Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Macon Mall: Macon, GA

The second largest mall in the state of Georgia is a mall located in Macon, GA.  It is one of Georgia's largest cities, but still a city located in a metro area just shy of 400,000 people with two other shopping malls to compete with.  In the mall race of the 70's and 80's, it seemed most every city in Georgia was aiming to have the biggest and the best shopping mall in hopes of creating not just a mall, but a tourist attraction.  For most of its existence, Macon Mall was just that: a particularly large shopping mall with much to offer that had everything by that standards of the day.  When it opened in 1975, it was a two-level mall with four anchors making it on par with the newest and largest malls in Atlanta.  Nearby Westgate Mall with no department stores was no match for the behemoth, which hosted Sears, Belk Matthews, Davison's and JCPenney.  Westgate itself was groundbreaking as Georgia's very first enclosed mall, but it also never had anything beyond a grocery store or five-and-dime store as an unfortunately hopeless scenario.  While Westgate faded away, Macon Mall quickly became the shining star of Middle Georgia.  It would maintain this position for over 30 years, and for a short period of time it became the largest mall in Georgia.

The original Macon Mall was supremely outlandish compared to today.  Filled with seemingly millions of lightbulbs, dark browns and dark reds it was a disco relic within a short time.  Nevertheless, it was attractively designed with plentiful fountains, space and popular stores of the period.  Its quickly dated and expensive to maintain appearance, however, led to the mall's first renovation in 1983.  Three years later, one of its original anchors Davison's would revert to Macy's.  At this point, its only competition came from smaller Houston Mall while fading Westgate would revert to an outlet mall and would lure Wal-Mart in a desperate bid to survive.  Nevertheless, both malls found themselves in a prime retail corridor as Eisenhower Pkwy (US 80) filled with new strip malls between the exits on I-75 and I-475 to take advantage of the traffic from the huge mall.  Macon Mall, however, was placed in a strange spot located halfway between the two interstates instead of within view of at least one of them.  Westgate had that advantage, but they were never able to take advantage of it since I-75 was not completed in the area until around the same time that Macon Mall opened.

The first photo shows Macon Mall in its 1970's disco-era glory.  Photo is from Malls of America.  The second photo shows a contemporary view of center court between Belk and Macy's (former Davison's and Rich's).  Note the presence of amazing fountains from the period built straight into the floor.  These fountains survived the 1997 renovation, and this is not the only fountain found in the older part of the mall.

Throughout most of its history, the mall was in a unique position in that it did not have any real competition.  This was hardly the case in Columbus or Augusta where a mall rivalry was ongoing that Macon Mall was spared from due to Westgate's poor timing.  It seemed like the mall was invincible and able to draw from all of middle Georgia from where it stood.  This led the mall to renovate again, this time expanding the mall on the other side of JCPenney in 1997.  Incorporating JCPenney as part of the mall, this allowed a huge new addition on the other side, which upscaled the mall bringing in Dillard's and Parisian.  It should be noted how odd it is that JCPenney ends up sandwiched in as part of the mall itself when the mall decided to expand straight through it.  Malls expanding through JCPenney seem to happen more than one would think.  As to Dillard's and Parisian, both stores were in major expansion mode in that time, and this solidified their presence in Georgia.  Curiously, neither Gayfer's nor JB White ever located a store in Macon, and Dillard's arrival came prior to the buyout of Mercantile Stores.  It is a shame that none of those stores had considered Westgate beforehand, however. 

A look from just outside of Macy's toward Belk across center court from the upper level.  This mall is so full of eye-catching appeal throughout if only it had retained some of the color that it had originally.

A look along the Sears wing reveals the troubles.  On the left appears to be a vacant Old Navy.  The Old Navy moved down the road to a very large power center a couple years ago.

Sears mall entrance view from second level.  The landings at the base of the steps surrounded by a rotunda of plants is something I wish I would see more often.

View down an entrance wing along the second level near Sears.  Baskin Robbins is on the right.

