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In the Image of... Mall?

Reaction to “In the Image of Man” by Gabriella Stalker

Published onSep 30, 2019
In the Image of... Mall?

Reaction to “In the Image of Man” by Gabriella Stalker

Fascinating story of a world that is just imaginable with the anchor mall brands (Coca-Cola gets featured everywhere…are they paying??) and a state of human affairs that possibly qualifies as a prequel to WALL-E. Gabriella Stalker writes with a great sense of humor and the quote that stood out the most is “Today’s Mass is sponsored in part by Coca-Cola and EA Games. Please join us in singing ‘how Great Is Our God’ page sixty-two in your hymnal.

I want to talk about malls because they’re in a general state of decline as 1) more shopping takes place online, 2) new generations value experiences over material goods, and 3) expensive real estate means stores really struggled to make ends meet. As a result, now is an inflection point for malls to find alternative uses or provide the “full experience package” that shoppers are craving.

People have been generating ideas for what to do with “dying malls”, here are some that are worth further exploration:

  • Community Living / Senior Housing / Homeless Shelter

  • Indoor Skating Rink / Arcade

  • Corporate HQ / Dorms (like Googleplex)

  • Library / Museum / Art Spaces

The Arcade in Providence, RI, has become a community gathering place and has micro-lofts

Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch, TN, that now has an ice skating rink

Windsor Park Mall in San Antonio, TX, that now houses the HQ of a startup company

Walmart in McAllen, TX, transformed into a public library when the city purchased it

Bonus: A Town in One Building!

Did you know that everyone in Whittier, Alaska live in a single building? Wild, right?! Until you realize that it’s a town of 200+ people and the extreme weather doesn’t allow for many alternatives… It’s probably the most similar real-world example to Megamall in the story.

Begich Towers, Whittier, Alaska


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