Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Carolina Circle Mall Versus Four Seasons Mall

Greensboro's malls can easily be described in road terms. Carolina Circle Mall was Interstate 40 and Four Seasons Mall is Interstate 85. But which one was the better one? I will now talk about a few things I like about each mall.

Why I Like Carolina Circle Mall: It was very homey and comfortable. It included the only ice rink and/or carousel in Greensboro. Well, that's excluding the cheap mini carousels outside of K-Mart. It just had that certain comfort feal that most malls of today don't have.

Why I Like Four Seasons Mall: It's the only mall I've every been to that has 3 floors. It also has that elegant feal to it. I don't have much to say on this but I describe it more at Four Seasons City. :)

But if I had the chance to go to either Four Seasons or Carolina Circle I'd definately of course choose Carolina Circle. Four Seasons has gone through a trendy modernization the past 10 years. That's alright, but maybe it's because I'm more retro than contemporary. If Carolina Circle was still opened, it would probably be just as contemporary as Four Seasons. It's also amazing to see that both malls are about the same age. Four Seasons opened in 1975 and Carolina Circle opened in 1976. Oh well. Only the good die young.

Here's a list of every mall and major shopping center that's been in Greensboro:

Still Open:

Four Seasons Mall
Friendly Center


Carolina Circle Mall
Forum VI
Cotton Mill Square


Steven Swain said...

I have to confess; I was and still am more a Four Seasons Town Centre fan than Carolina Circle Mall. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carolina Circle plenty, but Four Seasons is more special to me because I’m better acquainted with it and it had more of my favorite stores. For example, Ivey’s at Carolina Circle was very nice, but Ivey’s at Four Seasons was spectacular.

This was before your time, but Four Seasons didn’t always look the way it did from your earliest memories. It actually underwent a rather substantial renovation in 1987 that gave it the ‘80s look you remember. That was the addition that gave it the third floor. Previously it was very ‘70s, much like Carolina Circle, on two floors.

Four Seasons didn’t turn trendy and modem overnight, or even over the past decade. It actually has always been trendy and modem for its time. In the ‘70s , it was very contemporary and upscale. Same with the ‘80s, ‘90s, and today. It has a tendency to match up pretty well with the decade it resides in. Right before each time it remodels, it has a slightly downscale, dated look, and that would mesh pretty well with the memories that you have as a kid. It always emerges form its renovation classier and shinier than ever. With malls increasingly upscale, the current Four Seasons is a reflection of the modern mall market.

This doesn’t take anything away from Carolina Circle of course. Carolina Circle had a more distinctive exterior design inside and out, and it actually aged better than Four Seasons in some ways. It simply had the misfortune of being in the wrong location at the wrong time. I’d like to think if things ha been different, the look of the mall would have been updated to a more modern stance, but we’ll never know what might have been, sadly.

That’s just my two cents. Sorry for rambling.

Billy said...

I actually don't remember what Four Seasons looked like back in the 90's. I remember it look somewhat similar to Carolina Circle, but had more of a garden theme. I also remember that there were more fountains. Today, it's one big fountain.

But some aspects of Four Seasons hasn't changed. One thing that hasn't changed is that neon orange restroom sign at the food court and those food court chairs. The chairs at Carolina Circle were more comfortable, but it beats standing up by a long shot. LOL

What I like about Four Seasons is that "Roundabout" thing in the center court. It gives it that "London Roadgeek" feel to it.

Also back when Carolina Circle and Four Seasons were both open, I'd buy all of my computer stuff at Four Seasons because Carolina Circle didn't have a computer game store. Carolina Circle also didn't have a toy store in my time, but made up for it at the Toys R' Us.

Steven Swain said...

Four Seasons was extremely colorful back in the '80s/'90s. Carolina Circle was a little more subdued, with a simpler color scheme. I think you would have dug it though. It was very current for the time, but if they still had it, it would be totally retro.

The food court at Four Seasons hasn't been remodeled much at at all, like you said. The biggest change was the removal of the massive round neon sign labeled PAVILION from center court. That sucker must have been 15 feet across.

I remember when Carolina Circle used to have a K&K Toys and a Playland Toys, both of which merged with Kay-Bee years ago. I'm not certain, but I believe the K&K Toys at Carolina Circle was the first one I ever went to.

Christopher said...

Best shopping mall anywhere around here is probably Mall of Georgia in Buford, Georgia (just off I-85 headed south toward Atlanta). It's three stories like Four Seasons Town Centre but inside it reminds you a LOT about Carolina Circle Mall. Probably the best arranged enclosed mall anywhere in the area. About five hours away but worth checking out if you ever get the opportunity.