Massachusetts and Rhode Island Dead Malls Still Live Online
I predate the Dartmouth Mall, and for that matter, much of the entire mall culture that seemed to explode in the 1970s and '80s. For many, retail shopping in general has become passe, replaced by online shopping.
Malls are dropping like flies.
When the move to the suburbs accelerated, and the traditional downtown experience began to wane, malls were the rage. Why not? You park in one spot and shop dozens of stores indoors, protected from the weather. It was convenient.
The Dartmouth Mall opened in 1971, one of many shopping malls within driving distance.
Popular malls within reach included the Rhode Island Mall and the Warwick Mall, both in Warwick, Rhode Island; the Harbour Mall in Fall River; the Silver City Galleria in Taunton; the Swansea Mall; the Independence Mall in Kingston, Massachusetts; and Providence Place.
Only the Dartmouth, Warwick and Providence Place malls remain. The Rhode Island Mall is now Midland Commons, the Independence Mall is now the Kingston Collection, and the Swansea Mall is the Swansea Center.
The former Harbour Mall gave way to the SouthCoast Marketplace. Taunton's Silver City Galleria was torn down.
Thousands of malls across America and the world went broke when internet shopping became dominant. Some former malls met with a wrecking ball. Others found new uses.
Perhaps your favorite teen hangout stands rotting away like an old west ghost town.
There are a number of websites dedicated to "dead malls," complete with pictures of the malls from their glory days and how they look today.
Those sites include DeadMalls.com, Dead Mall Enthusiast Facebook Group, and Reddit's r/deadmalls. Makeuseof.com lists some others.
Some of the pictures are sad while some are downright spooky. Either way, they will surely jog some memories of when the mall was king.