01 July 2008


Turning from doom and gloom for a spell, and reviving a core aspect of this blog that has been moribund for far too long, here are some dead mall photos!!

Or not.  Anyway, these photos were obtained at great personal risk, and capture a declining part of America which the dickheads in the suburbs, insulated from this world up to now, will soon become better acquainted with as modern prosperity by the hour approaches an abrupt caesura.

Below is the Northgate Mall, in Lafayette.  Little do many know that Lafayette actually boasts a second enclosed mall besides the dominant Mall of Acadiana - this vastly declined (but well preserved) older center on the city's north side, where its relatively small (by Louisiana standards) Black ghetto is located.  (I bet you won't find this mall in the literature of civic boosters.) Northgate Mall is located directly on Evangeline Thruway just north of Willow Street, but is somewhat concealed by later development, namely an Albertsons grocery (attached to the mall but not connected internally) and an adjacent Home Depot of recent vintage (separate from the main mall structure).

Drivin' around the parking reservoir:

In we go:

In glorious air conditioned comfort now:

Some sort of giveaway explains why the truck is parked there.  Meh.

Center court.

The first thing you notice is how time capsule like this place is.  This may be the best preserved 1960s era mall in Louisiana.

It was a real treat for me to discover this mall, I'll tell you.  While Northgate may not be fancy, its other-eraness is still a sight to behold - and well worth the hour drive.

More images!

This is a dead mall.  I had to show empty storefronts at some point, didn't I?

One end of the mall, a plastered over white space where Service Merchandise used to be.  I believe there is a call center occupying the structure now.

Mallmanac!  The Albertsons is the large pale blue square at the upper left, and the other pale blue squares are former anchors.  The former Service is on the right, and the former Montgomery Wards (now demolished to make room for the Home Depot) is below the Albertsons.  Wards is still labeled on this map, if you look closely.

How do you think I know these things?

Where Wards used to make its entrance.  I remember seeing this Wards actually open for business back in the late 1990s when I made a brief trip to Lafayette (in the middle of the night, no less).  This is the only Wards I ever laid eyes on while in existence (the chain had no outlets in the Chocolate City or its environs, at least during my lifetime).  My fondness for retail didn't exist then, so I never bothered to take pictures.  Sigh...