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Old 09-02-2014, 08:23 PM
 
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From a young age I had an obsession with architecture. I remember as a kid being obsessed with enclosed shopping malls because I thought they were "sooooo cool". In the early 90s my dad took a brief hiatus from his main career and started opening a deli franchise in upscale malls. I spent the summer of 92' with my dad in the Detroit area at 3 of it's super-regional centers helping him open them up. We spent most of our time at Fairlane, Twelve Oaks, and Lakeside Malls in Detroits suburbs, (I don't believe the Somerset Collection had opened the north side or he probably would have gone in there too).

I was a 12 year old growing up in Edina MN, and the Mall of America hadn't quite opened at that point. The malls in Detroit were like an amazement for me, they were so big with elaborate architecture and water features(I was 12 it didn't take much). This started an obsession with shopping malls, who owned them, who built them, who designed them. What were the malls like in different cities. As an adult I have become busy with life, and I hate shopping anyway so I hadn't researched them much. Then last summer I was waiting for a friend in suburban Chicago and I walked into Woodfield Mall(Schaumburg) and realized I was standing in a carbon copy of Fairlane in the Detroit area. I am a nerd with a scary good memory sometimes. I knew by looking at the tiles that the mall was built in the early 70s and that it was developed by Taubman centers. Long story short my mall obsession was re-energized but for different reasons.

Fast forward to now, the enclosed shopping center has started to decline. The suburban trend of the 60's and 70's that caused developers to put these opulent hulking structures up in masses has reversed as people are trending away from the suburbs and back toward city cores. Along with online retailing taking firm footing. I have followed abandoned shopping malls loosely but I find them fascinating. The other day I came across this: This Abandoned Wasteland Was Once America's Largest Mall. The abandoned Randall Park Mall in suburban Cleveland. It has inspired me to start researching and compiling a list of defunct, abandoned, and malls that are in ruins.

I know "malls that were" exist in cities all over the country, but I'd love to hear about the ones from your cities, ones that have been demolished, or are still standing like this one. It's a form of "ruins porn" for me and with my weird hobbies I would like to visit some of these places. Insights would be appreciated
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
It has inspired me to start researching and compiling a list of defunct, abandoned, and malls that are in ruins.
Somebody has already beaten you to it.

DeadMalls.com

http://www.deadmalls.com/links.html

This is probably my favorite:

http://skycity2.blogspot.com/
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Somebody has already beaten you to it.

DeadMalls.com

DeadMalls.com: Interesting Web Sites

This is probably my favorite:

Sky City: Southern and Mid-Atlantic Retail History
Holy Crap that's fantastic! It's definitely a good read, but i'm looking for malls that are still standing and somewhat operational too, this is just abandoned malls.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I was a 12 year old growing up in Edina MN, and the Mall of America hadn't quite opened at that point. The malls in Detroit were like an amazement for me, they were so big with elaborate architecture and water features(I was 12 it didn't take much).
You grew up in Edina (home of Southdale Center, America's first enclosed shopping mall), and some random malls in another metro area amazed you? Had you never been to Ridgedale, or Rosedale, or Eden Prairie Center? Or Northtown? Burnsville Center? Maplewood Mall?
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:59 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,219 posts, read 17,957,502 times
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In the Pittsburgh area, Century III Mall is moribund. Three things have mortally wounded it:


1. The mass deindustrialization of the nearby Monongahela River Valley annihilated the aggregate disposable income of the mall's clientele.

2. South Hills Village siphoned away the higher-end stores as it moved upscale to cater to the clientele in the wealthier suburbs away from the Monongahela River.

3. Construction of The Waterfront in Homestead siphoned away many of the larger stores, ultimately dealing the fatal blow.


Eventually I expect Century III Mall to die and be rebuilt as a "power center."
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:22 AM
 
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San Fran only has like three "true" malls (Stonestown, San Fran Centre, and Crocker Amazon). They're all doing good from what I seen.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:04 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
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There was an interesting feature on CBS Sunday Morning a couple of months ago about the state of the American mall. As a concept they seem to have run their course; if I remember correctly, no new malls have been built since the early 2000s. They also said that they estimate that 50% of malls operating today will be closed within 10 years.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:51 AM
 
3,961 posts, read 3,490,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
You grew up in Edina (home of Southdale Center, America's first enclosed shopping mall), and some random malls in another metro area amazed you? Had you never been to Ridgedale, or Rosedale, or Eden Prairie Center? Or Northtown? Burnsville Center? Maplewood Mall?

I figured after disclosing that I grew up in Edina it was only a matter of time before someone mentioned Southdale. Southdale/Rosedale/Ridgedale hell even Brookdale(now defunct) were pretty much my first mall experiences, and it was the architecture in Southdale that truly started my fascination. It wasn't about the malls in the Twin Cities vs the malls in Detroit Metro. Until my dad started explaining leasing and contracts, I had never really thought about it. The Taubman centers in metro Detroit were unique for me as a kid, and it were those malls that started me in my nerdy research. Those were really the origin. I have done the same with the malls from my hometown too
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:11 AM
 
21,188 posts, read 30,366,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
There was an interesting feature on CBS Sunday Morning a couple of months ago about the state of the American mall. As a concept they seem to have run their course; if I remember correctly, no new malls have been built since the early 2000s. They also said that they estimate that 50% of malls operating today will be closed within 10 years.
True, but the concept in general is far from dead. There have been countless very successful transformations of enclosed malls to open air concepts that are seemingly what people are looking for now. Furthermore while no new malls in the enclosed format have been built in the past 15 years or so, a healthy number of regional "outdoor lifestyle centers" have been built or transformed from traditional mall layouts.

Call it a "lifestyle center," not a "mall." - Jan. 12, 2005
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:32 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,067 posts, read 35,028,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
True, but the concept in general is far from dead. There have been countless very successful transformations of enclosed malls to open air concepts that are seemingly what people are looking for now. Furthermore while no new malls in the enclosed format have been built in the past 15 years or so, a healthy number of regional "outdoor lifestyle centers" have been built or transformed from traditional mall layouts.

Call it a "lifestyle center," not a "mall." - Jan. 12, 2005
That is true. The same program I watched profiled Atlanta's Plaza Fiesta, a very successful reinventio of the traditional mall.

Plaza Fiesta - "El Rinconcito De Nuestro Pueblo" - Home
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