Louisville’s Forgotten Mall

Mid-City Mall -- Louisville, KY
Photo credit:  University of Louisville Photo Archives

Mid City Mall -- Louisville, Kentucky When I was little I liked to study maps. I can remember getting the big giant road atlas out and just studying, looking, making notes. Of course living in small town Kentucky, Louisville, the largest city in my home state was often a source of obsession. When thinking back to those maps, Jefferson, Mall St Matthews, and Oxmoor Center, they were all there. Mid City Mall was never mentioned, and being on Bardstown Road, I honestly dont know that I was ever in that part of town until I was a grown man. Mid City Mall -- Louisville, Kentucky Before I dive more into the pictures let me give a little history.

Mid City Mall was built on the site of the German Protestant Orphan’s Home, which was founded in 1851 and moved to the 10-acre Highlands site in 1902. It remained there until 1962, but the structure and grounds were sold for $500,000 in 1959 to mall developers. The aging structure was demolished and the orphanage moved to Bardstown Road and Goldsmith Lane. Developers then built what became Kentucky’s second enclosed mall. The initial plan, unveiled in 1958, called for a $7.5 million, five-story mall with a pool in front on the Bardstown Road side and penthouse apartments on the top floor. The plan was gradually whittled down to a one-story plan with a lower level. The main developer of the project was Guy E. McGaughey, Jr., an attorney from Lawrenceville, Ill. The concept of an enclosed mall was very new. There were only a handful of enclosed malls in the US at the time. In drawing up the business model for the Mall, Mr. McGaughey had no basis for the rents. There was not a history for how much to charge the tenants for space, maintenance, housekeeping, repairs, trash pick-up, etc. Consequently, revenues were never enough to keep the Mall up-to-date and clean. Construction began in March 1962 and the mall was completed in October of that year at a cost of $3 million. The shopping center formally opened on October 10, 1962, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Louisville Mayor William O. Cowger and Jefferson County Judge Marlow Cook. The mall contained 180,000 square feet of leasable space and 22 stores. On June 21, 1964 an early morning fire that started in the Cherokee Book and Card Stop caused $200,000 in damage to the mall.

Mid City Mall -- Louisville, Kentucky

There was also a Kresge store in this mall that held its grand opening in October of 1962. Mid City Mall -- Louisville, Kentucky
The mall originally opened with Winn-Dixe supermarket.  When Winn-Dixie pulled out of the Louisville market in 2004, Buehler’s, a chain based in Jasper, Indiana, (not to be confused with the chain of the same name based in Ohio). Amid financial difficulties Buehler’s filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and closed both Louisville stores. The space was quickly taken over by Valu Market, a local Louisville area chain. Valu Market remains there today.

The mall is basically an elongated square on two floors.  The bottom floor was once home to a skating rink.  Today the mall is home to many non traditional mall tennants including a comedy club, doctors offices,  and a branch of the Louisville Public Library.
Mid City Mall -- Louisville, Kentucky//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Mid City Mall -- Louisville, Kentucky
In 2015 it was announced that the mall would recieve renovations and new tennants. Today the mall is full and renovations have been completed.
Mid City Mall -- Louisville, KY

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So Long My Friend. Saying Goodbye to Oak Hollow Mall

Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC If there are two things in this life I am the first would be a nerd and the second would be sentimental. When I lived in Greensboro, this mall was a pretty happening place. It wasnt as busy and overwhelmingly big as Four Seasons in Greensboro or Haynes Mall in Winston. It was just right. Plus, it had a Steve and Barry’s. Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
On Januiary 6, 2017, High Point University, the owner of the mall announced that the mall would finally close its doors on March 10th. The press release blamed Sears decision to close their call center located at the mall and the Universities inability to rebuild the malls tennant base.
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
I won’t go into a huge history of the mall, I did that in a post on this very blog last year when I visited the mall at that time. That post can be found by clicking HERE.
The main focus of this entry is a pure photo documentation of Oak Hollow Mall in its final days.
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
The Dillard’s Clearance store is owned by Dillard’s and will remain open.
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC The university opperates a community center inside the former JC Penney store. This community center will remain after the mall has closed. Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
Oak Hollow Mall -- High Point, NC
So long Oak Hollow Mall, thank you for the memories.

The Grove Arcade: One of America’s First Indoor Shopping Malls — Asheville, North Carolina

Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina

The Arcade Building, also known as The Grove Arcade and Asheville Federal Building, is a historic commercial building located at Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina. It was built in 1926-1929, and is a Tudor Revival / Late Gothic Revival style building consisting of two stacked blocks. Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina
Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina The lower block is a rectangular slab with rounded corners; it is capped by the second block, a two-tier set-back. The steel frame and reinforced concrete building was designed to serve as a base for an unbuilt skyscraper. Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina
It features a roof deck with a bronze semi-elliptical balcony, molded terra cotta pilasters, and a ziggurat-like arrangement of huge ramps to the roof deck. The building occupies a full city block and housed one of America’s first indoor shopping malls. It was sold to the federal government in 1943. The building housed the National Climatic Data Center until 1995.
Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina Grove Arcade -- Asheville, North Carolina

The Grove Arcade was added to the National Register of Historic Places May 19, 1976.

