Tim Grintz's Commentary

Posted July 9, 2007(user submitted)

Metcalf South was once a thriving shopping center, with longtime anchors Sears and The Jones Store company. Unlike the pattern in other malls, both anchors are still there, but nearly every other store has closed.

At its peak, the three-story mall was filled, with even out-of-the-way corridors able to support stores. Shoppers probably best remember the fountain that rose from the ground floor through the atrium until it reached the top level. As a kid, I always goaded my parents for a penny to try and make the fountain's top catch-basin. The mall had a Woolworth drug store (later Osco), an indoor amusement park, nearly every clothing chain you could imagine, and a bustling food court.

Today, if you can't see (or access it) from the outside, it's closed. All that remain are the two anchors (The Jones Store has been re-branded as Macy's). There's a gift shop, an art-house movie theater, a Topsy's popcorn shop and that's about it. The rest of it is used by mall-walkers and as a temporary polling station at election time. Much of the empty store space has been taken over by offices. I guess that's better than nothing, but it's certainly no longer a retail hub.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all was seeing the sign that popped up a couple of holiday seasons ago that informed shoppers that Santa no longer visits Metcalf South.

The mall is still in pretty good physical condition, and it's clean. Recent articles said the developer, Sherman Dreiseszun, keeps a bigger-than-necessary maintenance staff because he has a soft spot for the place.

City planners and developers are currently looking to turn the area into an open-air plaza. The Kansas City area already has four of those (The Country Club Plaza, Town Center Plaza, Zona Rosa and The Legends)


Merry Christmas from the Dead Malls - a Kansas City news article that mentions the mall
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