Kickstarting "The Decline of Mall Civilization," a sequel to the long-out-of-print "Malls Across America" book

Originally published at:


Ah. Mom sitting and smoking at the indoor mall by the water fountain. Thanks for taking me back to my childhood.


Does it actually sell for that amount, or is that just an algorithmic phantom price caused by interest but no actual copies of the book?

I always thought those absurdly high prices for out-of-print books were just the result of a cascade of pricing bots saying, “hey, we don’t have one of these, but if someone is willing to pay, we’ll buy the second-hand copy that these other guys are selling and send it along at a profit”.


Even without computers, “Listed for sale at” ≠ “Sells at.” Many people discovered that during the RE Bust a decade ago. You need a buyer and a seller.


While I’m interested in this book, I’m not sure that this one is certain to become a collectable like the first one. That one had nostalgia and a limited run in its favor. This one sounds like the depressing reality of today drizzled in speculator capitalism.

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Sort of reminds me of this…


Far be it from me to pick, but Woodfield Mall? In Detroit? I won’t suggest that I know every square inch of the area, but I thought I was familiar enough with its malls and I’ve not heard of that one. Westland mall starts with a “W”… I suppose Chicago (which does have a Woodfield Mall) is close enough to Detroit that one could get confused. Metro Detroit has the Fairlane mall which used to be visually stunning (They shot part of “Logan’s Run” there). Any Detroiter’s know better than I?

Wow, the guys wouldn’t look too out of place in 2019, but the crazy hair on so many of those women. It’s like they’re all in Poison or Motley Crue.

I’m 90% sure that’s a mistake. There’s a Woodfield Mall in Schamburg in suburban Chicago, though (edit: as you mentioned).

Then again, it’s been so long since I lived in Detroit I can’t even remember if I’ve been to the Fairlane Mall.

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That author/photographer couldn’t have been searching too hard if he couldn’t find a mall in Columbus, OH. From my tenure there, I remember at least 4, more or less equidistantly spaced around the city, plus a new ginormous one downtown.

Eh, I’m a geek. I looked it up. :slight_smile:

If he was photographing in 1989, Eastland, Westland, and Northland would have all been open. I think Southland would have been open, but I can’t find anything that says if it was enclosed or not; it has surprisingly little info online about it.

The City Center mall would have opened that fall, all brand new and sparkling.

I can’t find dates for when the Shoppes on Lane Ave opened, but I think it would have been open as an enclosed mall at that time. (It was re-developed as an outdoor mall; although if you visit the Chinese Restaurant in the back, you’ll see a small portion of the original mall interior.)

Northland was built in 1964 and enclosed in 1979. It was torn down in 2004, but I am fairly sure that the Northland Performing Arts Center is part of the original mall.

Eastland was built in 1968. It’s still open!

Westland Mall was built in 1969, but not enclosed until 1982. It was closed down in 2012, but it hasn’t been torn down (yet).

Civic Center Mall opened in 1989, and closed and was torn down in 2009. It’s mostly a park now, although they are in-filling several mixed retail / office / apartment buildings along the outside of it. The parking structures from the mall are still in use.

Tuttle Crossing opened in 1997. It is still open.

Easton Town Center Mall opened in 1999. It is still open, and is doing quite well. It’s about 2 miles from the Northland Mall location.

Polaris Mall opened in 2000. It is also still open and doing quite well.


I punted for one, who knows maybe a computer will buy it off me in the future, but the $45 to ship the uk is insane, i hate buying things from America these days, as shipping has gone threw the roof for some stupid reason…

I think they missed a trick by not calling it “The Decline and Mall of the American Empire”


Don’t worry, post prices will fall once we get those amazing trade deals with the USA after our no-deal brexit!!! :sob::skull:


you are correct- I got my Detroit and Chicago sections confused. Woodfield was quite glorious and there are a number of images in the book from there.


This woman recognized herself and contacted me. Hundreds of people have but 95% of the time I didn’t go to their mall. In this case she asked if we had visited the villa Italia mall near Denver… so it’s very likely her.


Missed a good chance to call it “The Decline and Mall of the American Empire”


I think you are correct that it is algorithms and it rises and falls. When we started the campaign it was around 350 but spiked to 738- either because of the searches or likely that someone bought one and that spiked it more. the 4 that we had for sale in the campaign at $420 with both books all sold. I’m going to reprint it in some form in the future but wanted to make this other book first because so much was left out of the first book and this is a very different book with a different feel.


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