In the 1970s, there was a mall building boom. But thanks to digital advancements, the need for such shopping centers has declined. Here are some malls that have been shut down and left hauntingly abandoned.
Cloverleaf Mall - Chesterfield, Virginia
Hundreds of families who lived in Chesterfield, Virginia, regularly visited this shopping center since its opening in 1972. It was the place to be for buying new clothes or watching a movie at the cinema.
But after a while, the place started to be taken over by many rebellious teenagers, which, of course, made parents keep their youngsters far away from the mall. Sadly, the loss of their business caused the mall to start failing financially, and by 2008 it was gone for good.
Charlestowne Mall - St. Charles, Illinois
Charlestowne Mall was built back in 1991 as only the second-ever shopping center in St. Charles. Just 9 years after its grand opening, it had already closed down one of its anchor stores, JCPenny. From there on, the popularity of the retail shops continued to decrease.
By 2016, talks that the building wouldn't undergo a redevelopment were happening. It was said to become The Quad, and in 2017, it was shut down. But even up until this day, none of the plans were ever placed into action. The entirety of the former mall is vacant other than a cinema and the Von Maur store.
New World Mall - Bangkok, Thailand
After lonely 17 years of being open for business, this mall, located in Bangkok, Thailand, was sadly shut down in 1997. The main reason was that the builders hadn't followed the planning regulations, that only allowed 7 stories. The New World Mall had 11 levels, which eventually led to its closing and its abandonment.
Two years later, the roof collapsed after a fire occurred. So each time it rained, the former mall would be filled with water. To locals' dismay, the flooding brought in many mosquitoes. So, to try and fix the problem, they placed tilapia fish in the mall to eat the bugs, but it just led to a fish pond forming in the building.
Northridge Mall - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Once upon a time, this vacant building was busy with people running around going to their favorite stores and meeting friends for a fun day of shopping. But sadly, the Northridge Mall was left to rot back in 2003 after it permanently shut down. Today, the property is covered with graffiti and waste.
The mall, which first opened its doors in 1972, saw a decline in customers after a tragic murder happened nearby in a TGI Friday's parking lot. Jesse Anderson claimed a stranger took his wife's life in 1992, but as it was later revealed, he was the real perpetrator. Since then, the popularity of the shops started to decrease.
Acropolis Nall - Mexico City, Mexico
Up next on the list of abandoned malls is Acropolis Mall, which today has been hijacked by graffiti artists and trespassers. This Mexico City shopping center offers many retail shops, but apparently, that wasn't needed in the area since it only took 10 years before it was long gone.
Acropolis Mall opened in 1980 and by 1990, all the stores had shut down. Apparently, the decline in popularity was due to the area's high level of pollution. The air surrounding the outdoor shopping center was not enjoyable to breathe, which may be why not many people visited.
Rolling Acres Mall – Akron, Ohio
When Rolling Acres Mall first opened in 1975, business was booming! But unfortunately, over time, many of the stores that were inside the building decided to close down. By 2008, nearly 33 businesses had said goodbye to the Akron-based shopping center.
After 33 years with the same owner, it was sadly time to find a new person to take over the mall since the electricity bills could no longer be paid. After failing to find a new buyer, the building was demolished in 2019. That same year the lot was bought out by Amazon, which planned on using it as a distribution center.
Jamestown Mall – Florissant, Missouri
Residents of the suburban town of Florissant gained a new place to shop in 1973 when the Jamestown Mall was opened. The main anchor stores that customers enjoyed browsing through were Sears, Dillard's, JCPenney, and Macy's. But tragically, these retailers pulled out of the mall.
One by one, these companies said goodbye to the shopping center, and by 2013, they were nearly all gone. And by 2014, the mall could no longer be held up, ultimately leading to its closing. It was said that the building would undergo redevelopment as an open-air center.
North Town Square Mall – Toledo, Ohio
Unluckily for the owners of this retail center, Simon Property Group, the mall was only in business for 30 years, which in the industry isn't such a long time. When it was first built in 1981, they assumed that hundreds of Toledo residents would visit often, but unfortunately, they were wrong.
By the late 90s, the shopping mall, which may also be known as Lakeside Centre, was facing difficulties which led to it being sold in 2002. But the shops were only officially closed in 2005. The building stood vacant until it was demolished by the government in 2012.
Euclid Square Mall - Euclid, Ohio
Before a competitor opened nearby, Euclid Square Mall was the place in Euclid to get some new outfits or enjoy a day with pals. But when Richmond Town Square opened its doors to the public, slowly the business in the mall went down. And it wasn't just the customers they lost - it was also their clients.
After their anchor store took its business elsewhere, its smaller retail shops followed. And what's a mall without stores?! The adversity continued when the structure began facing safety concerns and caused many leaks in the roof. After it was officially closed in 2016, Amazon announced its plan to make it a fulfillment center.
Carousel Mall - San Bernardino, California
When it was first built in 1972, this mall was originally named Central City Mall. But after installing a brand new carousel in 1991, they changed it to the new name. Their goal was to attract more families to the center instead of criminals, but despite the renovations, the business was in trouble.
