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MOUNDS MALL: ANDERSON, IN

Kevin Brown's Commentary:

Posted January 17, 2019 (user submitted)

Mounds Mall in Anderson, Indiana opened in 1965. It was built one mile down the road from some of the town's General Motors plants that were the backbone of Andeson's economy. At one time, one in three people in the area worked for GM. These well-paid auto workers would happily spend their paychecks at this beautiful shrine to consumerism. Being the first indoor mall in central Indiana, people from the surrounding communities would make the drive to spend their money too.

By 2006, all of the auto plants had closed and Anderson had sustained a decades long economic downturn. Shortly after that, people started shopping online. Despite its 50-year history, the changing landscape of shopping and entertainment could not support this particular rendition of this American creation. Mounds Mall closed April 1, 2018.

Interestingly, Mounds Mall was built on top of a former landfill. As a kid, I always thought that was a perfect metaphor for American innovation. We took an eyesore and built something useful on top of it. We covered up what we didn't need anymore with something we did need. Now I wonder how long it will be until we eliminate any trace of this mall. I'm sure we'll cover it up, never to be seen again except in our memories of lunches at MCL, arcade games at Pac-Man Palace, and first dates at the movie theater.

   




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