Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eastdale Mall: Montgomery, AL

The retail history of Montgomery seems to be a pretty disposable one.  With many dead strip malls, the city also is one of the few lucky ones to have two dead malls, which I covered prior to this post.  Eastdale is the newest mall in the city, if lifestyle centers do not count.  It has also shifted from an ancillary mall to the prominent destination mall providing the last traditional mall experience in the city since Montgomery Mall faded away two years ago.  Eastdale is quite an experience at that as well.  As Aronov Realty's premier mall, it effectively replaced Aronov's first center in the city as a super-regional shopping destination.  It is also the only mall in Alabama to feature its own ice skating rink, which is quite a unique element considering that ice skating is an unheard of activity in subtropical Southern Alabama.

The whole concept of Eastdale Mall to me seems to be roughly modeled on now-closed Eastland Mall in Charlotte.  Apparently Aronov must have visited the mall when it opened deciding to incorporate elements into his own mall.  Even the name suggests a connection, and definitely the ice rink in center court leads me to ponder that assessment.  Eastdale also hosted four anchors originally including stores never before in the city.  The mall itself opened in 1977, and despite renovations it holds much of its late 70's dusky charm with retro elements similar to Aronov's University Mall in Tuscaloosa.  With that, there was a lot to like about this mall, and the crowds in there confirm this.

Three pictures of the ice rink in Eastdale.  This is the only mall-based ice skating rink in Alabama. While never as impressive as the rink at Eastland in Charlotte, it is still quite a draw.

A map of the mall.  The ice rink is just south of one of the Belk stores, which originally was Pizitz and mainly McRae's.  The mall was otherwise pretty straightforward until it was greatly expanded in 2005.

The mall has seen many anchor changes since it opened, but several of the anchors still look original.  Its original anchors were Gayfer's, Pizitz, Parisian and Montgomery Ward.  Pizitz and Parisian were prominent Birmingham stores giving the mall a bigger city feel than its predecessor Montgomery Mall and a first for the city, though Pizitz itself carried over from downtown.  Eastdale Cinemas 8 was also an original anchor, and amazingly it is still there!  The first anchor change came in 1984 when Sears replaced the Montgomery Ward.  In 1987, Pizitz converted to McRae's and Gayfer's was folded into Dillard's in 1998.  The original mall was also last renovated in 2001, and I suspect it was renovated at least one time before during the 1980's most likely after Montgomery Mall updated itself.  Sears at the mall was also extensively renovated inside and out, and it bears no resemblance today to its former Montgomery Ward-styled appearance.  A food court was also added around 1989 along the original front entrance wing (now the JCPenney wing).  The new food court was attractive incorporating planters and fountains along with burgers and fries.  Nevertheless, the original mall was still not much different from the original Montgomery older mall forming a straight shot.  Eastdale, though, has a memorable center court to distinguish it and always had more department stores.

The food court is lush and attractive, though not the most substantial I have seen.  The fountain in the center is nice.  It was added to the mall later.

A stroll down the main mall with not the best location for a photo.  This was on the Sears wing.  My camera did not like this darkness and artificial light.

In 2004, big changes began for the mall.  This was when a 30,000 square foot expansion was underway extending from center court to a new JCPenney store.  The JCPenney store would open in 2005 replacing the dated store at fading Montgomery Mall.  The expansion, however, was not just for the shoppers: it was necessary for survival.  The Shoppes at Eastchase, a new lifestyle center, had opened in 2002 and was stealing stores and shoppers from the mall.  The addition, along with the full anchor line-up, was the hopeful plan to keep Eastdale from succumbing to Eastchase.  The improvements definitely seem to work.

This part of the mall was the Dillard's wing looking toward center court.

The northwest entrance wing includes a mall movie theater, which in every respect appears to be original.

If not for the updated flooring, this could very well be a scene from 1977.  I'm sure the theater is updated inside, though.

Department store consolidation also had a huge effect on Eastdale.  Gayfer's was not the only victim, because Saks, Inc. really shook up the mall starting in 2006.  In 2006, this was when McRae's was sold off to Belk.  Apparently, instead of converting the store to Belk, Parisian doubled up at the mall.  This coincided with the closing of the Parisian at Montgomery Mall, which was a much larger store than the one at Eastdale.  Ultimately, Belk would come back to take over both stores converting both the former McRae's and Parisian over to Belk.  While this maintained five anchors, it reduced the actual department store count to four like it was originally. Belk had no presence in the market prior to 2007, and Parisian was committed to its existing stores, which is the likely reason why neither Parisian nor Belk opened at Eastchase.

