The Place My Paychecks Went To Die

On Milwaukee has a tour (from 2012) of an old, closed mall: Inside a ghost mall: Northridge sits quietly, unknown future ahead:

If you grew up in Milwaukee or have lived here for some time, you certainly remember Northridge Mall.

The 800,000-square foot former shopping center on the corner of 76th St. and Brown Deer Road sits just 10 minutes from River Hills, one of Milwaukee’s most affluent suburbs. Built by Herb Kohl and his partners, it opened in 1973, a virtual carbon copy of Southridge. And after a slow decline, it finally shut its doors 30 years later in 2003.

Back when I was at the university, my job was on 76th Street, so it was easy after clocking out on a Friday night and cashing a paycheck to hop on the number 67 bus to Northridge, where I could spend my less than a hundred bucks at Suncoast Video, Sam Goody, Babbage’s, Waldenbooks, and B. Dalton’s (yes, children, there were two bookstores in the mall in those days before Amazon.com. Sometimes, my friend Doug and I would walk a block to Camelot Music, which was a store in itself and larger than Goody. And at the end of the evening, I’d spread the loot on my bunk and enjoy all the prospects of the weekend to come. What first? The music? The books? The video games? The videocassettes?

It’s funny, now that I’m older and I can just get what I want if I want it that nothing really captures the anticipation I got from that.

Looking through the pictures of the empty mall, I can still tell where things were and where the pictures were taken.

(Link seen on Facebook.)