With a name like the “Tri-State Mall,” you might expect a major, regional mall out of this Claymont, Delaware center. Of course, you’d also be completely wrong.
The tiny Tri-State Mall on Naaman’s Road in Claymont, Delaware, located right along the Pennsylvania state line, is easily one of the bleakest and most unappealing malls that we’ve visited. While we at Labelscar love the idea of the enclosed mall and find that it’s a rare occasion that we don’t enjoy one of these centers, Tri-State Mall is one of those rare cases where the place feels so forbidding that we’re in a bit of a rush to leave. These pictures, all taken in early August 2007 of the forty-year-old mall, should illustrate why.
Set between some middle class suburban areas to the west and an expanse of oil fields and other industrial areas to the east, the Tri-State Mall is organized in a relatively simple “+” pattern, with one hallway leading straight from the parking lot to a comedy club in the mall’s rear, and a cross hallway leading between Kmart and Value City, the mall’s two anchors. There is also a rather sad little strip mall in the parking lot that’s built into the lot’s grade.
Apart from the mall’s downright hilarious website–which includes a bunch of small photos that were very obviously NOT taken here–we can’t find very much about the Tri-State Mall on the web. Did the mall ever do any better? What were the original anchors–was something here before Value City?
EDIT 8/13/07: Ask and you shall receive. Michael Lisicky always comes through for us–he had this 1987 photo of the Wilmington Dry Goods store, which occupied the Value City space. He also says the mall was a much bigger draw at that time than it is today. Value City took over the space in 1990. Also, Lisicky says he’s pretty sure that the Kmart was a Grant City store originally.