Looking back toward the mall along the northwest entrance wing.

This should have been my best shot of the main mall, but the camera did not want to focus.  I am not meaning to show an empty store in all these photos, seriously!

Dillard's wing near Dillard's and Belk Women's (former Parisian)

The problem with Eastdale is that it is still part of the same original by-pass road that Normandale and Montgomery Malls faded and died on.  Less than five miles away, the failure of Montgomery Mall attracted to Eastdale the same element that helped to kill Montgomery Mall and Normandale.  That, unfortunately, is not a small problem for the mall as it now must compete with Eastchase, which is in a newer, nicer area with better stores in the area to support it.  Eastdale, in comparison, is at a crossroads.  The real or perceived fear of crime has killed many malls, and this is exacerbated when race or class is a factor, which unfortunately is an underlying major issue in this city.  Eastdale, however, still offers the better and more interesting shopping experience.  This is why it is my belief that had it not been for the 2005 expansion, the mall likely would be in trouble.  Eastdale's strength is in its anchors and excellent management, but if any choose to leave for Eastchase, it may itself be facing a future one day like its predecessor Montgomery Mall.  Since I always prefer the mall to survive over the tacky lifestyle center, I hope that never happens.

Dillard's here is an original Gayfer's.  This store design is almost a clone to the original Greenville Mall (SC) JB White store inside and out.  Both were Mercantile stores.

Inside, you can definitely tell Belk started out as Parisian.  Parisian takes up some of the mall space, and it is only one level.

JCPenney is new to the game, so the design is not original, though it shares the theme.  This whole court was not built until 2005.

Sears is original to the mall, but the store was renovated extensively inside and out around 2004.

Belk Men, Home and Kids here was formerly McRae's and originally Pizitz.  It was the only Pizitz mall store in Montgomery.  It is just north of the ice rink/center court.

When visiting Eastdale in March 2010, it seemed to be a vibrant mall, but I definitely detected a hostile element from some of the patrons.  Looking at the current lease plan today, I am wondering if what I noticed is starting to have an effect as vacancies have creeped higher in the mall with eleven empty shops counted on the latest leasing plan.  Perhaps it is just the economy, but I also visited Eastchase on that trip where I noticed a full parking lot, upscale stores and an obviously wealthier clientele.  The only thing, in fact, that keeps the two shopping centers complimenting each other is much the same that kept Montgomery and Eastdale doing so before: a more limited anchor overlap.  Eastchase has only Dillard's while Eastdale has Dillard's plus three other department stores stores.  What if Dillard's closed or downgraded that store followed by Belk and JCPenney deciding that Eastchase was the place to be?  I am really surprised that did not already happen and am even more surprised that JCPenney chose Eastdale over Eastchase.  JCPenney's move I am not complaining about, though, as Eastdale is fun and air conditioned while Eastchase is another boring cookie-cutter lifestyle center in the boiling Alabama sun.

The mall's Parisian, for a brutalist design, is actually very neat looking.  Today it is Belk Women's.

Dillard's, formerly Gayfer's, is unmistakably close to the original Greenville Mall JB White.

Pizitz kept it simple.  Unfortunately, most of their mall-based stores were rather weird looking and bland.  McRae's was here 1987-2006.

Sears attempted to renovate away any resemblance to the late 70's.  What a shame.

JCPenney took a trip to stucco land for this soon to mildew post-modern mess.

Here in 2010, the economy seems to be barely functioning mainly due to the freeze on lending combined with government instability.  Any major retail projects are likely to be halted or else financed internally, which will only help Eastdale in the long term.  If this same scenario had played out five years earlier, the picture would look very different today.  I am glad of this, though, because this mall was special despite its age.  To me, I also really enjoyed seeing some of the older elements mixed with the new such as the older ceiling treatments (which resembled older Taubman malls), fountains, vintage anchor designs and such combined with the updated appearance.  In an era of sameness and blandness, this is one of those malls I love to cover, because it offers something different.  I hope you will agree and can shed some light on the future of this mall.

