Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The End of the Line

Don't be mislead by the title. This isn't the end of Carolina Circle City. So don't send me any hate e-mails.

Anyway, Carolina Circle Mall was open from 1976-2002. However, the really open years were from 1976-1997. But this post will cover what the mall was like from 1998-2002.

During these years, the mall was more of an indoor outlet center. The two main anchors were Dillard's and Montgomery Ward. As of 1998, there were only about 50 stores open. The carousel was removed sometime in mid-late 1997 I think.

Once Dillard's closed circa 1999, it was all downhill. Besides Montgomery Ward, I don't remember going to the mall between 1999 and 2001.

I remember my last visit into the mall corridor. I was 11 years old and it was March of 2001. I was at Montgomery Ward and my dad and I decided to check out what was open at the mall. We walked through the mall and it was like a ghost town. Only Montgomery Ward and some other store were open. That some other store probably closed 2 minutes later. Anyway, my dad and I were about the only 2 people in the mall along with some other family. We only got as far as the food court. I was thinking that my beloved Subs & Spuds was still open. I was in shock when we approached the food court. The tables and chairs were still there, but no restaurants! Even Subs & Spuds was gone! I got creeped out so much that I went back as fast as I could back to the protection of Montgomery Ward.

Soon after my exploration of the mall in March of 2001, all access to the mall corridor was blocked off. Never again could I see first hand the colorful array of lime and pink.


Steven Swain said...

That's a pretty fair telling of the last days.

I remember the last time I went to Belk; probably 1997 or '98. They had shrunk to a small portion of the first floor and it looked more like a garage sale than a department store. They had even pulled the plug on the outlet section at that point.

Before they went out of business, Dillard's Clearance Center had blocked off its lower level and the upper level was a mess. I bought a cool Peanuts tie there, and a really awful dress shirt. That was somewhere around '99.

Cherib said...

This is my 1st blogging experience and I happened upon yours! I'm a bit older than you and grew up in Ridgeway,VA. Gboro was where we always went to shop for xmas and I used to LOVE Carolina Cir Mall! At that time (the 70's ?) I think there was an ice rink in the center. I never tried it--probably because it "cost too much" (quote dad). But we loved to go and watch. That mall was part of my happy Christmas memories and I hadn't thought of it in a long time.
PS-I'm a map freak too!