The same stairway as viewed from the base in front of Sears.

The addition of Dillard's and Parisian brought a four anchor mall to six anchors, and suddenly the largest mall in Georgia...until Mall of Georgia opened.  Now at nearly 1.5 million square feet, to all appearances the mall was invincible.  Two new parking decks were constructed to handle the increase in business and decrease in parking.  Rocky Creek was also relocated on a new course further away from the mall to allow for the expansion.  Previously, it flowed approximately where Parisian was.  In the years following the expansion, the mall was packed all the way to the highway due to its near monopoly on regional retail.  What is also nice is that in the last renovation that the mall did not strip out all of the planters and fountains, which is something I appreciated much.  Curiously, Macy's changed the following year after the 1997 renovation over to Rich's, apparently an early attempt to test how successful Rich's was outside of the Atlanta area.  Rich's would then change back to Macy's in early 2005.  As late as 2006, the mall was in a distinct position of dominance with a huge selection of stores and a complete selection of department stores from low-end to upper-middle.  How could this go wrong?

Any mall that refuses to put in planters quite frankly deserves to go under, so it is a shame that the ones that actually kept things like this are the ones that seem to be struggling the most.  This mall would feel a lot more empty and drafty without such features as this. This is on the lower level heading away from Sears.

Fountains are a prominent built-in feature in center court.  The only problem I see is the risk of falling in this one.  It is like a bathtub in the middle of the mall.  This is the same fountain featured in the second photo.

My camera did not want to focus on this very well, but with some sharpening it came out almost right.  Here I got more detail of the sprayers in the fountain as well as the tiled "islands".  I like it a lot.  Now bring them back everybody else.

This one I think I liked the best of all of them...a terraced cascading fountain built around the stairway in front of the west mall entrance to JCPenney.  This used to be the east end of the mall until the mall was routed straight through it to a new wing added in 1997.

More detail of the fountain in front of JCPenney.  This reminds me of the terraced waterfalls found in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  This also unofficially marks the entrance to the food court wing.

The problem was, trouble was brewing on the horizon in some very painful ways.  First, the wave of department store consolidation was about to hit Macon Mall.  Second, the area around Eisenhower had seen a noticeable decline since the mall opened.  In 2006, parent company Saks, Inc who owned Parisian was hoping to unload the chain, which was not performing to the company's expectations.  Hoping to focus all of their attention on Saks Fifth Avenue, the company went up for sale in 2006 with Belk outbidding Dillard's to purchase the chain.  Belk did not intend to keep the Parisian name, so this posed a big problem for malls with both stores.  In the case of Macon Mall, Belk simply closed the Parisian and kept their existing store in the old Belk Matthews, which had just dropped the "Matthews" part of the name the year before.  This was the first major vacancy.  The more glaring problem, though, was the obvious fact that the mall had a growing crime problem.  With no other options, the stores in the mall simply dealt with it, but General Growth provided the escape by opening up a new open-air lifestyle center called "The Shoppes at River Crossing" in 2008.  A tornado hitting the mall in May of the same year doing minor damage makes me wonder if that was some kind of also damaged Westgate Shopping Center on the former Westgate Mall site.

Entering the newer wing of the mall just outside of the east mall entrance of JCPenney.  This previously led to Dillard's and Parisian but now leads to nothing.  A few stores linger on this stretch as well as some local art shops, but it is largely empty.

A look down the Parisian mall entrance wing to a store that has been vacant since 2007.  If Parisian still existed, I wonder how the fortunes would have been for this part of the mall.  Belk might have used this store for awhile, but any hope of this was shattered when the lifestyle center opened.

Empty storefronts abound on this part of the mall, but this is by no means a slow process.  Much of these stores closed within the past two years, and they do not look dated at all.  If only...

Approaching here is what was once the Dillard's mall entrance.  While it is efficient in this horrible economy, it still makes me cringe to think of this becoming a courthouse.

