There’s a site called Dead Malls devoted to malls, some still alive, but most of them are dead.
You can search by location or mall name. It’s fascinating to go back and read up on the places we spent so much time.
In Buffalo as a kid, I frequented:
- Eastern Hills Mall, a site for regular Saturday night outings for my family in the early to mid 70’s … has apparently undergone a renaissance. It was billed as the biggest mall of all when it opened in 1971, although I’m not sure how much of that was local chauvinism. I moved away from Buffalo in 1989, and I haven’t been in this mall since 2002 or 2003, but it seemed OK then.
- Boulevard Mall had a little more upscale, old money (if there’s such a thing in the suburbs), reputation. I think I went there some time in the 90’s, and wasn’t impressed. It also is apparently thriving.
- Seneca Mall was a place I went a few times when very young (my grandmother lived in that area until 1972). It’s apparently a rubble pile now.
- Main Place Mall was downtown, and I went there very occasionally — mostly once I had my driver’s license and happened to be downtown. It’s still going. People from the suburbs go downtown in Buffalo arguably less than any other metropolitan area. I stayed in a hotel not far from this mall for over a week last year, and it never occurred to me to check it out.
- I was also talking with my mother last month about Chautauqua Mall. It’s not on the site either. It was the mall in what passed for the suburbs of Jamestown, the faltering city of 30K or so that anchored rural Chautauqua County. I haven’t been there in probably 35 years, but Chautauqua Mall is still open.
I lived in Tuscaloosa for a couple of years. University Mall is not listed in this webpage, but I heard it was damaged by the big tornado a few years ago. I have fond memories of McFarland Mall. It was down in the dumps 25 years ago, but even then there was a bar and a movie theatre there that I liked.
I also lived in Salt Lake City in 1991-2. I spent a lot of time at an urban mall named Trolley Square (built in the old streetcar barns). I loved that place: cool, upscale stores, a couple of good restaurants (especially an Italian place called … hmmm … Ferrantelli maybe), movies and bars. But I was there about 10 years ago, and it had gone downhill. And after that there was a mass shooting there.
We lived in New Orleans in the 90’s. There are some malls from there on the site, but none I ever went to much. I suppose just about all the malls there were killed by Katrina.
One point my wife and I emphasize to the vXkids is how unusual it is to grow up without a mall. We live in a small-ish city on I-15, and the nearest mall is about an hour away. And, it’s not much of a mall. We’ve been there about 5 times. It’s anchored by a Barnes and Noble now. We all enjoy that … but let’s face it … no one goes there to buy books anymore. We just test fly them before hitting the keyboard.