Things weren't looking too bright for this shopping center after losing two of its biggest anchor stores, Montgomery Ward and JC Penney, in the early 2000s. As smaller stores shut down, the owners decided to allow people to rent out office space. But eventually, it wasn't manageable, and in 2017 they shut down for good.
White Flint Mall - Montgomery County, Maryland
This building once stood in Montgomery County, Maryland. The shopping mall was frequently visited by eager shoppers - even Queen Elizabeth was once reported to be a customer there! But even royalty couldn't keep this place from being closed down and getting demolished.
But before finally giving in and shutting down, the mall attempted many things to keep its customers. They were the first shopping center to give their frequent visitors a credit card. And for its 25th anniversary, they created a Monopoly game which they named "White Flint-opoly."
Highland Mall - Austin, Texas
The first-ever mall in Austin suburban town was built in 1971. Highland Mall was in business for nearly 30 years before things started to take a turn. In 2008 a few of the shops that could be found in the building started to close down. And the media started getting a hold of the news.
Press reports called the shopping center "in decline" and that it was "likely to be demolished in 2010." But that wasn't even the worst of it. A year later, Yahoo named it one of "America's Most Endangered Malls." Despite the negative media attention, it was open for another 6 years before closing its doors.
Metro North Mall - Kansas City, Missouri
Back in 1976, when this shopping center opened its doors to the public, it was the first-ever closed mall in the area north of the Missouri River. But it wasn't just a place to visit people's favorite stores; it was also a place where people could enjoy lunch, catch a movie at the cinema, or even play a few games at the arcade.
By 1990 business was booming! But in the early 2000s to 2010s, redevelopment plans lept emerging but fell through. Eventually, the mall couldn't be held up anymore, and in 2014, it completely shut down. For three years, it was left vacant until finally, they demolished the building.
Collin Creek Mall - Plano, Texas
Almost 4 decades after it was opened in 1981, Collin Creek Mall closed its door to make way for a new redevelopment plan. But years ago, it had a superior interior that featured a series of foundations that led up to an indoor creek. It was a sight for sore eyes!
But by 2018, the owners sold the mall to Centurion American, who had a great plan in mind. They demolished half the building since it was sold, and now they are currently working on turning the area into a mixed-use development that will include retail space, single-family homes, hotel rooms, and more.
Randall Park Mall - Cleveland, Ohio
Randall Park Mall was struggling for around 10 years before finally going in and closing its doors. Since the center first opened in 1976, it was home to multiple retail stores for Cleveland locals to shop at. It even had a three-screen movie theater!
But that wasn't enough to keep customers coming back. It all started when the anchor stores of the mall started to shut down. Horne's was the first to say goodbye, as the company had filed for bankruptcy. By 2009, the entire building was left deserted.
Hawthorne Plaza - Hawthorne, California
In 1977, this popular California mall was visited by many each day thanks to its variety of 134 stores. But even though it was a hit at first, the center's reputation was tarnished after it was the victim of two shootings. Slowly, fewer and fewer people visited Hawthorn Plaza.
By 1999 it was officially closed down for business. But although this mall has been shut down for more than 20 years, it may look familiar to some. Many movies and TV shows were filmed here, including The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Teen Wolf, Agents of Shield, and Rush Hour.
Maple Hill Mall - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Maple Hill Mall wasn't abandoned for too long. After it was officially shut down for business in 2004, a new development plan was put into place. Instead of a shopping mall, the building became Maple Hill Pavilion, which featured other types of stores.
The area is now home to a Target, as well as a few discount stores, such as Marshalls and Dollar Tree. Before these popular shops were added in, the center was known as a "dead mall." Meaning a mall that has an increasingly high vacancy rate. Luckily they were able to redeem themselves!
Dixie Square Mall - Harvey, Illinois
From its opening in 1966 to its closing in 1978, this may just be one of the shortest amounts of time that a mall was ever in business. The Dixie Square Mall, named after its location on Dixie Highway in Chicago, was not frequently visited thanks to the crime-ridden area.
Eventually, it was left vacant after its closing, and the abandoned look became pretty well-known. So much so that even the movie, The Blues Brothers, was even filmed here. At one point, it was even utilized as a temporary school for students at the Harvey-Dixmoor School District. Talk about an interesting school trip!
Lincoln Mall – Matteson, Illinois
When Lincoln Mall was founded, it was home to 4 anchor stores and roughly 100 other smaller retail shops. It was often visited by locals living in the suburban area of Chicago at the beginning of 1973, but as time went on, its popularity began to decline.
In fact, by 2012, residents of Matteson were ready to see the mall disappear, which prompted discussions of a redevelopment. But unfortunately, the plan didn't work, and the mall was losing nearly $2 million dollars a year since they only had 40 clients still around. In 2015 it was shut down and demolished by 2019.
Woodville Mall – Northwood, Ohio
Although retail shops are usually forced to shut down due to financial struggles, this mall was ordered by a court to close its doors for good! Because of the many holes in the roof, mold, problems with the alarm system, and even many water leaks, a judge ordered the closure in 2011.