When looking at this map, the answer seems pretty obvious: keep the Dillard's for the courthouse but knock down the rest of the 1997 mall addition east of JCPenney.  From this map, the rest of the mall looks like it would be fine if that excess space was removed.  I love the current mall logo by the way.  A mall named after the city it is in seems like a general good plan, but the alliteration of "Macon" and "Mall" has a nice ring to it.

"The Shoppes at River Crossing" has been a thorn in the side of Macon Mall.  The new center opened in the wealthier part of the city away from the crime and worsening decay on the opposite side of the city where Macon Mall sits.  This new center opened in former vacant land at the intersection of GA 87 and New Forsyth Road (Old GA 148) just north of I-75.  With it, the center took the Dillard's from Macon Mall leaving the whole east wing added only 11 years before void of anchors.  Even worse was what is taking place along Eisenhower.  Strip malls are emptying out, including the redeveloped Westgate, which once housed Media Play and Home Depot and now is down to nothing more than Burlington Coat Factory...a sure sign that all is not well in the area and that the area is overbuilt.  Nevertheless, a major strip mall down the road housing a relocated Home Depot, Dicks Sporting Goods, Best Buy and other tenants proves that the area is still viable.  Unfortunately, that strip alone is also pulling from the mall as well as much of the other retail in the area.

Another view of the dead weight on the mall looking back toward JCPenney.  A mere three years ago this was a swanky addition with two nice department stores.  Note the dead Hollister on the left.

The upstairs tells the same story.

I was 17 years old when this addition opened, and to me it doesn't seem that long ago.  Time flies too fast.

Next to the food court is this dead restaurant with no attempt made to even hide it.  Was this Panera Bread?

Looking along the upper level of the food court wing, which seems to be a combination of mostly vacant shops and seating areas.  In the back is a carousel, but I was unable to get a better shot.

Macon Mall is surviving, and it is hardly dead by any means.  The original part of the mall continues to keep all four of its anchors filled including Belk, which maintains its location in the mall.  However, the number of vacancies is creeping higher and many national stores have fled the mall recently.  While I would hardly say the situation is hopeless, I definitely think these are serious problems the mall is facing.  What the mall should do right away is to force all tenants in the old Dillard's/Parisian wing to relocate into the older part of the mall.  After this is completed, the mall should then seal off this part and demolish it like it had never existed.  The spirit of competition has historically discouraged such drastic measures as simply downsizing a mall, but in this case I think that it is pertinent for them to seriously consider this.  The chance of anchors coming to fill these spots is slim, and the mall is successful enough right now to maintain itself in its original size.  Pride aside, the mall has four successful anchors that appear to be staying right where they are, and the oversizing of the mall in 1997 came more than 20 years after the original mall opened. 

I was having so much trouble getting my camera to focus on this trip.  Better pics from "cantnot" can be found on LiveMalls

Looking down below is a fountain I absolutely did not notice when walking through before.  This one is just east of center court.  I feel like I need to get more of this place, but at its size it was quite difficult to cover everything.

One other shot of the fountain in front of JCPenney looking toward center court with a corner of the food court on the left.  I was unable to get any pics of the food court, either.  It was half-empty.

This is showing the Belk mall entrance when it was still Belk Matthews.  This was taken by Edric Floyd in 2006.

Personal views aside, Macon Mall did not rate high in comfort when I visited.  The huge Macon police presence suggested that the crime problem has soared, and this was confirmed after doing a little research.  Not only that, but the mall has been changing hands and losing value.  Its last owner, Colonial Properties, went into foreclosure with the mall today owned by Jones Lang LaSalle.  Furthermore, apparently plans are underway to convert the old Dillard's into a new Bibb County Courthouse.  While that sounds highly efficient, that also sounds highly tacky if they keep the mall in between.  I can't think of many stores that would want to locate on the "courthouse" wing.  In my opinion, if that is the grand plan then definitely tear down the mall back to JCPenney so that a tasteful degree of separation exists.  Of course, perhaps the idea is if the mall fails it will all convert to county offices, which is still a bit presumptuous at this point.

