Where Do Shopping Malls Go When They Die?

Back in the 90's, we had Mallrats

Back in the 90's, we had Mallrats

This is an interesting topic, albeit a morbid one.  Shopping malls are an American institution, like Baseball or Five Dollar Footlongs.

The question of what you can do with the physical space once a mall closes is suddenly apropos, as the retail picture grows more grim with each passing day.  Ever since the first modern, indoor shopping mall was built in Minnesota by architect Victor Gruen, they’ve been churning out these monstrosities like there was no tomorrow.  Well tomorrow has arrived and the malls are as empty as Ashley Simpson‘s head.

The New York Times consulted 5 experts on shopping malls, including one guy named Peter Blackbird who runs a site called deadmalls.com (yes, apparently there is now a website for everything).  The suggestions range from the absurd (spaces for nonprofit arts groups) to the practical (community colleges).

Anyway, worth checking out if this sort of economy-meets-anthropology thing is your cup of tea.

Full Story:  101 Uses for a Deserted Mall (NYT)

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. The Scrub commented on Apr 05

    I live in Toledo, OH and we have a huge one just down the street from me (Southwyck). It is depressing to drive by because it is just a huge waste of space.

    Occasionally the local news would run a story about the old people that go there for a walk or the college students that go there to study. It is just spooky because they still had everything turned on, like the water fountains, lights, muzak, etc. They have finally started tearing it down, though.

  2. The Scrub commented on Apr 05

    I live in Toledo, OH and we have a huge one just down the street from me (Southwyck). It is depressing to drive by because it is just a huge waste of space.

    Occasionally the local news would run a story about the old people that go there for a walk or the college students that go there to study. It is just spooky because they still had everything turned on, like the water fountains, lights, muzak, etc. They have finally started tearing it down, though.

  3. The Scrub commented on Apr 05

    I live in Toledo, OH and we have a huge one just down the street from me (Southwyck). It is depressing to drive by because it is just a huge waste of space.

    Occasionally the local news would run a story about the old people that go there for a walk or the college students that go there to study. It is just spooky because they still had everything turned on, like the water fountains, lights, muzak, etc. They have finally started tearing it down, though.

  4. Dinosaur Trader commented on Apr 06

    This is easy, you turn them all into roller derby rinks.

    -DT

  5. Dinosaur Trader commented on Apr 06

    This is easy, you turn them all into roller derby rinks.

    -DT

  6. Dinosaur Trader commented on Apr 06

    This is easy, you turn them all into roller derby rinks.

    -DT

  7. Joshua M Brown commented on Apr 06

    i like it!

    i was thinking paintball courses or movie sets for zombie movies

  8. Dinosaur Trader commented on Apr 06

    Indeed, a zombie roller derby movie set inside a “dead mall” should be made.

    Let’s produce this! The market is becoming a tough place to make a living. People hate us for working here… wait, the roller derby zombies can eat stock brokers and traders!!!

    We have a cult classic in the making here…

    -DT

  9. Dinosaur Trader commented on Apr 06

    Indeed, a zombie roller derby movie set inside a “dead mall” should be made.

    Let’s produce this! The market is becoming a tough place to make a living. People hate us for working here… wait, the roller derby zombies can eat stock brokers and traders!!!

    We have a cult classic in the making here…

    -DT

  10. Dinosaur Trader commented on Apr 06

    Indeed, a zombie roller derby movie set inside a “dead mall” should be made.

    Let’s produce this! The market is becoming a tough place to make a living. People hate us for working here… wait, the roller derby zombies can eat stock brokers and traders!!!

    We have a cult classic in the making here…

    -DT

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