|Rolling Acres June 2011|
On Monday June 13th 2011, I captured these images of the former Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio (click on photo above to view the album). Less than a decade ago I had shopped at this mall. Granted it was on a steady decline at that point, but the Target anchor was a pleasant and welcomed surprise. As we circled the parking lot I spotted the back of the former Target. When we came around the corner my jaw dropped. I knew the mall had been buttoned up for a number of years now, but to actually see these retail juggernauts' brick and mortar corpses was nearly too much to handle. I think I've made it clear by now that my collecting heydays were basically the better part of the 90's. To actually see a full blown dead mall was shocking. Especially one I visited at least semi annually if not quarterly.
This is however the sign of the times. Northeast Ohio had aggressively expanded, placing malls nearly on top of each other throughout the 60's,70's and 80's. To survive through the most recent decade as a brick and mortar mall is no small miracle. It's really no surprise that as e-tailers became more common and competitive along with the whole economy tightening up, that malls would be wounded or abandoned all together.
The Rolling Acres Mall did have one anchor in operation still, as a JCPenney's Outlet.
I also visited the two closest malls that day, both seemingly thriving, the Summit Mall in Fairlawn, Ohio and Chapel Hill Mall in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They must have been in at least some small way strengthened by the abandonment of the old rival, Rolling Acres.