Starting with the opening of the Southland Mall in 1956 malls have been a vaulted piece of Americana for decades. Thousands were built across the country and for a while it seemed they would dominate the American landscape forever, but in recent years they’ve rapidly lost their value. So how did malls go from being a mainstay in American society to a quickly vanishing memory?Before I comment on the video, I wish to correct the video description. It's the Southdale Center, not the Southland Mall, that's the first enclosed American mall. At least the video gets it right Also, I think the adjective should be vaunted, not vaulted, although a lot of malls are that, too.
Speaking of the video, I think this is a more focused summary of the history of malls and their issues seen in Wired on dead malls, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse.** Also, I am not surprised that the American Dream Mall I featured in The future of malls for Cyber Monday, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse is having problems. I am surprised that The Mall of America has been unable to pay its mortgage, although maybe I shouldn't be. Chalk it up to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means I probably should cover that story in more detail in a future entry. Stay tuned.
*Which is also the Persian year, a fortunate coincidence that explains why I celebrate Nowruz (Persian New Year) and my blog's birthday concurrently.
**It's also a more focused and lively presentation than the video series Sam of Brick Immortar has created on the history of malls. Now that I've mentioned them, I should use those videos in a future entry as well.