Remember when, Chattanooga? Highland Plaza was Chattanooga's first suburban shopping center

This photo from the early 1960s was taken a few years after Highland Plaza opened in 1958. Photo courtesy of ChattanoogaHistory.com

Before there were shopping malls in Chattanooga, there were shopping centers.

Sixty-two years ago, in 1958, Highland Plaza in Hixson opened as Chattanooga's first suburban shopping center.

Located at the intersection of Hixson Pike and Ashland Terrace, Highland Plaza originally had echoes of a downtown shopping district with two five-and-dime stores, two department stores, an auto and housewares store and more.

This photo, which dates back to 1962, is part of the Perry Mayo collection of images at ChattanoogaHistory.com, a website dedicated to preserving vintage documentary photographs of the Scenic City.

Today, Highland Plaza is still an important part of the Hixson retail district, although it now blends into a miles-long commercial corridor that also includes Northgate Mall, which opened in 1972.

Northgate Mall, which is in transition, has been in the news this week as