Macy's, which opened as Davison's and also operated as Rich's.  This store was a little different from the prototype used in the early 80's.

This photo from 2005 came just barely after the change from Rich's, and left behind here is a Rich's label scar hidden under the new sign.  Why I didn't just photograph everything at the mall that day I will never know.  I would have loved to have seen this mall in its prime, because I didn't expect what happened would actually happen.

Dillard's is gone, but the evidence remains.  It closed in late 2008.

JCPenney is plain, blocky and sandwiched between a very big mall.

Belk, which operated as Belk Matthews later than most Belk partnership stores.  This store is a clone to the store at doomed Carolina Circle Mall in Greensboro, NC.

In March 2005, I captured this photo of the same building when it was Belk Matthews.  I included this photo on an earlier post. 

Parisian attempted to bring upscale retailing to the Deep South, but today the store is vacant as a victim of consolidation with Belk in 2007.

In all, I hope for the best for Macon Mall and it is a bit sad to see a mall that was once a shining pinnacle of retailing lose its luster.   It is just hoped that while the mall remains in a viable position that the owners will consider downsizing to remove the obvious weak points of the mall.  Many factors are hurting the mall including downward shifting demographics, new competition, a souring economy and a retail market that is overbuilt, possibly on purpose in order to move the better stores away from the area.  Whatever happens, hopefully it will work out because it is one of the more fascinating malls I have visited with a rather grand history.

Curiously I still covered this mall directory just because it said Rich's.  This shows when the mall was owned by Colonial Properties Trust.  Then it was called "Colonial Macon Mall".  Note Belk Matthews shown here as well.


  1. Very well done! There was talk in the Eighties of a mall or other similar facility in North Bibb near the present Shoppes at River Crossing; this didn't happen. No more malls will come to Middle Georgia unless a regional mall comes to the Perry/Unadilla area (my prediction). My bet is on a lifestyle center. I don't think Macon Mall will rebound like Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah. Savannah's a different animal. I would doubt Sears or Penney's will move to North Macon unless Macon Mall goes down the tubes completely and The Shoppes finds that it can't be too snooty. Sears owns the property and building at the Macon Mall. My sister worked at Macon Mall and showed us around when the doors cracked open in 1975. It was something else!

    I would clarify that Interstate 75 in Macon was completed in 1971. Interstate 475 through West Bibb opened in the mid-Sixties. But your time line wasn't too out of whack. BTW there was a mall proposed for Downtown Macon in the late Sixties where the Terminal Station is today. This bore no fruit.

    It saddens me to see what's happened to Macon but not all that befell Macon Mall is related to local events.

  2. What a sad place. It was really a nice mall, but it apparently was too big and in the wrong spot. It's a shame.

    I think that dead restaurant was an Atlanta Bread Company, which was a lot like Panera.

    It also looks like Belk changed out the glass in their entrance from amber to gray tint. It looked better the original way.

  3. I am not going to lie that seeing such a huge, spectacular mall failing like this is heartbreaking. I forgot about Atlanta Bread Company when I commented on that photo. I think with the Belk entrance it may have just been the afternoon sun, but I could be wrong. I am so glad I got that Belk Matthews photo, though. They were all over that region in 2003. I still want to kick myself for not getting photos of all the anchors back in 2005 instead of going out there and getting photos for a site that doesn't even exist anymore.

    1. The Macon Mall has too many different things you could photograph. I have found a book you can buy from 2001 called Macon, GA and it has photos of Dillard's Interior entrance and Parisian exterior when Colonial Properties owned it.

  4. I visited this mall a few years ago before things started emptying out. Evidently, it's before I started my online journal in very late 2003, so it was probably during the 2002-2003 time period. I remember the JCPenney being in the middle of the mall and finding it odd having to walk through it, but it didn't dawn on me that one side of the mall was older than the other. There was another mall configured the same way that I'd been to, but I can't remember where. The mall at Columbus, GA (the current one, not the one that went out years ago) had an add-on requiring walking through a department store to get to the new wing, but it's not the mall I'm thinking of. I've mentally gone through every city where I've visited a mall and can't come up with it.

