Berlin Mall; Berlin, Vermont

Thanks to the long weekend, I was able to take a day trip up to Vermont to visit a few of those crazy upnorth malls. Now, going to Vermont to see malls is a bit like going to Florida to see penguins, but, hey–even Florida has Sea World! Vermont is possibly the most rural state […]

Bristol Centre Mall; Bristol, Connecticut

Bristol Centre Mall is one of the stranger and more forgotten malls we’ve found in New England. Located in the downtown area of Bristol, Connecticut, an old, sprawling, blue-collar city about 20 minutes southwest of Hartford, it has almost no national chain stores and has very little internet presence–it’s even snubbed by the International Council […]

Assembly Square Mall, Disassembled; Somerville, Massachusetts

The redevelopment of the Assembly Square Mall has been long and complicated, but the first chapter has been written after years of delay. The Assembly Square Mall in Somerville, Massachusetts, opened in 1981 inside of a former Ford Motors Assembly Plant along the banks of the Mystic River. The site had more recently been a […]

Skokie Turn/Style

Someone on the Remembering_Retail list brought this great photo to our attention recently. I love vintage shots of strip roadways, and my dining room wall is even adorned with a large photo of Route 66 in Albequerque, New Mexico in 1969, purchased from IKEA (of all places!) What’s worth noting here is the large Turn/Style […]

Woodmar Mall; Hammond, Indiana

Nestled on the south shore of Lake Michigan, within a stone’s throw from Chicago, is the prominent industrial region of Northwest Indiana. Hammond, the second largest city in this region, lies directly between Gary and Chicago and had a 2000 population of 83,000. Hammond was also home to one of Northwest Indiana’s enclosed shopping centers, […]

Gursky and Wolf: Beauty in Repetition

A huge part of the mission of Labelscar is to catalog artistry in everyday things. In particular, we feel that most contemporary commercial architecture, especially suburban retail development of the late 20th century, is undervalued and underappreciated, and likely won't attract the attention it deserves until too late. This whole championing-an-obscure-cause thing means that I […]

White Woods Mall; Amherstburg, Ontario

It’s no secret that things are a little different in Canada. Not surprisingly, so is their retail scene. There are no JCPenneys, Targets, or Kohls; however, they hold their own with chains like Zellers, Hudson’s Bay Company, and Winners. Also, there seem to be a lot more enclosed malls in Canada. What would, in the […]

River Roads Mall; Jennings, Missouri

I’m not really sure I knew of the “dead mall” phenomenon until 1998 or 1999, which seems to be when the first generation of these retail elephants started to drop. That was also around the time that I lived in the midwest, and my blogging pal Prangeway and I would troll around a seven-state area […]

Echelon Mall: Not in the Upper Echelon; Voorhees, New Jersey

When malls first became big, one of their major selling points was that they offered shopping in a “climate-controlled” environment. Strangely, as they now pass out of favor, we’re confused by how often they’re replaced by centers that do the exact opposite, turning the common areas back to the elements and (often quite literally) ripping […]

Dixie Square Mall; Harvey, Illinois

When you look at a city, you’re viewing a kind of publication – a publication written on the landscape in the form of buildings, roadways, parks, and much more. Although these publications in the landscape are not like the ones you can experience in books or newspapers, they can still be read. In their reading, […]