Becker Village Mall — Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

I can remember back around 2009 or 2010 I stumbled upon this mall online in a block entry on labelscar.  It fascinated me.  With the mall being in the far north eastern portion of North Carolina I hadnt had a chance to visit it, until now.  It is just as magnificent and fascinating as I always had hoped it would be. Before I get on to the pictures I will offer a few basic facts.

  • Opened in 1980
  • Kmart closed in 2002
  • Belk closed in 2006
  • The mall was sold in 2014 to a firm in New Jersey.

Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC JC Penney is the last remaining anchor in business at Becker Village Mall and has also closed off their direct mall entrance. Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC
Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC Inside the corridor, goodluck finding any signs of life other than mall walkers. Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC
Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC Kmart at Becker Village Mall closed in the 2002 round of store closings and the space has been vacant since. Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC
Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC The other anchor, Belk, closed in late 2006. This space has also been vacant since Belk’s departure. Former Belk -- Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC
Former Belk -- Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC Former Belk -- Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC
Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC One of the few businesses open in the mall is H&R Block. Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC
When I was researching this mall for this entry I came across something someone had posted in 2006. This same exact vinyl banner was in those pictures as well. The banner is still going strong. That’s the only thing still going strong at Becker Village.
Becker Village Mall -- Roanoke Rapids, NC

JC Penney — College Square Mall — Morristown, TN (1988-2016)

On January 16 of 2016 it was announced that the JC Penney store at College Square Mall would close, ending the companies presence in Morristown, a town where they had been in business since 1923.
College Square Mall -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
In February 1988 JC Penney would locate in the newly constructed College Square Mall co-anchoring the new mall with other national retailers including Sears and Walmart.
College Square Mall -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
The JC Penney store at College Square Mall closed its doors for good at the end of business on April 8.
College Square Mall -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
JC Penney -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
JC Penney -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
JC Penney -- Morristown, Tennessee//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Jackson Mall / Cumberland Regional Mall — Williamsburg, Kentucky

The Cumberland Regional Mall is located in the town of Williamsburg in Whitley County, Kentucky along US 25W.  This was another big mystery to me.  Ive noticed this mall for years.  There is literally no information or pictures available online about this mall or its history.
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The mall was originally opened in 1977 and anchored by TG&Y and Food World.

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Family Dollar is now in part of the former Food World

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This building was originally TG&Y, later McCroy’s, until that chain closed.  Walmart opened here in 1987.  Im thinking thats about the time that this mall changed its name to Cumberland Regional.  The Walmart remained until March of 1999.

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Radio Shack sign is still on the outside.

 

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Today the mall is basically comprised of a couple of restaurants, a parole office, a pawn shop, an indoor bouncy house and a nail salon.  There was a theater here until around 2010 called Movies Five.wp_20160102_004-2_23769552589_o
wp_20160102_005-2_23841691020_o The Mall was laid out with two anchors on each end and 2 corridor entrances. This is the mall entrance nearest to the Food World. wp_20160102_006-2_23769532529_o
One of the few businesses open in the mall was this pawn shop and the Mexican Restaurant next door.
wp_20160102_007-2_24029231192_o At least they still decorate for Christmas….even if the Santa is a tad creepy. wp_20160102_008-2_24054715991_o
This is a church now. Im thinking something like Shoe Show or possibly even Cato would have filled this space in the past.
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wp_20160102_012_24137307735_o This tree was placed in the corridor nearest to the TG&Y / Walmart wp_20160102_013-2_24054673441_o
wp_20160102_014-2_24029171842_o Another one of the few traditional mall businesses, a nail salon. wp_20160102_015_24137281415_o
wp_20160102_016-2_24029155392_o The GOLD of the entire exploration, the walled up mall entrance from the former Walmart! Walmart closed here in 1999 when they opened up a super center near I 75. wp_20160102_020-2_23769419069_o
wp_20160102_023-2_23510409803_o wp_20160102_024-2_24029108762_o
wp_20160102_025-2_23841540010_o Im pretty sure this fancy fountain is not original. wp_20160102_026-2_24054581781_o
wp_20160102_028-2_24029079642_o This is the rear of the mall. wp_20160102_029-2_23841510440_o
The entrance from the rear side nearest to the former Food World.

The mall does have a more recent claim to fame.  It even made the Huffington Post when a Chinese Restaurant at the mall was caught using road kill for their entrees.  Yummy.  That article can be found by clicking HERE

As always, if you have any more information about this mall please feel free to contact me or comment. Special thanks to my friend Bobby Peacock for helping me piece together the history of this mall!