More photographs from the nearly abandoned Cincinnati Mall here.
© Zan McQuade. All rights reserved.
It's weird, this was the mall of my youth. I lived in Greenhills, just about two miles south of what was then Forest Fair Mall. I spent countless hours, days, weeks pumping quarters into the arcade, playing putt-putt, walking around Biggs, taking surveys for pocket change, and just generally chilling in the space this behemoth takes up.
Seeing it empty is sad, like holding your grandma's hand and realizing how paper-thin her skin is, and how weak the bones must be.
Kibitz: that is a beautiful and touching comparison. For me it's sad to see empty, but also very inspiring. It affords the room to imagine what a space like this could be: either a return to what it was, or something completely new. I love that it's still used by families on hot days as an indoor playground; as empty as I made it look in these pictures, there was still a surprising amount of life there. No putt-putt course, but a guy reading a book in a chair. No surveyors, but families getting exercise. I hope it continues to find new purpose for the sake of the community.
(There's still an arcade there.)
I think I remember seeing an article somewhere about old abandoned malls being retrofitted as new things, like residences or hospitals or libraries or... etc. I think with the large amount of sun lights and open areas, this particular mall could be converted into sort of an indoor food farm.
With a little imagination, I really think something great could happen to these spaces. We shall see. For now, I'm happy to imagine them as giant experimental art installations. Not the best use of the space perhaps, but serving a purpose nonetheless. An indoor farm is a good idea...
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