As a child of the 1980s, I recall many memories at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, West Virginia. With its beige floor tiles, fountains, wooden oak benches, and retro shops, you could spend hours exploring. Shops like the San Francisco Music Box Company, Hickory Farms, and Radio Shack were my mainstays. Of course, the Huntington Mall sucked the shopping experience from downtown Huntington into a suburban wasteland, surrounded not by historic buildings but by a sea of asphalt.
Westland Mall in Columbus, Ohio was similar. Built upon the promise of open-air shopping in suburbia, the mall boasted three anchors and over 40 stores, from stores that peddled drapes to sewing equipment and eccentric clothing. The mall was one of four directionally-named shopping centers in the metropolitan area built in the same period: Westland, Northland, Eastland, and Southland. Westland was enclosed in the early 1980s.
But the Westland Mall evoked a similar feeling to the Huntington Mall that I remembered as a child. By 2011, Westland was on its deathbed, but it’s interior was only vintage, having never been renovated after it’s the enclosure. Brown tiles adorned the floor, dark-tinted lights were fastened on the pillars, and remnants of stores long gone lined the concourse. There was not a soul inside, and for the 30 minutes I walked around, all I could hear was the water dripping from the deteriorated ceiling.
Several weeks ago, I revisited Westland Mall, only to find it practically boarded up and abandoned. The only tenants that remained were Staples and Sears, both of who have no entrances to the concourse. Boarded up windows cover panes of broken glass at the doors to the concourse. Inside, sad and pathetic signs on whiteboard tell of a mall with no ATM and restroom facilities. Outside, transformers that once fed into the course lay in pieces, stripped of any valuable metal.
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The mall still stands – an eyesore and a blot on the west side. After the Fisher Body plant was demolished, the property was supposed to have been redeveloped as part of the grand scheme that the City of Columbus and the Hollywood Casino promised to us! Of course, the casino has done nothing to improve our area, so it isn’t a big surprise. So, the rotting hulk continues to deteriorate!
Hey Westland Mall you need to remodel soon will put dyson airblade hand dryers in and touchless faucets and remodel old macys and jc penney and sears and restrooms and elevator in sears jc penney and lazarus macys will put new floors in and new ceiling and drywall and make it nice and shiny and brand spankin new smoot construction co my phone number 614-984-9003 call me or leave me messages and send me a letter to 4600 hunting creek dr grove city ohio 43123
^^^ This is a joke, right?
Oh wow! It did look a lot like the Huntington Mall after they enclosed it in the 80’s. That’s cool!