Oakland Mall; Troy, Michigan

Oakland Mall opened in 1968, flanking the northwest corner of 14 Mile Rd. and John R. Rd., adjacent to Interstate 75, which was completed just prior to the mall’s construction. The mall was built on the southern edge of the city of Troy, a large northern suburb of Detroit located in Oakland County, the mall’s ostensible namesake. Troy is located 15 miles north of downtown Detroit, and has a population of 80,000 as of 2010. Troy is home to numerous corporations and white collar jobs that have been purged out of the city over the past fifty years or so.

Orchards Mall; Benton Charter Township, Michigan

The Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor, Michigan opened in October 1979. The mall was built on the site of a former apple orchard, giving it its name. The location of The Orchards Mall is less than a mile from Interstate 94. In 1979, when the mall opened, most of the area surrounding the mall was vacant or farmland. Benton Harbor is located next to the city of St. Joseph, Benton Harbor’s twin city, home of The Whirlpool Corporation.

Universal Mall; Warren, Michigan

  Warren, Michigan, Detroit’s largest suburb by population, is located directly north of the city of Detroit in Macomb County.  As a result of the post-war industrial boom, Warren grew explosively from World War II into the 1970s, while the manufacturing industry around Detroit reached its peak.  People moved en masse from the city to these inner-core […]

Livonia Mall; Livonia, Michigan

In the suburbs of the Motor City, the mall reigns supreme.  So much so, in fact, that the retail hubs in the Detroit area are located completely within the suburban realm.  There are no major retail draws in the city of Detroit today, which isn’t surprising because Detroit is largely a vastly depressing urban wasteland.  Though urban revival attempts continue, […]

Maple Hill Mall; Kalamazoo, Michigan

When Prangeway and I were taking a lot of road trips in 1998 and 1999, I was always trying to convince him (him being the, um, the one who owned a car) to go to the other malls in a lot of the random midwestern cities we visited. It seems that each time we tried, […]

Dort Mall; Flint, Michigan

Sometimes instead of being redeveloped into strip malls and “Lifestyle Centers”, enclosed malls are simply forgotten, passed over like so much fruit cake in December. The reasons for this are varied, but mostly have to do with the fact that the area the mall lies in is no longer viable for retail, or at least […]

Summit Place Mall; Waterford, Michigan

Dear readers, I’m back from my extended weekend in the Detroit area.  Why Detroit, you ask?  Well, the area has always fascinated me beyond belief.  The way the entire city is this fallow wasteland, seeming as though it is sleeping, like some sort of urban garden that hasn’t been watered in a while.  Juxtapose that […]