    Macon Mall was doing well when I visited, and it was my first visit to Macon. Looking at a typical map of the Macon area in a road atlas gives a very misleading picture. It appears that you can go around Macon in a loop on the interstates. You can't! The I-475 and I-75 interchange south of Macon is not complete. This means that US 80 where the mall is located is a required route to go from one to the other to "loop" around Macon. People have to travel that entire stretch, so that was probably the logic behind the mall's location. When I went, I didn't have time to explore Macon thoroughly, but after finding that huge mall soon after getting there, I figured there would be any more.

  5. Evans...the mall you possibly visited that was split by an anchor was Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville, GA. Penney's sits in the middle of Lakeshore, and a zig-zag trip is required to get to the other section of the mall. To accomodate this, the center 'backward S'-shaped main aisle is wider.

  6. I thought about mentioning Lakeshore, which is covered on this blog, but I seem to remember another mall that has this configuration with JCPenney cutting the mall in half. Like Macon Mall, Lakeshore was added onto to create that. Lakeshore is one of the easiest malls to overlook...not well located and very much eclipsed by bigger, better malls.

  7. This isn't in Georgia, but the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, NC has a "walk-thru" JCPenney there too. It's a larger mall like Macon Mall (albeit experiencing much better success). Interestingly, I think Hanes Mall is the largest in North Carolina, a title that, according to you, Macon Mall had in Georgia at one time.

  8. Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville, FL is a similar setup, only the bisecting anchor is a Belk. Just like this mall, there's a bit of a reputation for crime, and it's the *newer* wing that's almost dead. The newer wing there has Sears, Dillard's and a vacant Montgomery Ward (later a furniture store), while the "old" mall runs from JCPenney to Belk.

    There was also Springdale Mall in Mobile, AL, which had two "mini-malls" on either side of a Dillard's. One of the mall sections was gutted in 2001 for a Best Buy, and the other was mostly wiped out in 2004.

  9. I visited Macon a few years ago with a friend who spent some time growing up there. We made a point to go to the mall, as we're kind of urban planning/economic tourists... one of his memories was of how the relocation of Rocky Creek under one of the mall's parking lots had made the lot unstable. When we visited, we walked out across one of the lots on our way to the bus stop, and sure enough, there were large taped-off areas of the parking lot where the pavement was sagging in, with a few small holes in some places. I don't know how long it stayed like this, but I didn't see this when I went back last year.

  10. Another bisected mall was the Gallery at Market East in downtown Philadelphia. It was originally a two-anchor mall, with the flagship Strawbridge & Clothier at the east end and Gimbel's at the west. (Yes, they got Gimbel's to tear down their flagship store and move into a mall.)

    A few years later they added a Penney's. On the underground level you could get from Strawbridge's to Penney's without going through Gimbel's, passing the entrance to the Market East regional rail station.

    Gimbel's became Stern's, then closed. They walled off a tunnel as wide as the store entrance, so you would cross over carpeting laid out with tiled walkways that cut across at angles and didn't go anywhere.

  11. did you see this? any thoughts?

  12. I actually did a post on this. See link here:

    This has been an interesting saga, and I got there just in time. I have the feeling the article you sent me was referencing this blog somewhat, and I definitely wish that I could confirm somehow that my advice in this blog had anything to do with what actually happened.

    I also realized this blog is already out of date. I'm just glad I was able to preserve a piece of history, and I assume that Labelscar will cover this mall eventually as well.

  13. Wow, seriously? Is the Macon mall dying? Man I've been away far too long.

    I used to hang around this place in my teens. In fact, I still have my GMX motorcycle boots I bought there in 99/00.

    It's just so hard to believe, this place was flourishing when I left. Never in a million years would I expect the Macon mall to die.

