Apache started the Reagan era without one of it's
biggest original anchors, Montgomery Wards. Wards left prior to the end of
their lease in 1979, and subletted to Furniture Barn for a while.
A large chunk of Wards was renovated into smaller spaces, which would
be occupied by Connco Shoes, Get It For Less, and Cost Cutters, among
When semi-upscale department store Van Arsdell's folded in the early
80s, Home Base liquidation center moved into its space. Original anchor GC Murphy was also soon gone, successfully replaced by
True Value hardware.
True Value in the 1980s (courtesy Apache Plaza)
In addition to the Wards renovations, the mall began work on some of their most significant physical changes, including an exterior overhaul, new
indoor lighting, and brand new floor tile in the center court.
The court fountain also received a major facelift.
ceiling lights, prior to the fountain & floor renovation:
80's ladies lounging by the new fountain:
Despite the shift in some of its major retailers, life appeared rosy at
Apache in 1984, until the fateful April evening when a tornado tore
into the South end of the mall, injuring many, and causing millions of
dollars worth of damages. Of particular note is the destruction
of the beautiful clerestory colored windows that rounded the central
speculate that the mall never recovered from the setback caused by the
tornado, as Apache remained closed for several months. (You can
read more about the tornado here.)
The mall persevered, repairing the
damage and replacing many lost tenants, and launching a Grand Re-Opening
on November 15th, 1984.
Apache celebrated a belated Silver Anniversary, and on July 30th, 1987,
Apache held a ribbon-cutting ceremony of grand proportions for the
celebrated new Herberger's department
store. Herberger's breathed new life into the mall, doing big business. Apache also drew big crowds by hosting
antique shows, gun shows, truck shows (you get the idea), among other
events. A 1988 article
details Apache's many new changes.
looking up as new merchants continued to move in.
Click below to view article from 1985
(courtesy Apache Plaza):
The mall remained at practically full occupancy (to view a list of
Apache's merchants in 1989, click here).
end of the decade life at Apache Plaza appeared to be on the mend, but
the coming decade would prove otherwise.