I absolutely LOVE the way that Aronov keeps at least one mall entrance original in their malls.  No, that is not sarcasm.

Nothing original here, though.  This sign came with the last renovation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Montgomery Mall: Montgomery, AL

Montgomery seems to be a city that is loaded with retail tragedy.  It seems there is no end to the carcasses of stores past, and the situation looks grimmer all the time as the classic "white flight" scenario will eventually threaten even the last standing actual mall.  While that mall is secure at the moment, Montgomery Mall was not so lucky.  As the second mall in the city and one of the oldest in the state, the center survived for 40 years before succumbing to a very real poverty and crime problem in the past decade that chased all the anchors away to its once friendly rival Eastdale Mall.  The dead mall that exists there today, though, is a far cry from the times when it was the premier shopping mall in the center of a thriving retail district in the city's first suburban corridor.

A visit to Montgomery Mall today is surreal.  It is not boarded up, and not even vandalized.  It just simply looks like one day all the shops came in and shut off the lights, locked the doors and never looked back.  While deterioration is setting in, the mall is still in decent shape.  However, the likelihood of it reopening for business is next to zero.  It is a fairly sizable one-level three-anchor mall, too, and passersby would definitely note that it is a mall that is apparently still trapped firmly in the 1980's.  If I had only made it two years prior, I could have seen the mall one last time.  Certainly the invitation to go inside was not open on this trip, but if I had gone in a happenstance open door I happen to wonder if anybody would even have noticed. 

A couple mall entrances featuring the 80's to a chrome and pink extreme.  The first is the main entrance going into the original mall and the second is the side entrance going into the newer Parisian wing.

The history of the mall dates to 1967 when a single local department store known as Montgomery Fair opened on the site.  A year later, the rest of the mall would be completed including a JCPenney store and the city's first fully enclosed shopping mall.  Located close to Normandale, the two malls would compliment each other as shoppers could find entirely different offerings at the two malls.  In 1970, the mall would see its first change as Montgomery Fair was purchased and converted to Mobile-based Gayfer's.  Montgomery Mall would then basically hold its own up until 1977 when its first real competition opened with Eastdale Mall.  Nevertheless, the opening of Eastdale had more of an effect on Normandale than Montgomery Mall, so the area would continue to boom all around it with major chain big box stores filling in the gap between the two malls on US 80/82.

This was a rare find here!  Apparently Piccadilly Cafeteria did not do the best job covering up who they bought out, so here is a very easy to read Morrison's Cafeteria labelscar.  Shoney's once owned the chain and sold them off in 1995.

Here is a glimpse into the mall from the side entrance above.  This area of the mall is not yet showing signs of deterioration, but the harsh subtropical climate will take this mall down quickly without upkeep.  I believe this is the southeast entrance in the old part of the mall near Gayfer's/Dillard's.

In the late 1980's, the mall began to see changes, but these changes were actually positive.  This was when the mall received a major renovation that coincided with the addition of a new anchor, Birmingham-based Parisian.  Parisian in a sense was the return of Loveman's for the area, which departed nearby Normandale early in the decade.  The new Parisian store was completed in 1988 and it definitely made the center more upscale.  The new store coincided with a new wing that, instead of extending off to form a T, it overlapped the western half of the mall on the north side extending past JCPenney.  This move was needed by the mall in order to keep it competitive with Eastdale, which featured a stellar line-up of Gayfer's, Sears, Parisian and McRae's despite being a smaller center.  The only problem with this was that the only store that did not overlap with Eastdale was JCPenney, which by then became an issue of whether the city could really support two malls.  The answer in the short term was yes. 

Here is the east anchor, which last operated as Steve & Barry's.  It had previously been Dillard's, Gayfer's and, originally, Montgomery Fair.  Gayfer's was there the longest.

Looking at the store entrance into the former Montgomery Fair/Gayfer's/Dillard's.  It looks pretty trapped in 1968 despite the mall itself looking a bit newer.

