Crossroads Mall; Omaha, Nebraska

One of the earliest enclosed regional malls in the country, Crossroads Mall opened in September 1960, a vision of the development arm of Omaha’s Brandeis department store chain, who purchased the land and organized the mall’s construction. When it opened, Crossroads consisted of two main anchors: a three-level, 110,000 square-foot Brandeis, flanking the eastern end of the mall, and a three-level, 113,000 square-foot Sears on the west end. In between the anchors was an enclosed, climate-controlled hallway called the Arcade Level, featuring about 24 stores and services. According to Mall-Hall-of-Fame, early stores included Walgreens, Goldstein-Chapman apparel, Haney’s Shoes, The Spot Snack Bar, and Woolworths.

Southland Mall; Hayward, California

Hayward, California is a large blue collar suburb of 151,000 people in the central East Bay region of California, located about 15 miles south of downtown Oakland. Like much of the Bay Area (and the East Bay in particular), it’s a culturally/racially and economically diverse city, with recent immigrants and long-time residents alike. Historically an […]

Gateway Mall; Bismarck, North Dakota

Eight years after Bismarck’s largest mall, Kirkwood Mall, opened, developers decided the city could use another, smaller mall and built Gateway Mall on Bismarck’s north side. Opened in September 1979, Gateway Mall debuted a year before Kirkwood Mall’s 1980 expansion, and anchors the State Street/U.S. 83 North retail corridor in the city. It was developed by the local Kavaney family for the low, low price of $8 million. Listed at 334,000 square feet, Gateway Mall is one level and opened with three anchors: Sears, Bismarck-based A.W. Lucas department store, and Jamestown, N.D.-based White Mart, a discounter. In addition to these anchors, Gateway Mall also had the Midco Theater, a three-screen multiplex which was later expanded to eight screens.

Kirkwood Mall; Bismarck, North Dakota

The largest mall in Bismarck, Kirkwood Mall, opened in 1971. Original anchors were Montgomery Ward, Minnesota-based Herberger’s, and a massive 130,000 square-foot Woolworth’s. Some have stated this location was Woolco, but a photo provided by the blog Mall Hall of Fame, from the State Historical Society of North Dakota Archives, illustrates that it was Woolworth. Did it become Woolco at some point before the Woolco chain died? What is the source of the confusion?

Mountaineer Mall; Morgantown, West Virginia

I’m talking about Mountaineer Mall. Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, Mountaineer Mall is the kind of mall dead mall fans dream about, with all sorts of retail antiquities and dated accoutrements. We’re talking about wooden railings with tarnished, aging brass fixtures, brick facades, tile- and wood panel-laden planter fixtures, intact dead store facades from 20+ years ago, and more. Mountaineer Mall was once the dominant – and only – mall in the Morgantown region. Located 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, Morgantown is home to West Virginia University and has the healthiest economy in the state. It has a population of around 30,000 residents, which nearly doubles when the University is in session, and a metropolitan area of 115,000 to boot. Morgantown has a quirky, progressive college town feel, and with its low unemployment and unique culture feels mightily juxtaposed to the rest of the state, or anywhere for that matter. One example of this is the fact that the small city has its own rail-based mass transit, a people mover called the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit system, which connects downtown Morgantown to the WVU satellite campus located a few miles away.

Annapolis Mall (Westfield Annapolis); Annapolis, Maryland

Opened in 1980, Annapolis Mall is currently the largest mall in the state of Maryland, including the area surrounding metro Baltimore and the Maryland side of the Washington, D.C. area. However, a whopping four malls on the Virginia side of metro D.C. are bigger than Annapolis Mall: Springfield Mall, Tysons Corner Center, Potomac Mills, and Fair Oaks Mall. Springfield Mall, which we’ve covered here, is a troubled red giant in a crowded (and fiercely competitive) retail galaxy, but the Tysons MegaMall Googolplex, Potomac Mills and Fair Oaks are certainly formidable super-regional destinations in their own right.

Village Square Mall; Effingham, Illinois

The third cluster of retail in Effingham is located along US 45/Banker Street to the south of downtown. This area is the least convenient to the interstates, and is not as successful as the strip around Exit 160. It serves locals in and around Effingham, and has also seen the most turnover and vacancy in the area. This cluster is anchored by a small enclosed mall, Village Square Mall.

Cornwall Centre; Regina, Saskatchewan

The result of an urban renewal project that began in the 1970s, Cornwall Centre opened in 1981. Like many large cities across North America, downtown Regina had become a ghost town in the mid-20th century as the city expanded in all directions to accomodate a rising automobile culture, adding low-density jobs, housing, industry and retail to the periphery of the city in the process. To counter this, Cornwall Centre and numerous other buildings were constructed downtown to attract shoppers, and several larger buildings were later constructed for workers. One of these buildings, the SaskTel tower opens right into Cornwall Centre, strategically located near the food court in order to maximize on downtown office lunching.