THUNDERBIRD MALL: MENOMONIE, WI
Ross Schendel's Commentary:
Posted July 8, 2003 (user submitted)
I first discovered Thunderbird Mall in Menomonie, WI during 1999. It doesn't even show up on the ICSC.org website; I found it through regular online searches I do for small town, rural ancillary malls. I first visited this mall in March of 2000. I went back again in July of 2001. Nothing changed. Menomonie is a town of about 15,000 people located about 50 miles east of the Twin Cities, MN metro and about 20 miles west of Eau Claire.
Both aforementioned cities have extensive successful malls, so personally I view this mall as an anomaly. It seems it was built not to function as a typical mall of anchors and large national behemoth chains, but to house a collection of local stores. It is very typical for a small town mall. Most in the midwest that I have noticed usually have little to no anchor stores, a music store, a jewelry store, and mostly local fodder. There are a few chains that seem to exist solely for small town markets/malls, such as On Cue Music, which is Sam Goody's small town/small-mall outlet.
With that said, this mall has interesting old decor design features. Its floor is something to the effect of dark brown 70s style schlacked wood, and the storefronts have little change to them since this mall was built in the 70s. Notably, there are no anchors to this mall; however, there are supposed to be. As indicated in the outdoor and indoor pictures, small anchors (befitting for this mall) were once open, but have since closed. And, I have no idea what they were. The only other thing that can be said about this mall is the notably interesting sign. I liked it.