For the next 20 years, Montgomery Mall served south side customers while Eastdale served the east side.  When Glimcher Realty purchased the mall in 1998, it was a thriving mall with 95 percent occupancy.  One anchor change would also ensue the same year as Gayfer's, along with the rest of Mercantile Stores, was sold off to Dillard's.  Amazingly this overlap of two anchors between the two malls still did not seem to be a problem, but that changed as the vicinity around the mall began to rapidly deteriorate in the coming years combined with poor management from Glimcher Realty.  Glimcher Realty currently gained notoriety for famously running Eastland Mall in Charlotte in the ground.  A friend of mine was even telling me how rough it was around there around 2004 or so alerting me that the mall was in danger of failure.  I would like to have gotten down there at that time, but never could seem to make the trip.  At this point, Dillard's had already left the mall, closing its store in 2003 and some stores had already fled the mall.  Events that killed the mall unfolded quickly.

JCPenney looks stodgy and brutalist...and empty.  I bet it was more impressive early on without the drab white paint and the old blue hump "Penney's" logo.

Former Customer Pick-Up area at JCPenney

Along the front entrance, deterioration is starting to set in.  The store has been empty for five years.

The next to go was JCPenney.  JCPenney apparently saw the writing on the wall, and they constructed a new store at Eastdale.  When they opened the new store in 2005, they subsequently closed their Montgomery Mall store.  It is a bit curious, too, that JCPenney chose older Eastdale over The Shoppes at Eastchase lifestyle center, which opened in 2002.  It cannot be denied that Eastchase had an effect, because the opening of Dillard's at Eastchase came just before the closing of the Dillard's at Montgomery Mall.  Dillard's did find new life, though, when Steve & Barry's University Sportswear, the flash-in-the-pan cheap sportswear chain, took over the site in 2005.  Parisian proved to be the last department store standing, lasting another year.  Apparently with no planned expansion and a sell-off of the chain in the works, the owners simply closed the store in early 2006.  This left the mall in a tail spin when Parisian closed.  Despite the presence of Steve & Barry's, Parisian's closing roughly coincided with the decline of the surrounding area.

Never settle for less at Montgomery Mall!  Apparently the ground is not so solid under the mall especially since it appears to have been built on a former drainage area.

Close-up of one of the mall entrances.

This entrance along the newer Parisian wing is looking worse for wear.  Note the water on the floor and holes in the roof.  In the background is an advertisement for Steve & Barry's in the mall along with sponsorship posted for the local zoo.

In September 2008, Montgomery Mall finally gave up the fight to survive.  A year before, the mall that was purchased by Glimcher for $70 million ten years prior was resold for a meager $4.4 million.  Steve & Barry's was still open at this point, but they were in bankruptcy themselves and would close a short time after.  After Steve & Barry's closed, the mall fell into the state it is today.  With a city apparently over-retailed, discussion of revitalizing the mall as a mall was also apparently never on the table.  The latest proposal is to convert the mall into a new VA clinic, which actually does not seem like a bad idea, though it will do absolutely nothing to revive the area.  However, I would personally prefer any retail efforts to extend to restoring and possibly expanding still-standing classic Normandale Shopping Center in lieu of Montgomery Mall.

Parisian's stores always had that post-modern swanky look, so seeing one abandoned like this feels odd.

You're nobody special at Parisian anymore.  In fact, don't come back...ever.

A side view of the mall extending from the old Parisian toward Gayfer's/Dillard's.  This would have been more difficult to have gotten if the mall was operational.

The factors that led to the failure of Montgomery Mall seem not to be so clear, but it does very much seem that changing demographics led to its demise more than anything else despite the fact that new competition was the face of the change.  However, the city is truly over-retailed anyway, and the mall was only sustainable when it only had to compete with Eastdale.  Now with Eastchase sucking what life was left out of the area, it is not surprising this happened.  However, it is a bit odd how it had more of an effect on Montgomery Mall than closer Eastdale.  Judging by the fact, however, that Eastchase only has Dillard's and that the anchors mostly just retreated to Eastdale, I think the decline of the surrounding area is the most plausible.  Retail saturation is another factor, but this seems to also be deliberate.  Lastly, the slow growth rate in the city also provided little to sustain the mall when competition robbed much of its base.

Here is the southwest entrance wing near JCPenney, which I believe is on the left directly in the background.  What did they do to the store on the right?!

The main entrance wing...dead, but inviting.

I zoomed in on this shot to give a view of center court the best I could.  I bet that candy is pretty stale by now.  Was the mall foreclosed on?

