There's a rich history behind the Courtland Center mall in Burton. Although the shopping center has certainly seen better days, many retail outlets and businesses have been mall tenants over the last 52 years.

Videographer Daryl Turcott takes a unique look at the mall, then and now, with video and pictures that celebrate the mall's tumultuous history.

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The Early Days

Courtland Center opened as Eastland Mall in October of 1968 and served the Flint area for a full year-and-a-half before Genesee Valley Center opened its doors in Flint Township.

At the time of its opening, there were 47 stores including the three anchor stores which were Woolco, Federal's, and The Fair. There was also a 1,000 seat theater.

Eastland Mall became Courtland Center in 1986. The new name reflected its location,  southeast of the intersection of Court St. and Center Rd in Burton. At the peak of its success, there were 80 stores occupying the mall in 1994.


Over the years, anchor stores have come and gone. The Fair, which originally occupied the anchor position to the west, closed in 1987, making way for Mervyn's. As Mervyn's closed in 2006, allowing JC Penney to move from its original home in the mall to a larger space.

The middle section, originally the home of Federal's Department Store became the Robert Hall Village for a short time before the company's bankruptcy. That space is currently the home of Planet Fitness and a remote branch of Sloan Museum.

Woolco closed in 1983, making way for Crowley's Department Store. Crowley's departure made room for an Old Navy store. When Old Navy relocated, its space was divided up and that space is currently occupied by Staples, a Jo-Ann Superstore, and Dunham's.

Courtland Center Today

Today, many fewer stores occupy space in the 460,000 square foot facility. In the video below, Turcott shares several comparison photos that demonstrate many similarities between the original structure and what currently stands at the intersection of Court and Center.

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