Houston history: What the Galleria looked like in 1970

The mall that offers more than just a shopping experience


HOUSTON – For 50 years, the Galleria has been a family destination for many Houstonians and visitors from all around the world.

Credited as Texas’ largest shopping center, the Galleria consists of more than 400 fine stores and 60 eateries.

And, it’s more than just a shopping destination. The mall serves as a source of entertainment, hospitality and office space.

Join us for the 31st annual Ice Spectacular this Saturday, November 9, at 6 pm. Enjoy a musical performance by Gyth Rigdon, a dazzling ice skating show, fireworks and the lighting of our 55-foot signature tree!

Posted by The Galleria on Monday, November 4, 2019

Located in the Uptown district of Houston, the indoor shopping center was developed by Houstonian Gerald D Hines, who took inspiration from Italy’s oldest active shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Related: Remembering Houston real estate icon Gerald D. Hines and his 7 signature properties you can find in Texas

On Nov.16, 1970, the 600,000 square-foot development opened its doors to the public with its anchor store, Neiman Marcus.

At the time, the mall consisted of the Post Oak Tower and an indoor ice-skating rink, becoming the first Texas mall with an ice rink.

In 1971, the mall added lodging and opened the Houston Oaks Hotel, now the Westin Oaks.

Throughout the years, the Galleria has expanded in size, adding multiple wings and a few former anchors including Frost Brothers, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Field’s, Foley’s and Macy’s at Sage.

The mall even served as a backdrop for our very own Houston Life from 2016 to 2018.

Today, the Galleria continues to entertain more than 30 million visitors each year. It houses a variety of fine stores, restaurants, two high-rise hotels, two swimming pools and even a Little Galleria play area.



About the Author:

Carlos Hernandez is the Digital Content Specialist for KPRC 2. He is a content guru for all things to do in and around Houston, historical pieces, foodie finds and local guides. Carlos was previously a lifestyle producer for KPRC 2's talk show "Houston Life."