But even long before the structural problems, the mall struggled to get customers to shop at their stores in the early 2000s. It even started to become known as a "dead mall." So after the court's ruling, it didn't take long before the owners of the building shut it down for good.
Owing Mills Mall – Owing Mills, Maryland
Before its inevitable downfall, the residents of Owing Mills knew this mall was the place to be. Featuring nearly 155 shops to visit and many delicious places to eat, the shopping center was arguably very popular in the 1980-90s. But when a tragic murder happened one mile away, things took a turn.
In 1992, at the Metro subway station, Christina Brown suffered injuries from a gunshot wound. The unforeseen death led to locals deeming the mall as an unsafe place to be. Slowly but surely, the decline of the mall began. According to the Baltimore Sun, by 2010, 22.6% of the mall was vacant. It was completely shut down in 2016.
Crestwood Court – Crestwood, Missouri
This former mall was opened in 1957, making it the first one in the St. Louis area. But that wasn't its only 'first' - the shopping center was a pioneer when it came to having split levels of the parking lot that gave customers entrance to the department stores from any floor.
But despite that, it eventually became a "dead mall" when the anchor stores of the Crestwood Court, Macy's, Dillard's, and Sears, were all closed down even before the entire mall was demolished in 2016. Talks of a redevelopment plan were in the works, but it never worked out.
Frederick Towne Mall – Frederick, Maryland
While many individuals were charged with burglary and trespassing this mall once it was vacant, the crimes on-site were happening even long before the Frederick Towne Mall closed its doors to the public. In 2007, a shopper was sadly assaulted after leaving one of the department stores.
The news quickly spread, and the reputation of the center was tarnished. Business was already bad, and the Great Recession didn't exactly help out the stores financially. It was finally shut down permanently in 2013 - but instead of leaving the building to rot, the mall became an entertainment center, District 40, in 2019.
Hollywood Fashion Center – Hollywood, Florida
On the corner of Hollywood Boulevard in Florida once stood this popular shopping mall. It featured many stores that locals could browse through. But in the 1990's they, unfortunately, saw a decrease in business and the number of shoppers that came by each day.
But it was also the anchor stores that pulled away from the shopping center. By 1991, they had zero anchor stores…which is very important for huge malls to have. After 21 years of being open to the public, the owners had to shut down the mall. They shortly reopened as a flea market, but that failed.
Turfland Mall – Lexington, Kentucky
It seems like many malls that made history in their towns couldn't keep up with modern advancements. Turfland Mall may have been the first enclosed shopping center in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1967. But that didn't keep locals from continuously visiting.
In 2008 the doors were officially shut off to the public. A year later, the owners of the property, Rubloff of Lexington, announced their plan to turn it into a multipurpose commercial complex that would include office spaces, retail stores, and residential spaces. But sadly, they didn't go through with it.
Wayne Hills Mall – Wayne, New Jersey
Wayne Hills Mall had difficulty with their popularity with Wayne locals, because there was already a different shopping center in town, Willowbrook Mall. So for years, they struggled - up until 1993 when Neiman Marcus Last Call outlet was brought to the mall.
Despite this, in 2008, they faced hardships again and even became known as a "ghost mall" before finally closing all the stores. But people still have fond memories from their time there. One Reddit user said, "I remember this mall! Looking back, it looks like 100% concentrated the 90s, but now it's just depressing."
Zhoekvara Mall – Georgia
In the country of Georgia lies an old building that was once known as the place for wealthy Soviet elites to buy new outfits during their summers spent by the black Sea. The Zhoekvara mall has been abandoned since it was shut down when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Today it remains untouched, and the interior of the mall has an abundance of old decaying stairwells. The entire thing is filled with rust and is definitely not a safe place to be. We're not sure if there will ever be any future plans to fix up the old building…
Medley Centre Mall - Rochester, New York
Unlike many other malls on this list, the Medley Centre Mall, originally known as Irondequoit Mall, was built a bit later than others. The center was opened to the public in 1990, but unfortunately, didn't do so well with the locals of Rochester. It wasn't even 20 years later that they faced many problems staying open.
In 2010, most of the clients pulled out of working with the mall. At one point, they only had two remaining anchor stores. In 2014, tragedy hit them once again after a pipeline burst and caused a flood and damage to the building. Finally, in 2016, the last shop was closed.
Manchester Underground Market - Manchester, England
Although malls are typically above ground, this Manchester Underground Market was still visited regularly despite being beneath ground level. Since 1972, visitors could find anything they needed there, whether it was a new pair of shoes or a last-minute gift for their significant other.
It was even the first place in England to carry Levi jeans. But sadly, in 1980, the Arndale shopping center opened up close by and stole many of the loyal customers. Eventually, they had to close their doors, and the main entrance to the former mall was closed off by concrete.
Cortana Mall - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
These days access to online shopping is just one click away, and because of this, the need for physical shopping centers has declined. Look no further than Amazon, which ships things directly to people's homes just days after purchase. Ironically, Amazon has literally taken over malls.
After suffering financially since the Great Recession back in '08, the mall's owners attempted to sell it. But after failing to do so in 2018, they took it off the market. Finally, in 2021, the mall was demolished and sold to Amazon for $17 million, according to the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court.