20th, 2017 10:19H

    I worked at Jefferson ward from 82 to 85, when they closed. Loved that job.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More