In case you hadn’t noticed, suburban malls are fading from the landscape almost as fast as multiuse sports stadiums. For the most part both are relics of the same flawed 1960’s architectural thinking. In today’s enlightened world, instead of malls, we build little movie set towns and villages with tree lined avenues and fountains with plumes of water. Rather than being populated by humans, these fake little towns are inhabited by stores, usually of the national chain variety. They have names like St Johns Town Centre and River City. Perhaps, the same line of reasoning is behind the building of little miniature forts which we refer to as gated communities. Why can’t things simply be what they actually are? But I digress.
Since I have an affinity for photographing abandoned and decayed places, dead malls seem to fit the bill nicely. This past Friday, I decided the visit Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville. Now, Regency Square has not expired yet, but it is rapidly approaching need for life support. Two of its anchors are Sears and Penney’s both gasping for air. Then if you subtract the sneaker and gangsta hat stores and the gold chain kiosks, there’s not much left.
I have to say personally even in their heyday I never had a lot of affection for these malls. No nostalgia here. If you would like to learn more about dead malls, there’s a nice compilation at www.deadmalls.com .