Regardless of the reasons for Montgomery Mall's closure, what happened to West Blvd should be a signal to city leaders that Montgomery really needs to work on cleaning up the city and its image.  The poverty and crime are worse than many much larger cities I have visited, and apparently neither the will nor means is there to improve this.  In an era when most cities are actually growing inward and the declining areas pushing outward, the condition of the area around it is a failure on the part of the city and the developers in the region to reinvest in the area.  The entire area is full of mid-century apartment complexes and scattered housing projects that do nothing but scare away those with money to shop.  I guess it can be said that the mall at least had a remarkable 40 year run with 30 of those years fully successful.

On the outlot was this curious building.  It looks big enough to be a department store in its own right.  What was it originally?

A side view of the mall.  Note the concrete drainage structure.  These were common all over the city, so apparently flooding is common but free flowing streams are not.  I assume this flow used to go where the mall is now.

Here is another angle of the mall with Gayfer's/Dillard's on the left.

Does anyone have any shots of this mall when it was still alive?  I noticed a dearth of photos of this mall in any form before it closed in 2008.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Normandale Shopping Center: Montgomery, AL

Most retail relics of significant historical importance receive adoring attention either as they grow and change or as they fade away.  Some, however, do not get the credit they deserve.  This is very much the case in regards to one of the earliest shopping malls in the country in Montgomery, AL that has been largely overlooked in comparison to other early retail developments.  This place is Normandale Shopping Center, also referred to as Normandale Mall.  Normandale is a center that first fell to competition then failed to revive due to the rampant crime and poverty that worsened around the center so that is now an extremely depressed area.  This mall, unfortunately, is synonymous with a city that is difficult to understand: a city with extreme poverty and an extreme racial divide that has left large parts of the city a wasteland with little interest in fixing them.  Normandale Shopping Center is no exception, and it is a symbol of the decrepit neighborhood around it which is probably the only reason it is still standing today.

Normandale Shopping Center was once a great place to shop.  It opened in 1954, then constructed by Aaron Aronov, who built several major shopping malls mainly in Alabama spawning from the success of this shopping center.  Originally the center was a strip mall, then anchored by Winn-Dixie.  The Winn-Dixie was highly unusual in how it bows outward.  In 1956, the strip mall was appended with a small open-air mall.  The result was a very unusual type center that became a hybrid of a traditional strip mall and open-air mall off the middle.  Included in this expansion was a large two-level Loveman's department store, an A&P, Woolworth's and Parker-Sledge Hardware.  It is my understanding that Parker-Sledge Hardware formed the junior anchor at the opposite end of the mall, but I could be wrong.  Other tenants in the mall, according to information gathered on Mall Hall of Fame, were Brenner's Shoe Factory, People's Bank, Gulp Piano and Organ, Hancock Fabrics, Cohen's Records, Francis Cafeteria, Twix 'N Teens, DeShield's and Buster Brown Shoes coming to a total of 43 total stores.

The first photo shows the main mall entrance extending from the original strip mall parking lot.  The second photo is of the current sign along Norman Bridge Road.

The 60's and 70's were prosperous times for the mall despite the coming of a new rival in Montgomery Mall in 1968.  The two malls would compliment each other forming a thriving retail strip to the south along West Blvd (US 80/82), which was the then-new by-pass around the southeast side of the city.   Normandale, however, was in a bit of an offbeat location situated a block outside of view of West Blvd on Norman Bridge Road.  This location suggested the center predated the new by-pass for some time.  Everything seemed to be fine at the retail landmark up until the late 1970's when two events led to the demise of the center.  The first was the opening of Eastdale Mall further east in 1977.  This was soon followed in 1980 or 1981 when Loveman's went out of business.  This was only the beginning of hard times ahead for the mall.

Here is an overview of the original part of the shopping center with the old grocery store, which I am assuming was always Winn-Dixie on the right and Loveman's in the middle.

Here is a close-up of Loveman's, which did find life after it closed, but has been decrepit and abandoned for years since.

It wasn't just competition that hurt the mall, however.  The area around the mall was beginning to work against it, and in a very harsh way.  The main problem was that very old apartment housing was built in abundance all around Montgomery, but especially near Normandale.  In fact, some of these apartments, which appear to possibly be an old public housing project, are located across the street facing the mall.  If nothing else would deter someone from shopping at the mall, those certain would.  Throughout the next couple decades, most stores would leave the open-air mall, though the strip mall portion would continue to function.  No-name local retailers took over the old Loveman's and Parker-Sledge Hardware, though Winn-Dixie found continued life for many years in the original grocery store.  It gets worse.

