A layout of the mall as it was configured at its late '60s dedication. In September 1968, PLAZA LAS AMERICAS encompassed nearly 800,000 leasable square feet and was anchored by a "New Look" Penney's and two PR-based chains; Velasco and Gonzales Padin. The complex housed seventy-nine stores and services.

The original mall was anchored by one of the largest J.C. Penney operations in the entire chain. It vied for prominence with a store at Concord, California's SUNVALLEY CENTER and was slightly larger than Penney's locations at SOUTHCENTER {Tukwila, Washington} and YORKTOWN CENTER {Lombard, Illinois}.
Photo from http://www.80grados.net 

An interior view, showing the PLAZA Penney's mallway entrance.
Photo from Nostalgia Sobre Puerto Rico In the '70s and '80s

The mallway entrance of the center's 2-level Gonzales Padin.
Photo from Nostalgia Sobre Puerto Rico In the '70s and '80s


  1. Velasco and Gonzalez Padín are indeed incorrect. Woolworth was a bit more to the right, making space for La Esquina Famosa; a clothing store. The vertical corridor on the left had a pharmacy (Farmacia Gonzalez), a hardware store, a supermarket and the Plaza I & II theaters; the largest in Puerto Rico at that time.

    Other stores were La Cosa (a curio shop), La Tienda Sin Nombre (a shoe store), Benny's Toys, Naviera (fine crystal), Thekes (bookstore), Rahola and Cinefoto (photography shops), Florsheim... a post office, La Casa De Las Telas (sewing store), a travel agency and medical/business offices on a second floor above the westernmost stores. IIRC, there was a Banco de Ponce branch there as well, later joined by a First Federal Savings Bank branch.

    Gonzalez Padin had two floors and Penney's (this was before the "JC" was added) had three floors.

  2. Sings,

    Thanks so much for confirming that the locations of the two junior anchors (Gonzales Padin and Velasco) are not correct in this site PLAZA plan. Could you possibly indicate the correct placements of the stores?

    Please forgive my candor here, but stores in the retail chain (then based in New York City) had been known as (quote-unquote) "J.C. Penney" since at least 1914. The official store nameplate -and print advertisement logo- in the early years would have read "J.C. Penney Co."

    By the 1950s, stores were being branded as both "J.C. Penney Co." and "Penney's". In 1963, the well-known "Penneys" (without the apostrophe) logo and store nameplate appeared. This is the branding that the PLAZA store originally had.

    Thanks again for posting. Cheers,

  3. The Gonzales Padin and Velasco stores are inverted in the diagram; GP should be the corner location and Velasco should be the one on the right.

    I have recently seen a pic of Plaza's Penneys with the logo visible; I'll post a link as soon as I've found it.

  4. Thanks again, I went in and corrected the 1968 and 1979 mall maps, so the 2 "junior anchors" are now in the correct places.

    I tried and could never find any sort of photo of the PLAZA "Penney's / JC Penney" either old or new. It would be interesting to see one.

    The original store would have had what is generally known as the "New Look" ("Penneys") [sans-apostrophe] logo. This made its debut in mid-1963 and was in use until August 1971.

    Then, the company started using the "JCPenney" logo that was the standard until it was updated earlier this year.

    I do not know, but I would imagine that, maybe in the early '70s, the original "Penneys" logo at the PLAZA store would have been updated with the 1971-2011 ("JCPenney") nameplate...

    Being as how the PLAZA store is the entire chain's flagship, they may have installed the brand-new logo/nameplate earlier this year...but I am just supposing.

    By the way, if you would like to see these J.C. Penney/Penney's logos, you can go to the MALL HALL OF FAME site (click on the green link at the beginning of this -SHOPPING MALL MUSEUM- site).

    Then, click on the "A History of the Department Store" link (at the MALL HALL OF FAME) and scroll and scroll till you get to the "NATIONAL STORES" section. J.C. Penney is the first chain chronicled in this section.

    Thanks much for posting the info.