The St. Louis Galleria's predecessor is the Westroads Shopping Center. Similar to many of the other malls at that time, it was an open-air mall that had a single anchor store. The Galleria's original anchor was the St. Louis department store chain Stix, Baer and Fuller.
The Westroads Shopping Center was sold in 1984 to Hycel Properties, and the new management elected to tear down the majority of the existing infrastructure to build a more modern mall. Dillard's, which had acquired Stix, Baer & Fuller, became the primary anchor and expanded its store. The Galleria also opened a major store for retailer Mark Shale.
The Galleria was further expanded in 1991 as it opened two major stores, Clayton Famous Barr and Lord & Taylor. At the time, Lord & Taylor was a subsidiary of Nordstrom.
In 2006, Macy's took over Clayton Famous Barr's location. In the same year, Nordstrom sold Lord & Taylor to Sake Fifth Avenue and began making plans to move into its former subsidiary's location in 2008. However, Nordstrom delayed this venture for three years due to the recession.
The recession hit the Galleria hard in general. In April 2009, its property owner General Growth Property and its 158 subsidiaries nationwide filed for the largest real estate bankruptcy in real estate history.