Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At the Crossroads

Drudge is carrying a link to a story about Crossroads Mall in south Oklahoma City. The Reuters article points out that it is another victim of the finance failures and looks like it is. What is missing from this story is that it was already in decline even when the economy was healthy. Here's why I think it was dead anyway.

I grew up in this area of south OKC and was my romping ground from 1970 until, well I only live 40 miles from it now. Back in those days this area of the city was white suburban communities expanding southward. To be absolutely truthful my parents bought a home in Moore, Oklahoma so we could go to schools free from racial violence and the busing fiasco going on at that time.

Over the years the city has pushed outward towards Norman on the southside and Edmond on the northside and suburbanites are taking their wealth with them. After almost forty years what used to be cities a short drive from midtown are now suburbs where it gets more difficult to tell which city you're in.

Crossroads sat right on the south edge of OKC. It was a sort of medium scale mall. I recall there was a JC Penney, I worked there one Christmas, a Dillards, Montgomery Ward and those types of retail stores. They were always full of customers, almost always some kind of family activity going on a center court and lots of good restaurants. You felt safe there.

As the city expanded the clientele changed. There was some gang-related violence there. The customers buying furniture, appliances and high ticket items slowly moved southward towards the length of I-35 between Moore and Norman which is now lined with large retail stores and strip malls.

Personally I don't feel safe in there anymore. Last time I was there I felt like I was in the third-world.

But the Crossroad Mall, a landmark of my youth has passed on, never to return. Great piece of property on a hill where you can see most of the southside.  Sitting at the junction of two major interstates.

It survived the May 3rd, 1999 F5 but 'progress' has been terminal.


nanc said...

Parehaps they turn these into the new and chic gulags of the 21st century?

IOpian said...

Hummm.. fed does own it. It sits a top a hill in the middle of a huge parking lot ( could put a lot of barbed wire out there ). Not far from it is the landfill with the eternal methane flame ( a disposal field perhaps? ). Could get a lot of people in there. Maybe the Gitmo detainees could be hired to provide security.