Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Abandoned Malls

Abandoned malls is the topic of this photo-essay over at HuffPo. Specifically: Randall Park Mall.

The oddball thing, personally, is that at some point in my life, I was there. Me. At least, teenaged me. I was in all those spots: going to the Randall Park Mall triplex movie theatre (where I first saw SUPERMAN and MAD MAX 2 and others) or sitting by the fountain or roaming the environs.

The largest malls in the world when it opened in 1976, it's now abandoned and in decay on the East Side of Cleveland.

A sad end to a place that, as the Plain Dealer wrote:

"Just about every superlative in the English language has been applied to Randall Park Mall,"
-- Quoted in David Hansen's Cleveland Centennial blog.

So, yeah, I was on that escalator. I still have some of the books I bought at one of the two bookstores: Arnold Roth's COMICK BOOK OF PETS, some Harlan Ellison books, and even an old STAR TREK POSTER BOOK or two.

The mall went into decline within a couple of years. By 1978, Beachwood Mall had opened and that place siphoned a lot of customers with its even tonier stores and boutiques. By the 80s, Randall Park Mall was in decline, earning the nickname of "Vandal Park Mall." It closed in 2009.

In 2012, North Randall police cited the closed mall as a location for illegal dumping. 

"Police say junk including mattresses, kitchen appliances, car parts and more are starting to add up. 
"Barriers were erected, but they are ineffective."

Let's go back in time. Here's an uncredited photo from the Plain Dealer of the opening of Randall Park Mall in 1976.

The interior of the mall always reminded me of the LOGAN'S RUN domed city.

Some footage of the mall and people in it in the 1970s:

EDIT: Randall Park Mall scheduled to be torn down beginning December 29, 2014 to make way for a new industrial park.

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