Dead Malls: 9 Abandoned Arcades, Markets and Shopping Centres

Images by -Sam-, Milowent and Tim Pickford-Jones

While the recent economic downturn has had a devastating effect on the high street, abandoned shopping centres – known as Dead Malls – can be attributed to various factors, from financial failure to urban redevelopment and even criminal intervention.  In this article we take a look at all of them, as we explore beautiful Victorian arcades and spooky modern malls that metaphorically collapsed almost as soon as they had opened.

Dayton Arcade, Ohio

Images by vistavision and (top right) the Friends of the Dayton Arcade, via Wetpaint

(vistavision images licensed under Creative Commons by-NC-ND 2.0; Wetpaint images by NC-SA 3.0)

Dayton Arcade is a perfect example of what might be hidden away behind grand but otherwise unassuming downtown facades.  From the outside, you’d be forgiven for failing the even conceive of the five deserted interconnecting buildings, conceived by Eugene J. Barney in 1902, that converge on a grand central arcade, circled by balconied floors and topped by a glass-domed rotunda.  Dayton Arcade closed to shoppers in 1990 after a major refurbishment somehow failed to generate profits.  Plans are now afoot to revitalise the building, while local group Friends of the Dayton Arcade operate tours of this historic “temple of trade”.  Surely such an impressive retail environment in a prime downtown location would soon become the icing on Dayton’s cake…


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About the author: Tom





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