A few years ago my mall died. I know I’m not alone in this fact as numerous malls have closed all around the country in the last decade. For our local mall, it started when a new shopping center was constructed seven miles away. Only a few stores left for the new center, but it was like the first little snowball starting to roll down the hill. A couple of years later, a new mega-shopping attraction began construction, and all of the anchor stores in the mall declared they would be moving there. Even Stevie Wonder could read the writing on that wall, and before we knew it, most stores in the mall were signing up for the move to the new outdoor shopping center. The few shops that were left were too small to afford the move and ended up staying at the mall until the end, and then just vanished. The independent stores went out of business altogether, and the smaller chain stores just didn’t relocate, and that was the end of the mall.
A few days before it closed for good, I was able to get in and take the photos in the slideshow below. Consider them autopsy photos. If you have any questions as you browse through them, feel free to ask. I’ll be over in the corner weeping.
The main entrance to the mall.
One of the many entrances to the mall, and the one I used.
Another entrance to the mall.
Part of the main drag on the upper level of the mall.
Looking down the main aisle of the upper level.
The Customer Service desk also doubled as Gift Wrap during the holidays.
Part of the lower level of the mall.
A look at the escalators from the lower level perspective.
The middle of the mall, lower level.
What used to be two of my favorite stores. Kaybee Toys was on the left, and Spencer's Gifts was on the right. The wooden door front was added near the end when the store transitioned to a music store.
The store with the green exterior was Rack Room Shoes.
What used to be our local GNC store.
Game Stop, which before that was Software Etc...the absolute best place around when it came to buying computer games.
On the right is the exterior of what was FYE, a store I spent a small mint at through the years.
Misty Mountain Designs was the hippy store.
The lower level entrance to Sears.
The lower level entrance to JC Penny.
It's not hard to spot a Bath and Body Works facade. Even though it was empty, I could still smell the Cucumber Melon.
On the corner of the main aisle sits what used to be B. Dalton's book store...one of my favorite spots in the mall.
The exterior of Proffitts.
Friedman's Jewelers...where I bought my wife's engagement ring.
What once was the arcade. In it's later years is sported a neon sign and was called Tilt. When I was younger, it had a mining facade and was called The Gold Mine.
The small store you see here was our only Chic-Fil-A in the area for many years.
The display cases of Great American Cookie Company always looked great, and the smell coming from that store was one of the best in the entire mall.
One of the mainstays of the food court was Subway. It used to sport the familiar green and yellow color scheme, but changed when Subway left.
The exterior of the Piccadilly restaurant.
The dark corridor of Piccadilly's food line.
These two stores were part of the food court. On the left was Villa Pizza where you could get great pizza by the slice. And on the right was a small eatery called China Shuttle.
T. Gordon's restaurant where you could grab an adult beverage and a steak while at the mall.
A sad sign hanging in the window of one of the stores. A major part of my childhood and teenage years died along with the mall itself.
This reminds me of the mall where I grew up, even though it was only single-story. I hear it’s not doing too well these days, either. =(
It hurt looking through those, especially reading your memories alongside them. I’m thankful my local mall is hanging on pretty well, but the others I grew up with are either dead or dying.
That is awesome you were able to get some pictures before it was completely gone. Malls are so similar all over the country, so this could easily be anyone’s mall and I had memories of some of my old malls just flipping through your pictures. I worked in retail for over 20 years, so malls have an adult connection for me in addition to my adolescent/teenage connection. Thanks for sharing!
Some of my best memories were in malls but when they close you become heartbroken, wondering what they would be like today. Quite a sad state of affairs
Great pics. Sad but now preserved in your memory.