Built to revive the city of Hawthorne, California, the Hawthorne Plaza Mall opened in 1977 hoping to bring a new renaissance to the city. Three anchor department stores were located here: Montgomery Wards, JCPenney, and a large three-story Broadway store. Today, it is a ghost-town.
The mall struggled due to low income in the area but endured for almost three decades. The nail in the coffin came as the result of the Dot Com Boom and the rise of e-commerce causing the mall to finally close in 1999.
The same picture can be witnessed all across America as brick-and-mortar retailers are dying a slow and painful death - a scenario so common that there is an entire website dedicated to it.
Pre-Internet consumer culture
During the heyday of America’s consumer culture, so called “Mega-malls” mushroomed all over the country as they were constantly one-upping each other in a race to see who will get the title of the “Biggest Mall in the Country.” These Mega Malls were not only places for shopping but also for leisure and entertainment, serving as a modern-day town square where people could meet, shop, eat, and hang out.