OT: Century III Mall, not quite a dead mall, but sure heading that way
Century III Mall is an ailing enclosed shopping mall located in the southern Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
I lived nearby this mall, and this was definitely “our” mall for kids like me growing up in the 1980s and 1990s. I visited the mall in July 2017 because I had heard it wasn’t doing so well, and here are my thoughts and observations.
Approaching the mall and the exterior
- The stop lights feel like they are 20 years old. Just old infrastructure. I suppose I never knew that there was such a direct correlation between how the businesses in the area were doing, and how updated the surrounds would actually be.
- The roads have a ton of potholes, and it’s clear that no one has put money into the approach areas in quite some time.
- Some car entrances are blocked off with Jersey barriers, and have gone completely overgrown vegetation
- Many of the signs are weathered or just contain outdated information
- Some of the pedestrian Entrances to the physical building are closed, papered, with lease signs up.
- The parking lots, covered parking spaces, are just old and deteriorated. If this was clean,and new, I’m not sure I would have noticed, but definitely notice the opposite
- The actual buildings themselves are old and filthy, and just need a good cleaning.
- There were a half dozen crew of workers outside taking care of the very limited external greenery.
- Only certain entrances are accessible. Dick’s looks like the best of them.
- The overall appearance inside is dated, but relatively clean.
- While there were stains visible on the carpets, they were clean. They didn’t bother me.
- There was some excessive wear on the carpeted steps.
- There were essentially no customers anywhere. I don’t see how this place can subsist on this small amount of foot traffic.
- Not all of the inside lighting was on, or turned up.
- Despite this, the natural lighting was really nice inside the mall. I loved the way the sun shone through the skylights. This place really used to be something, and I can still feel the potential of the building.
- The fountain was really very nice, but it’s been shut off and drained.
- The two-story carousel was really awesome, and seemed to be one of the busiest places. Besides my own, there were easily 6-8 kids riding that thing. That was more customers than I saw in most of the other stores.
- Dick’s was by far the most modern store there, and everything inside that store was as it should be
- The elevator looked and worked fine.
Other notable things
- Italian Village Pizza shut down on Friday June 30th. It was definitely closed on Saturday. This was the last food place open in the food court.
- Many of the tables and chairs were put away in the food court.
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzels are still being made fresh every day, and their lemonade is still tasty!
- The food court area and beyond is one of the desolate places in the mall, there’s simply nothing happening over there. I will say that I absolutely love all the nooks/crannies/ramps/steps in that general area. Radio Shack and AT&T Wireless was over in that general area, if memory serves me correctly.
- While I can’t quite place it, there is something quite compelling about the wooden top railings used all over the mall. They feel very unique to me. I was so glad to see that they survived any remodeling.
Video Panning Tour
Thee and half minutes of no audio, with simply panning of the camera to show different areas of the mall. Some slow walking video. It’s boring, but does give you a sense of the place a little better than still images. You’ve been warned.
This is an off-topic post for my blog, but I felt it was important enough to post. Future posts will resume with retro electronics goodness!