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Harper Woods

Looking Back: Eastland Shopping Center

October 9, 2013

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From the Harper Woods Historical Committee

The Interstate 94 expressway was approved in 1955; two years later, construction on the Eastland Shopping Center, pictured here in its early years, finished and the mall opened.

Eastland has had a rich history. Ground was broken for the site in 1950, but the steel shortages stemming from the Korean War kept construction on the back burner. It cost more than $25 million to build the center that would service the 497,000 people whom planners thought would live within a 15-minute drive in 1960.

Because there was initially a farmhouse on the site, an agreement was made with the farmhouse owners that they could remain in the home until they died.

The mall held a big golden anniversary celebration in 2007.

For more on the city’s history, the lower level of the Harper Woods Public Library houses the Heritage Room, which is full of local historical photos and items. The room is open by appointment and during special events.

Do you own a piece of history? Send us your historically significant photos from around town, and we may be able to feature them in an upcoming edition of Looking Back. Email them to April Lehmbeck at or call (586) 498-1043.

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