A look into the mall itself.  I wish I had gone up to that fence, but I felt very nervous here.  This was partly due to the fact I just had been panhandled at McDonald's nearby just earlier.  I will go back and get a closer look at this eventually.

Another side view of the entrance with three poles in the front.  I always loved these poles like this.  Early open-air malls always seemed to have them.

Retail competition and neighborhood decline had already taken hits at the mall, but nature itself would take its own swing at the complex.  In 1995, a tornado made a direct hit on the open-air mall portion of the center.  While the damage was not extensive enough to completely destroy the structures, the already dead mall was damaged to the extent that the mall portion was closed off in lieu of being repaired.  Apparently, the owners were uninterested in repairing the mall portion, and any money used at all was applied to improvements to the older strip mall.  Obviously as a result of the tornado, I noticed an old truck situated right on one of the sidewalks in the mall part.  The mall part has been abandoned ever since with a high pointed fence keeping pedestrians away from most of the mall itself.

Here is a closer view of the grocery store with "Deli Bakery" in obvious Winn-Dixie font on the side.

The mall today is isolated in a cesspool of poverty and abandoned structures.  The parking lot of the mall is cracked and grown up with access blocked except along the strip mall portion.  Even worse, most of West Blvd in the area is also run down and decrepit with most retail gone.  Calhoun Foods occupied the old Winn-Dixie, though it appears that it to has closed.  Even Montgomery Mall closed down a few years ago and sits there abandoned just down the street.  Figuratively, the only bright spot in this area is the Montgomery Flea Market very close by.  It would take an enormous undertaking of gentrification to revive the area, but instead the middle and upper class in the city has shifted east outside of the city entirely.  Reviving the center for retail would be extremely difficult, and its visibility issues make it near impossible.  If the area was in better shape, it would either be torn down or converted to some other use, which makes me thankful in a roundabout way that the neighborhood is this bad.  Millions in damage left unrepaired from neglect and the tornado is bound to make the property even more worthless.  To me, though, it just seems to me like a diamond in the rough.

This is a side entrance on the opposite side of Loveman's.  I absolute love this covered walkway done like this.  It is deteriorated, but not beyond repair.

This view is from the opposite end of the mall.  It is a little less inviting.  Note the parking lot is starting to get grown up from years of disuse.  I did not travel it for fear of damaging my tires.

Here is a close-up of the backside of the mall.  What was the store on the left?

Amazingly, a plan still came forward to redevelop the long dead mall.  In 2005, a plan surfaced by Joseph G. Arnone, a mall developer from Kansas City, to revive the mostly vacant center.  The builder tried more than once, but failed due to being unable to secure financing for the project.  If that was true, it makes me wonder if redlining does indeed still exist considering that the builder's plan included condos and a revitalization of the entire center to a bit of its former glory.  Perhaps this could happen, but this would have to be a coordinated effort by the city and other developers to fix the rest of the area.  I am betting this is unlikely to happen now with the poor economy.

Here is a map I made.  The only information I know for sure is the location of Loveman's and Winn-Dixie.  I do not know if Winn-Dixie was something else, and I am speculating on the locations elsewhere in the mall.

This postcard aerial photo from the late 1950's shows better times for the mall.

50's malls, unfortunately, did not typically last the test of time.  Located in the earliest suburbs with small houses, drab strip malls and an early modernist design that is considered unsightly today, it was typically special circumstances that kept malls of this era afloat.  In the case of Lenox in Atlanta, the mall was situated in an extremely affluent area that did not change from that at any point.  The area around Normandale, however, was a comparatively blue collar area that simply aged to the point that the lower class took over.  In reality, it is not amazing that the mall died.  It is amazing, though, that is still around with the opportunity to be revived as well as being viewed by urban explorers and modern history buffs such as myself.  If the neighborhood can be turned around, perhaps this classic beauty could come back with it.  It would be miraculous to see a vintage 50's open-air mall restored to its original 1950's appearance regain its position as a retail landmark.  For now, it seems like a pipe dream but anything is possible.

If anyone would like to submit any additional photos of this fascinating place, please feel free to send them my way.  I would love to expand my coverage of this mall.