Yes, while you were busy shopping online, you murdered the mall. I know you didn’t mean to – and don’t feel TOO bad – there were other determining factors, as well. Between the mid 50s and ’05, around 1500 malls were built across the country using in the golden age of shopping. But that’s ended and no new enclosed mall has been built since ’06. Half of all of the malls in the U.S. are predicted to close in the next decade.
In the 70s, two gleaming Ohio malls were symbols of the U.S. boom years. They were always filled with shoppers but now the fountains inside are dry and nature seems to be taking over. (Either that or a zombie attack is eminent.) The demise of the Rolling Acres and and Randall Park Mall have been documented by photographer Seph Lawless in his book, Black Friday: The Collapse of the American Mall:
“The goal was to show the world a different side of America. A vulnerable side. I think an abandoned mall is symbolic of the economic decline of America… People fled the state to find jobs and the problem hasn’t gotten any better. My city is not only losing jobs. We’re are losing people and it’s frightening.”
The irony is not lost that Lawless’s book is available here – only online. The internet has also provided photographers a way to promote and self-publish great documents.