In my previous (August, 2015) posting on Parkway Plaza, I was a little dismissive of it, which was wrong. When this Plaza was built, in 1961, it was poised to take advantage of the fire hose of traffic heading into Kingsport from the Southwest Virginia/Southeast Kentucky region. Well, then I-26 (completed in 2003) went in, bypassing Kingsport and taking the fire hose with it.
In an article written by Frank Creasy for the Kingsport Times-News edition of June 4, 1961, Greene Investments announced that the new Parkway Plaza was scheduled to open that October and would feature anchor stores Kroger, Grants, and W.B. Greene Ladies Fashion Shop. The Plaza actually opened in November and included One Hour Martinizing #4, Reba’s Coiffures, Potter’s Barber Shop, Armour Drug, Top Value Stamp Store and Dutch Oven Bakery.
Kroger and Armour Drug store kept their downtown locations, also. The other Kroger was located approximately where the church-owned building sits across from Mafair UMC at Prospect Drive. Armour Drug had their store a little to the east of that building.
For its time, it was a happening place.