  14. Unfortunately some of the Belk-Macy's fountains have been replaced with tile floor that hardly matches the tile around it. Several empty storefronts are hidden behind temporary construction walls, where tenants from the newer wing are relocating. Rue 21 and Finish Line are on the first floor near the food court. One of the Foot Locker stores - either Kids FL or Lady FL - is also relocating somewhere in the old wing. Other empty spaces, such as the former Atlanta Bread Company (second floor, above Cinnabon), are under construction with no signs telling what's going there. Also, the old Ruby Tuesday and Chick-fil-A spaces have been carved out and added to the food court seating area, with more tile that barely matches what's there.

    Already I'm not too wild about what Hull Storey Gibson is doing, just because it involves removal of some of the fountains (hopefully not all). We'll see if they fail with this mall in the end.

  15. I wanted to go for a walk today, but it was awfully windy out - so I decided to walk the mall. I really wish I hadn't because it's depressing. They've taken out all floor fountains and only the tiered fountain near the food court area is left. Although, they have ripped up the plants from around it so I suppose that means the certain removal of that one as well. They're ripping out kiosks like mad too. Everything they are ripping out is being replaced with the most non-matching finishes they can find. There are no signs indicating whether they will be relocating Spencers and Victoria's Secret or if they are just losing those stores. It appears that Hot Topic is gone. All in all, it's looking really crappy in there and I think I'll just jog in place in my living room the next time I want to exercise when the weather sucks.

  16. Hot Topic is gone too? Seriously? I buy my Beatles shirts in there, hahaha... Hot Topic is not on the directory on the mall's website, but Spencer's is.

  17. not too long ago, they just finished demolishing the new wing. The old Dilliard's building is still up, but the parking decks and wing that connected to JCPenny's is gone now. They have renovated and even put historic pics of how Macon used to look back in the 40s, 50s, up til' now. They're about to lose Sears soon though.


  19. sears closed on 4-29-12 and belk is closing in october 2012

  20. sears closed on 4-29-12 and belk is closing in october 2012

  21. Burlington Coat factory is taking the old Sears building.

  22. Word; if you go to Heaven and see a Burlington Coat Factory you either didn't really make it to Heaven or God sold out and moved to another facility. Burlington is not the last coffin nail but it's the first. I read the write-up about Regency and the comments on the memories. Macon was boring compared to Augusta but we all have memories. I'll fill you in later if I don't forget. The Batteries Plus store across the street from Sears is moving two miles down from The Shoppes at River Crossing (in a neighborhood beginning its decline but much better). We have "42" being filmed downtown; maybe "The Walking Dead" will do its shooting along US80 in the empty structures (hehe).

  23. With the loss of Sears, it seems as if that whole side of the mall has died along with it. Radio Shack, Royal Express, TeeJ, and the gym have all packed up and left. Kirklands left for bigger & better pastures over at River Crossing. The 1st floor level has been completely carpeted, and progress is still being made on the 2 sets of stairs at either end to update them to escalotors (i know there will be one in the food court, but not sure about the far east end where Sears used to be). They have opened up a very large BBQ restaurant upstairs next to the old Sears location, and I noticed the other day, there is coming soon a new store, which it sign promotes that it sells many different brands of clothin, though I can't remember the name. Where once even the food court was struggling, they have opened up the entrance area, and Subway recently returned where the little newstand store used to be. Macon Mall is still trying to somehow revive itself with what it already has. It still has a very long way to go if it hopes to ever be what it used to be. The new owners have spent money in wasteful ways, repaving and redirecting the Eisenhower entrance into a circle (I hate that thing), along with several other needless changes that in no way affected whether the mall go any business or not. My advice to them would be to bring back the big names, and cut some deals with local businesses to get their a**es back into all those empty storefronts. Yes, it may not be in the most affluent area of town, but Security guards or Macon PD - pick one, not both. I've lived in Macon for 4&1/2 yrs and I remember it when it had way more to offer than it does now.

