Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Muskegon Mall Seventies Aerial

Muskegon, Michigan - circa 1976

Vintage aerial view of Muskegon Mall in the seventies, shortly after it originally opened. This sprawling shopping mall (created by throwing a roof over several existing buildings and also adding some new ones) located in the historic heart of downtown Muskegon, MI, opened in 1976, but began to struggle for its retail life in the '90s, until finally closing its doors for good in 2001. It has since been demolished and the area is undergoing an ongoing and long-term redevelopment/revitalization process.

I'll be sharing some interior photos of this mall as well in the near future. It had quite the funky look going on!

Mall history: 1976 - 2001 (dead/redeveloped)
Current website: n/a
Previous entries: none

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Anonymous army.arch said...

Here's a link to some photos of the after demoltion.

The Lakes Mall was the final nail for this place.

Wed Jun 13, 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Can't wait for more vintage goodies of this place!

Thu Jun 14, 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Wow, what, they added a series of parking lots, too? It looks like a regular mall, not one carved from a grouping of downtown streets.
I wonder why they did this so often, yet, it never worked!

Thu Jun 14, 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Don-O said...

If it's as funky as the old Northridge Fashion Center, I can't wait!

Keep on the 'funky' work, Keef!


Tue Jun 19, 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Ronnie said...

I used to work in the former Muskegon Mall in what was the Hackley Bank Building built in the 1800s. It then changed owners and became the Comerica Bank Building. We were in the mall until they finally kicked us out on the last day before they officially closed the doors. We could look out our windows down into the mall. I even remember before they made it a mall. They enclosed the streets and the store fronts (which included a drug store that had a soda fountain bar and restaurant). Now I work just down the road from where the mall used to be and they are trying to rebuild the area. It's been an interesting ride to say the least

Tue Jun 26, 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dave V said...

I recall going to the Muskegon downtown mall in mid 80s and early 90s. THe stores were nice enough, especailly the big Sears store that apparently was added (not one of the original downtown stores). All the other stores were seemily original. Walking thru the mall was intersting in that all the stores had the appearance of downtown stores (not like typicall suburban new malls) complete, and some oter buildings interspersed like banks and tother things like law offices.

On problem the place had (in my opinion) was that it was downtown. The parking lot was big enough, and there was a good selection of stores, and the storee were big enough. But it was downtown and the some of the nearby neighborhoods were "not so nice" and were usally lots of niegborhood kids hanging out. Weiter that was acatully a problem or not, it was precieved to be by many people (my opinion again), didnt bother me too much because I am from Benton Harbor.
After a small mall opned in Holland in early 90s new big huge malls opened in mid 90s, you could just see the decline there in Muskegon Mall, dont know spevciffally what, reduced maintence budget or what, but could see it decline, example worn flooring not replaced and such as that. Then new mall just outside of Muskegon and Sears moving out to there. And the mall owners in financial trouble and closed the mall.

Intersting part of this story is how civic groups and local foundations bought the mall property, and financed the demolition.
And now 4 years later other things are developing and surrounding area is being improved.
Again, I find this interesting being that I am from Benton Harbor.

Grand Haven

Sat Jul 21, 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muskegon tore down their downtown -- classic, vintage buildings -- for all the wrong reasons but maybe they'll rebuild it for all the right ones. Muskegon is poised on the edge of decision; a grand location, financial potential and a period of growth, with the right management.
Will it be Pigeon Hill all over again, or a sparkling, viable future for Muskegon?

Mon Aug 23, 03:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I remember going to the Muskegon Mall as a little kid, right after it opened. The one distinct memory I have is of the "Captain Chip's Potato Ship" restaurant. Apparently this was some sort of a chain, as I've seen references to another being at The Lakes Mall as well. I was saddened to hear that it was all demolished. Steketee's (like Captain Chip's) I think I remember mostly because the name was so distinctive.

Fri Sep 09, 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh god. You just reawakened one of the most horrid earworms I have ever had -- the TV commercial jingle for this mall. I haven't thought of that wretched tune in decades, and now you've brought it back. "Muskegon Mall, we've got it all, and we're right next door to you."

I remember being so indignant, because I knew they were lying. They were most certainly NOT right next door to me. How were they even allowed to say that? People live in all different places, so they can't be right next door to everyone! It's just not possible! (I was pretty sharp for a four-year-old.)

Tue Feb 21, 10:32:00 PM  

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