Brickyard Mall; Chicago, Illinois

Brickyard Mall, which opened in March 1977 on Chicago’s northwest side, was one of two regional, suburban-style shopping malls constructed in the city – the other was Ford City Mall on Chicago’s south side, which opened in 1965. Three other regional malls are, however, literally within a stone’s throw of the city limits – Lincolnwood Town Center, Harlem-Irving Plaza, and Evergreen Plaza all are located either directly across the street from the city or just blocks from it. Brickyard Mall enjoyed a modicum of success through the 1980s, but in the 1990s its viability met opposition as neighborhood demographics changed and competition from other malls outmoded it.

Hickory Ridge Mall; Memphis, Tennessee

Located approximately 20 miles southeast of downtown Memphis, Hickory Ridge Mall opened in 1981 at the corner of Winchester and Hickory Hill Roads. At the time, this was the farthest mall from Memphis’s core, and indicative of a shift in population away from the city and into the suburbs. 1981 was also the same year the larger Mall of Memphis opened, closer to the center of population and near the airport. Over time, both malls failed: Mall of Memphis succumbed due to a perception of crime after some high-profile incidents, and Hickory Ridge Mall faltered due to the wrath of overbuilding and demographic changes before being snuffed out by mother nature.

Hilldale Shopping Center; Madison, Wisconsin

Opened in 1962 on what was then the western edge of Madison, Hilldale Shopping Center has had a unique and intriguing history. Hilldale was one of the first major shopping centers in town, and it’s also one of the closest malls to where I live. The thing about Hilldale is that it falls under the radar – it’s not a traditional mall in any sense of the word, and never really was. Through the decades Hilldale has undergone some major changes and has continued to reinvent itself by eschewing shopping center norms, and, reflective of its status as an institution in this weird city I live in, remains as viable as ever.

Mondawmin Mall; Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore’s busy, urban Mondawmin Mall opened in 1956 as Mondawmin Center, an open-air mall located just three miles from downtown, at the intersection of Gwynns Falls Parkway and Liberty Heights Avenue. Mondawmin Center was the very first development by Maryland mall magnate James Rouse, who would later build an empire of shopping centers, planned suburbs and festival marketplaces around the country – before his company was ultimately sold to General Growth in 2004.

Westfield Oakridge; San Jose, California

San Jose is the third largest city in California, and the largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, trumping even the region’s more famous namesake city in population. San Jose, however, is a much different kind of city than San Francisco: sprawling and modern, built mostly in the automobile age, this formerly agricultural metropolis […]

Eastgate Consumer Mall; Indianapolis, Indiana

College Hills Mall (The Shoppes at College Hills); Normal, Illinois

In the mall-crazy late 1970s, a developer decided that one mall wasn’t enough for little Bloomington-Normal, and made plans to build a second enclosed mall on the same strip. Located just a mile north of Eastland Mall along Veterans Parkway/Old Route 66, the College Hills Mall opened in August 1980 with anchor Carson Pirie Scott and a single-level T-shaped corridor of stores. The second anchor, Montgomery Ward, opened about a month later, also in 1980, and a third anchor, Target, opened in 1982.

Hanes Mall; Winston-Salem, North Carolina

With the probable distinction of being the only mall in the world named after underwear, Hanes Mall is the largest mall in the Piedmont Triad and one of the largest in the state of North Carolina. Hanes Mall has five anchor stores and nearly 1.5 million square feet of retail space on two levels, and is the anchor to a large retail district on Winston-Salem’s west side.

Florida Mall; Orlando, Florida

If you’ve ever visited the Orlando area as a tourist, odds are you’ve been very close to Florida Mall. Located just minutes from Sea World, Disney, and Universal, Florida Mall is the largest mall in the Orlando area and one of the closest malls to all these attractions. In fact, from 1986-2002, it was the only major mall in south Orlando. Since its grand opening, the massive Florida Mall has enjoyed immense success serving not only locals, but tourists from around the country and across the globe.

University Mall; Orem, Utah

The single level University Mall, which opened 1973, was the first mall in the Provo area. The mall is actually located in Orem, a planned suburban city immediately north of Provo. Orem, much like Provo and the rest of the Wasatch Front, has grown from a population of 18,000 in 1960 to a population of nearly 100,000 today.