What better activity is there on a cold January day than going to the mall? That’s just what I did on a free day I had back in January, 2005, in the Denver area. My first stop was east suburban Aurora Mall, one of Aurora, Colorado’s two enclosed centers. It’s located at the interchange between I-225 and Alameda Avenue.
Aurora itself is both typical and atypical of American suburbs today. It’s similar to most American suburbs in that it lacks a strong, historical central business district like many cities, and it’s also very large and sprawly. It’s not typical because of its sheer size: Aurora has nearly 300,000 residents, over half of the city of Denver itself. It’s actually projected that in the next 25 years that Aurora will eventually surpass the city of Denver in population, making it a massive super-suburb like Anaheim, California or Scottsdale, Arizona. Notable people from Aurora include Home Improvement child actor Zachery Ty Bryan and former presidential hopeful John Kerry (yes, he was born here). There’s an Air Force Base, but other than that, Aurora’s your standard middle-of-the-road American suburb.
Aurora Mall, now called the Town Center at Aurora, was beginning a series of renovations which updated the dated center’s appearance in 2005, giving it new life for the new millenium, or something like that. In the past few years, Aurora Mall/Town Center at Aurora has been under some scrutiny for its management policies. An investigation by a local Denver TV station has stated the Aurora Mall’s leasing agents have official policies of discrimination and that they are attempting to oust minority shoppers in favor of getting more caucasian shoppers into the mall. Purposely. A leasing agent is actually quoted on tape as saying he wants to gear the mall more toward whites. This alarming controversy certanly paints a different picture of the kinds of unscrupulous, ruthless individuals and terrible policies and a framework of careless responsibility.
Aurora Mall as of my visit in January, 2005 was still mostly outdated. The two-level, straight shot center was anchored by Foley’s (two locations), Sears, and JCPenney. The decor of Aurora Mall was decidedly 80s: a pastel pink, purple and green combination dominated, with blond wooden railings throughout the center. The floor was being replaced with the typical drab, uber-modern white tiles that are on every mall everywhere today, so you can be sure it’s different now. I’m actually curious as to what became of all the renovations. Is Aurora Mall back on its feet? Pictures taken Jan. 2005.