The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

Wow. I had no idea that when I first moved to the Seattle area, I was living not far from a piece of American history. According to this article, the Northgate Mall was the first shopping center in the country to be designated as a mall. I went there a few times, but only to go to the movies.

I hate malls now for the same reasons I loved them when I was a teenager. The crowds. The endless walking. The opportunities to spend your money on a whole host of stuff that you don’t really need. Malls suck the energy out of my fugal, lazy, introverted soul.

Nowadays, on the rare occasion that I visit an old-style indoor mall, it feels more like a ghost town. Instead of the crowds these places were made for, I’m often the only person walking the halls, and there’s this “I’ve given up on life” vibe that I find extremely depressing. Malls are now where retailers go to die.

So when I read the above-mentioned article and learned of Northgate’s demise, I wasn’t particularly surprised. But I am also not waxing nostalgic for it as many people on social media seem to be. I won’t miss malls any more than I’ll miss that desperate search for a payphone when my car broke down in the pouring rain in the 80’s. It’s the end of an era, and it’s not how I live my life anymore. I wouldn’t want to turn back the clock. Not everything in the past is worth clinging to.

Northgate Mall will be turned into business offices, residential units, and an NHL training center by 2021. Until then, you can watch the few remaining stores disappear one by one, after desperately trying to sell everything that they have, even the mannequins, at insanely low prices.

In no time, nothing will be left except the echoes of the past.


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3 thoughts on “The Death of America’s First Mall

  1. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    I suppose the decline of malls has been the result of people shopping online. I’m not much into either, though I used to enjoy an occasional mall-crawl in years past. I didn’t buy much save what I went in there after. I found the architecture interesting–the general plan–a big concourse with more or less open branches; some I have seen were roofless [the concourse I mean.]
    The Crossroads Mall in Bellevue has a somewhat more welcoming feel to it than most, due partly to the presence of Half Price Books. Now that’s worth seeking out. We lost both of Seattle’s Half Price Books in what seemed like successive years, and that ticked me off more than the loss of any mall.

    1. I do miss puttering around in dusty old used book stores. They seem to have been chewed up and spit out by Amazon.

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    Shot-out to Magus in the U District, Twice Sold Tales [cats!] on Capitol Hill, Easton’s in Mt. Vernon and Henderson’s in Bellingham.

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