Parkway Plaza Mall and Towne Square Mall: Two American Malls Doing the Best They Can


after these messages we’ll be right back hello everyone and welcome to the
Commonwealth of Kentucky from Unicomm productions
I’m your cruise director Kristin and in this video we’ll visit two malls from
the west side of the State: Parkway Plaza Mall in Madisonville and Town Square
Mall in Owensboro we’ll start with Parkway Plaza Mall
which opened on July 30th 1980 with the anchors JCPenney Harvey’s and roses
discount store it still maintains a lot of 80s design cues but also includes
that scourge of the early 2000s: carpeted floors. at least it seems pretty clean in
here probably because all the places to eat have seating inside and people
aren’t walking around with icees and pretzels. that’s always the thing with
carpeted malls; it has to be pretty well maintained or it starts to look gross
pretty quickly. the Roses discount store closed in the mid 90s and was replaced
by Dawahares and Goody’s. Dawahares closed in 2008 in his now a shoe store
Goody’s was converted to a Burke’s outlet when Goody’s closed as a chain. curiously
Goody’s and Peebles are both owned by stage stores and stage is in the process
of closing all their Peebles and rebranding him as Gordman’s
an off-price competitor to TJ Maxx and Marshalls it is also competitor to
Burke’s outlet. “Off Price” is a hot sector right now but this is a small mall in a
small town so it’ll be interesting to see over the next couple years if they both
manage to stick around JCPenney closed in 2000 and that end of
the mall was converted to an AMC Theaters in a steakhouse called
tumbleweed in 2002 harvey’s became youngs during the 80s and then later
became Peebles in the late 80s Madisonville is a small town
surrounded by manufacturing and is only about 40 minutes from Owensboro in an
hour from Evansville Indiana I found the small completely by accident
when passing by on the highway and I’m glad I decided to stop in this mall has what seems to be the
oldest Regis hairstylist facade in existence diagonal paneling is such an
80s look you definitely don’t see it much anymore I imagine it was hard to
cut accurately. the huge empty store space you see off to the left was once a
branch of the local library who were asked to leave in 2012 because the
owners were in final talks for a new anchor as you can see there’s no new
anchor in its place I couldn’t find a name for the new anchor but it was
described as a bedding outlet. The library renovated a building downtown
and left the mall in 2015 this mall was purchased by Ershig
properties in 1997 the article announcing a purchase characterized the
mall at the time as ailing that didn’t elaborate Ershig seems to own primarily
small malls and open-air plazas and are based locally in Henderson Kentucky
they’re doing the best they can in the current climate this mall is clean and
doesn’t have a bunch of buckets sitting around in the wrong hands I imagine it
would end up looking a lot like woodland mall in Bowling Green Ohio this mall has some really interesting
design cues but I can’t help but feel that this warm sort of yellow toned color
scheme they’ve got going on for the walls is all wrong when put next to
these grey columns and tile work planters. it seems like the modern
updates to old malls go in two directions white white and more white,
or warm neutrals. The mirrors around the ceiling are really cool, though I saw a billboard for this place along
the highway and I needed to stop anyway and I had to see the famous but drugs
for myself. Butt drugs and (ahem) Butt liquors it’s an old-fashioned pharmacy that
still has a soda fountain and yes before you ask they have parking in the rear
along with a great selection of moonshine this is Town Square Mall in Owensboro
Kentucky this mall isn’t exactly dead neither of the malls in this episode are.
I think in 2019 when we’re talking about small malls in small cities we have to
adjust our expectations about what thriving looks like with how many
staples of suburban malls have closed or drastically shed locations in the last
couple years if you’ve got a mall that’s under 700,000 square feet and it’s much
above 60% occupancy you’re succeeding Owensboro was the 4th largest city in
Kentucky and until this decade had two malls serving a metro population of
about a hundred thousand the other mall, Lincoln mall, is now a church and closed
in the early part of this decade Town Square Mall opened on February 22nd
1978 anchored by Sears JC Penney and Bacon’s at opening the mall was home to
a Morrison’s cafeteria in a location of a small department store called Baynam’s
that had a cage with to live monkeys in their children’s department it was also home to a store called just
pants whose write-up in the grand opening supplement and Owens Burroughs
newspaper was headlined getting bigger with britches! at what point during the
70s and mid 80s did these stores that sold only pants like just pants and pants
explosion fall out of favor? I don’t remember ever going to a store that only
sold the bottom half of an outfit even as a kid. did they partner with stores
that only sold shirts yeah head on down to top it up and get a
shirt that’ll match these pants perfectly tell them Dave at just pants
sent you. the pants store the shirt store the hosiery store no wonder people spent
all day at the mall you had to visit five stores to put an outfit together
maybe they were onto something; people dress much smarter back then bacons was part of mercantile stores who
were sold to Dillard’s in 1998 this location was one of 26 stores sold to
the May department store company and bacons became Famous-Barr when May
department stores was purchased by federated in 2005. Famous-Barr became
Macy’s which it remains to this day it’s a nice store but it’s maybe the smallest
Macy’s I’ve ever been in and they were pretty busy on the day I was there Sears closed in 2014 and has remained
vacant since not even Spirit Halloween seems to have made an appearance I’m going to guess that this vape store
here was an arcade and looks like an arcade one last look at the center Court which
you may have guessed used to be a noticeably absent fountain and we say goodbye to
Town Square Mall in Owensboro for now thank you for watching if you enjoyed
this video please like and subscribe and share with your friends if you think
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if you’d like to become a patreon donor please see the link in our description I’m Kristin my co-pilot is Ron and we
are Unicom productions and we’ll see you next time

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