20 April 2013

Wonderland of the Americas, San Antonio, TX

A relic of retail

-UPDATE-  (Source)

The abundance of indoor shopping malls on San Antonio's 410 Loop has always amazed me. Between the airport on the northside and my sister's home on Lackland Air Force Base, I must have counted five or so that we whizzed past, with Ingram Park and North Star malls being by far the most impressive. But this is one that I didn't even notice.

-UPDATE-  1- The atrium area close to the “amphitheater.”  (Source)  2 to 4- Scenes of the inside of the mall.  (Source)

On our way back to the airport after one of my many trips to the Alamo City, we decided to stop somewhere a little different for a bite to eat.  We turned off of the superhighway and into the parking lot of yet another mall. There was this huge, plain block of a Montgomery Ward staring at me that was attached to a smallish, nondescript shopping mall. We took a quick look inside the center's dark and empty corridors, and I was actually rather impressed by one unique feature of the place- the two level amphitheater and gardens integrated onto the northwest side of the facility.

The Crossroads of San Antonio Mallmanac ca. 2000. View the full PDF version here.

Inside was gloriously old school- there were dark brown and extra glossy ceramic tiles underfoot topped with vaulted, teal colored truss ceilings overhead.  The flags of various central and south American countries provided a needed pop of color.  It was dusty, musty and all around just plain forgotten.  I loved it.

-UPDATE-  1- The outdoor area at the “amphitheater.”  (Source)  2- Wonderland Shopping Center/ The Crossroads of San Antonio/ Wonderland of the Americas from above.  (Source)

Wonderland of the Americas opened in 1961 as Wonderland Shopping Center with Montgomery Ward as the main anchor.  A second anchor was added in 1964, first a Rhodes Brothers, then Liberty House and finally a Frost Brothers before hosting as it does Burlington to this day.  The facility changed its name to Crossroads of San Antonio in 1987 but was still experiencing an exodus of tenants. In 2010, new owners rechristened the complex Wonderland of the Americas, a nod to its original incarnation.

-UPDATE-  Wonderland of the Americas lease plan ca. 2023. View the full PDF version here.


  1. I just found your website and maybe you will be interested in my posts from this mall. I added your blog to my link list, check out my blog Louisiana and Texas Southern Malls and if you can add my link. Here are my posts from the Wonderland of the Americas Mall. http://southernretail.blogspot.com/search/label/Wonderland%20Mall

  2. Half of the Ward's building was torn down for a SuperTarget in 2003. I'd recommend checking the Wikipedia article as the mall has some pretty interesting history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderland_of_the_Americas