Lloyd Center Mall, a piece of Portland’s history, may soon be gone. It won’t be forgotten

Here is an aerial view looking northeast toward the Lloyd Center Mall in 1964. OPB

Here is an aerial view looking northeast toward the Lloyd Center Mall in 1964.

OPB / City of Portland Archives

The Lloyd Center Mall in Portland was built 61 years ago, but the Texas-based commercial real estate firm that owns the mall owes more than $110 million to lenders, and the property will soon be repossessed. The mall has been steadily losing businesses and shoppers, and may soon be torn down and redeveloped.

When it was first built, the Lloyd Center mall was considered the future of shopping. More than 5,000 people attended its opening ceremony, and its original owners claimed it was, at the time, the largest shopping center in the world.

We asked for your memories about the Lloyd Center. Here are a few:

Estelle from Portland

“When I was very young and they were building the mall, I remember my dad taking us as close as he could to the construction site, pointing down right in front of us and saying, ‘And down there there’s going to be an ice skating rink,’ and I just thought: ‘Wow, I can’t believe it. Imagine an ice skating rink in Portland!’ I was so excited And to this day I can hear my dad’s voice and I can remember the excitement of that moment.”

Leslie Montag from Lake Oswego

“It was a big deal in 1960 when our mom took my sisters and me to the grand opening of the Lloyd Center. Governor Hatfield cut the ribbon and Ella Fitzgerald sang “A Tisket A Tasket.” I was 12 years old. My fond remembrance of the Lloyd Center was before the dome covered the area. The Aladdin restaurant overlooking the ice arena was beautiful. You wanted to shop or at least look in the beautiful decorated area. The midnight sales were an annual event. I remember all of this because for years I found myself moonlighting at the original Meier & Frank store.”

Here is an aerial view looking east toward the Lloyd Center Mall in 1964.

Here is an aerial view looking east toward the Lloyd Center Mall in 1964.

OPB / City of Portland Archives

Susan Anderson from Redmond

“What I remember about Lloyd Center is when the Clydesdale horses came. There were many, many old people who cried when they put it on because they had used that kind of horse on their farm. And when they moved the entire Lloyd vibrated.”

Monica from Lebanon Oregon

“Growing up in Portland, Lloyd Center was iconic for me. It’s where I learned how to ice skate. My dad used to take me there for daddy-daughter dates. I remember buying one of my first outfits in the gift shop there and always being excited for red vines. So above all else, that ice rink is what I will miss from the bottom of my heart and be so sad that I can’t share with my children.”

Ron Sample

“I met my wife Denise at Lloyd Center Mall in the ice skating rink back in 1985. We were high school sweethearts and this year we will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe they are tearing down that mall.”

Alistair Cooke

“I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2014 and I live very close to the Lloyd Center. I was so thrilled when I moved here because I’m an avid figure skater, an adult figure skater and I loved going to and still love going to the Lloyd Center ice rink even though it has been reduced in size. It’s still been a wonderful place to skate. I have my lessons there, I have wonderful friends and colleagues. So it will be very sad to see this go when the mall closes.”

Hannah from Portland

“I used to go there as a middle schooler with friends on the weekend and we walked around buying little things at the different stores, getting food at the food court, people watching. And then in my high school years, I had a job at Lloyd Center, worked there for many years in high school, college and thereafter, and it was a community area with lots of people from the neighborhood, seeing people that I grew up with… until now I don’t even want to go to Lloyd Center anymore. It just seems like it’s falling apart and it’s dead. I’ll miss it. But those were the good old days.”

https://www.opb.org/article/2021/11/12/portland-oregon-lloyd-center-mall-redeveloment-memories/