Snooty Upscale Malls

Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, and several other cities I can’t recall…

All have an upscale mall and the mall is called the “Galleria”.

Why is this? Do they all belong to the “Galeria Corporation” which sets up upscale malls across the country, or what?

Dunno, but add Fort Lauderdale to the list of cities with “Galleria” malls. It is upscale, but not nearly the most upscale around here. The real upscale, snooty malls are the ones that nobody but the very rich buys anything from because the prices on everything are through the roof.

This won’t help with the OP’s question, but these things might (like roaches and other unpleasant varmints) be morewidespread than they seem.

I haven’t been in the area for ten years now, but the newest, fanciest mall around where I went to college was the
(wait for it!)
Poughkeepsie Galleria.

And if that isn’t a good working definition of oxymoron, I don’t know what is.


…but when you get blue, and you’ve lost all your dreams, there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans!

I like to refer to it as the “Gallarrhea”

IIRC, the Galleria in Houston may have been the first “Galleria” mall in the US. The story I’ve always heard is that it was named after the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele in Milan, Italy. The Milan Galleria was created in the mid to late 1800s by building a glass roof over two intersecting streets, forming a glass-covered arcade of shops and cafes - prototypical shopping mall. I don’t know for certain if Houston’s was the first “modern” Galleria, but it is certainly the largest (and possibly most successful and upscale) one I’ve been in. It’s possible that as other developers began building their malls in the 1980s, they hoped to ape some of the “Galleria” mystique, and therefore named their malls likewise.

I’m originally from St. Louis and I used to work in the “upscale” mall there. It’s definitely not The Galleria, it’s called Frontenac Plaza. On one end is Saks Fifth Avenue and on the other, Neiman Marcus. In between are all high-end stores like Fendi, Gucci, etc. The Galleria, located less than a mile away, has stores like JC Penney, Sears, The May Company (or do they still call it Famous Barr?), and smaller chain stores like The Gap, Structure, Limited Express, etc. When the Galleria opened, it really hurt Frontenac Plaza’s business, even though the stores are quite different.


“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin

The San Fernando Valley’s archetypal mall, the Sherman Oaks Galleria has closed. However, the Glendale Galleria, which is only about 10 miles away, is thriving.

I don’t believe the two malls had anything to do with each other in the way of ownership.

Kepi’s right, I believe. The Galleria in Houston (1970) was first and that four block area around the intersection of Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer consistently leads the world in retail sales. Thus other mall developers have been inclined to borrow a name associated with success.

Silver City Galleria in Taunton, MA. Not what I would consider an upscale mall, its just your basic two floor, really long mall. Its filled with teeny-boppers on Friday and Saturday nights, and has your basic mall stores.

The upscale mall around here is the Providence Place Mall (would you believe its in Providence?). They’ve got all the expensive stores known to man, a parking garage you actually have to pay to use, and (this one is the killer) they play classical music over the PA system to “discourage teenagers from ‘hanging out’ in the mall.” Its a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to shop there often. Give me the Swansea Mall any day.

Jeremy…

If your red lights are melting, you’ve parked too close.

The St. Louis Galleria has The Disney Store, the Warner Brothers Store, the Gap, Old Navy, etc. It has a couple of “upscale” stores, if you consider “The Sharper Image” upscale, but on the whole the Galleria isn’t all that fancy-shmancy.

Frontenac Plaza is the place to go if you want to blow serious money.

My preferred nickname for the one in White Plains, NY is the “Gonorrhea”.

It’s not that upscale though. At least in comparison to the newly opened and always WASP-enriched Westchester Mall.


If I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I’d be at home with a pack of cigarettes and a short length of hose.

So: not all upscale malls are called “Galleria” and not all “Gallerias” are the most upscale mall around.

Also: the Houston Galleria was the first upscale mall to use that name, and apparently set the paradigm for the others.

“Galleria” still seems to be the more frequent name common to several upscale malls. Here’s the question–What is the name “Galleria”'s snootiness ratio? We have four upscale Gallerias: Dallas, Houston, Ft. L, and Poughkeepsie (all upscale, if not the snootiest) and three malls for the masses: St. Louis, Taunton, and White Plains.

Snootiness ratio: 4/7. Low sample size (n=7), but just a little better than half!

Galleria? How quaint. In southern Denver is The Park Meadows Retail Resort (don’t call it a mall!).


John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. That’s my name too.
Wait, no it isn’t.

Nobody’s mentioned the Cambridgeside Galleria in Boston. Also rather upscale.


Truth does not change because it is, or is not, beleived by a majority of the people.
-Giordano Bruno

The Mall at Short Hills, in Short Hills, NJ. It goes back to the 50’s. Current anchors are Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

By the way, I live in walking distance (15 minute walk) from South Coast Plaza, in Costa Mesa, California. Not called Galleria. For several years (in the 80s and 90s) they had the distinction of being the shopping mall with the highest amount of retail sales per year in the United States. I don’t know if they still have that record.


Quand les talons claquent, l’esprit se vide.
Maréchal Lyautey

There are several Gallarias (Gallariae?) in the DC metro area, I knew at once I was out of my league when I saw the grand piano in the food court. Many of the female shoppers were wearing furs and had a servant (could have been husband I suppose) following close behind carrying all of her packages. $80 T-shirts just aren’t for me…

Our upscale mall isn’t a Galleria either.

It’s a “water tower”.

I’ll confirm Shayna’s report: The Galleria in St. Louis is upscale if your comparison is a strip mall anchored by a K-Mart, but it’s nowhere near the snootiness factor of Plaza Frontenac.

Cleveland (downtown) has two snooty shopping centers: The Galleria and Tower City. Nobody shops at the Galleria, and they can’t keep tenants very long. Everybody shops at Tower City.