  24. now Belk's has closed, they are currently repaving the parking lot. JC Penny's is getting a new store front, and 2 new stores (that sell outdoor/hunting goods) is coming in the new mall. But to me it looks more like a museum than a mall. Just saying...

  25. I think it's strange that apparently the same company who owns Bradley Square owns Macon Mall too... (Based on the logo and the " YOUR MALL, YOUR NEIGHBORS, YOUR STORES" stuff. With seemingly failing and then a last minute restoration. Bradley Square might hold on because its still in the retail district, whereas Macon sounds like its kinda outside of that....

    1. HSG owns the mall. Those *w3%&%^@758*^Y&*^& people.

  26. It is truly a shame what has happened here. More stores than ever are leaving for River Crossing. Justice is soon relocating their store to River Crossing and Aeropostale and Helzberg Diamonds have recently closed at the Mall

  27. After recent back surgery, I began a walking rehabilitation program at The Macon Mall. I've lived in Macon since the mid 70's and, during that time, "The Mall" had been the hub of the city, if not all of middle Georgia. I started trying to reconstruct a mental image of the placement of all the stores and found it to be an immensely sad undertaking. Like many of the other posters here, I have so many memories of the mall, of being a 20 year old wearing patch work bell bottom's, silk shirt and platform shoes, through my punk phase, my Don Johnson look alike phase and, finally, taking my kids, who are now grown. It was always packed and you really could spend all day there. Playing Mortal Combat with my son at Aladdin's Castle, my daughter getting Glamor Shots, buying my PS One at KB toys, video cards from EB and Game Stop,, nostalgia is a bitch! As of this writing, the only "old" stores that remain are Bourbon Chicken, Spencer Gifts, Penney's, Macy's and the pet store. There are 8, low end jewelry stores and 10 athletic shoe stores and little else, a few eateries and little else. I would love to see more pictures!

  28. You're right, it was the Atlanta Bread Company. I miss them so much!

  29. I missed my macon mall,I wished all the stores can come back.

  30. I really enjoyed your pictures and your thoughts about the mall. Your time line was pretty much on point. I like the others who commented, to remember when the Macon Mall ( We were so proud to say that) opened. I was a child...about 8 and just to walk in there was absolutely wonderful!! The bright lights, the colors! It brings rears to my eyes to see it in such ruin. U hung out at the mall as a teenager, worked at the mall, and of course shopped there. (Favorite stores...Maryanns and Bakers). I e en remember when the anchor stores had restaurants! My mom worked at Davison. No one believes me when I say...there were actual restaurants in the department stores! I wished the mall could be saved. So many memories.

  31. Chick-fil-A is worth a mention here too. If I remember correctly from when I was very young, there was no food court wing lined with counter-service restaurants (it may have been part of the 1983 renovation). Rather, there were several restaurants scattered around the mall -- a McDonald's (can't remember exactly where), a Morrison's (near Sears, I think), and Chick-fil-A, upstairs fairly close to Sears. Back then, I only remember seeing Chick-fil-As inside malls as full restaurants with their own seating. It was a special treat to go to one at the big malls -- Macon, Southlake, the mall in Warner Robins (can't remember the name). I think that's how it really got going as a regional chain -- through mall stores. Eventually, some time after the food court opened, it moved down there as just a counter.

  32. I used to visit my Uncle and Aunt in Grey, GA, and we always went to a mall that I THINK was Macon Mall. I remember seeing the comic adaptation of "Alien" in a bookstore there so it was 1979 or 1980. One of the central courts had a ceiling clock made of three circles of large round bulbs that lit in sequence: seconds, minutes and hours. The same court held a huge round wishing well fountain full of pennies. There was a video arcade embellished with cavernous rock walls and a fountain containing goldfish, but it was broken most of my visits. The clock always awed me and I was hoping to go back to Macon and visit it to re-live part of my childhood but there is no mention of it on any website so it was either removed during renovations or was actually in another mall. Does anyone else know about this?