The Mall at Green Hills Mallmanac ca. 1998. View the full PDF version here.
Bucking the usual trend, Green Hills is not floating in a sea of asphalt just off of one of the city's many criss-crossing interstates. Neither is it found in any of the endless sprawling suburbs. It is located in a rather dense urban area just to the southwest of downtown. The roads leading up to the Mall at Green Hills are relatively narrow and rather heavely congested, but the scenery involving some of Nashville's finest old mansions to its most exclusive retail offerings is definitely worth the trouble.
The Mall at Green Hills after the Castner Knott/Hecht's relocation.
Green Hills isn't very impressive from the outside at first sight, but looks can definitely be deceiving in this case. Inside the rather unassuming red brick walls I was impressed to find genuinely classy and fine decor. When I first visited in 1998, the mall had yet to become the hub of Nashville's most upscale shopping, but I could already tell that the more affluent demographic was what the mall was turning their focus toward. The changes that came later were, in my eyes at least, imminent.
L- The Dillard's anchor, originally Cain-Sloan, facing the front side of the mall. R- The Mall at Green Hills' former main entrance facing Martin-Abbott Road. No longer visible, this outlet now serves as the entranceway to Nordstrom's recent addition.
The Mall at Green Hills opened in 1955 as your average post World War II strip center. In the latter part of the following decade, Nashville-based Castner Knott was opened as the growing center's first major anchor while, at the same time, its first enclosed area was built. A few years later, the previously mentioned Cain-Sloan added a free-standing location. In the early nineties, just after Dillard's took over the Nashville-based chain, Cain-Sloan was finally connected to the rest of the mall. A diverse variety of fashion stores and restaurants were added over the years in addition to a bit more anchor shuffling. Castner Knott was purchased by Hecht's with the new to Nashville store soon building a brand new space just to the south of the existing one. Subsequently, the old Castner Knott/Hecht's space was developed into additional retail square footage.
The Mall at Green Hills with its footprint and anchor layout as of this writing.
Whenever making the two hour trek from Huntsville to Nashville for whatever reason, a stop at The Mall at Green Hills was always included. Their Cheesecake Factory became a post Pride tradition. It is a unique center with an exclusive selection, and, though one of Nashville's oldest shopping centers, always seems to stay just ahead of the rest of the competition.