Algonquin Manor featured the state's largest bowling alley and in an unusual arrangement. The coffee shop and office were in the middle, surrounded by an astonishing seventy-two lanes.
The Hobby House featured, as was typical at the time, a large slot car racetrack where kids could come in and race their own cars. This one was probably the largest in the city.
Besides the aforementioned Ben Snyder's, Family Fair was the other department store anchor. For years I could not find out any information about the chain. It wasn't until I discovered the website Pleasant Family Shopping that the mystery solved. It was owned by Interstate Department Stores, which also owned Topps and White Front. In Louisville, Family Fair pre-dated K-Mart and Zayre, so in Louisville, at least, the concept of a discount department store seemed fresh and unique. (Imagine that if you can.)
Alas, the store would meet a calamitous demise that would signal the end to the entire shopping center.
One Sunday morning in 1965 (when Louisville still had Blue Laws, so the store was closed) a gas leak in the garden department caused Family Fair to explode and burn to the ground. The handwriting was on the charred wall when Family Fair was not rebuilt, nor was anything else. For years there was simply a fenced off, gaping hole in Algonquin Manor. That wouldn't have seemed so odd downtown, perhaps, but this was a relatively new shopping center. It was a clear sign that Algonquin Manor was failing, and it did so with surprising speed. By the early 1970s, Algonquin Manor was the destination of few shoppers. The other Family Fairs disappeared, too, hopefully without leaving smouldering craters in their wake. Interstate's Topp's chain would survive for several years well into the 1970s before finally succumbing to the increasingly intense competition between discount department stores.
Here's more information about the history of Algonquin Manor from an article in Louisville's Courier-Journal.
The footprint of Algonquin Manor remains quite obvious to this day. Once L-shaped, Family Fair occupied the bottom right corner.