Promeanade Mall... or what's left of it!
When I was maybe 10 or so, Belle Promeanade
mall was built a couple miles from my house. We spent a lot of time
there when I was a kid, and I have loads of memories about things I saw
and did there as well as what I bought, the movies I went to, the games
I played in the arcade, etc.. I mean, I couldn't tell you how many
hours I spent altogether in that place!
Well, I moved away
by the time I was in my teens, but a couple times a year I make it out
to Louisiana to visit my family. I hadn't been out to the mall in
a while, but every time I did it was always a little more depressing.
The two big stores (Dillards and JC Penney's) eventually shut down, then,
one by one, each of the smaller stores followed. Finally, on one
of my trips to the area, I went out to the mall and it was just a crumbling
Believe it or not,
I drove right up to it before I realized it. They had all the main
entrances blocked off, but somehow I managed to wander into one of the
areas that wasn't blocked because I had entered through an adjacent parking
lot. I drove up to the place wondering, "Hey, where are all the cars?"
I got right to the mall itself when I saw that the former Dillards building
was partially torn down.
I drove around the
area almost in shock. It wasn't like I didn't know this was coming,
but it was still a tremendous blow because it really was as if someone
had taken a living memory out of my mind and killed it right in front of
me. That's kind of a strange emotion for something that is essentially
a center of commerce, but this was an unprecedented experience for me.
The mall had probably
been closed down two years or so before Dani and I returned on this trip
to to visit the place. By this time, all of the building had been
razed except for the portion that had once been JC Penney's. I wish
I had been able to see the rest while it was still standing, but at least
I was able to make this one last visit.
||There's Dani standing between the slabs
Spencers and World Bazaar once occupied at the entrance of Penney's.
It had snowed the day before (i.e., Xmas
day), which is a rarity in the New Orleans area. The water remained
from the precipitation and was continuing to melt and drip from the remains
of the buildings.
||Though surrounded by a fence, the entrance
was wide open, including the gate in the fence itself.
||Somehow either vandals or the demolition/construction
workers managed to smash out the majority of this last remaining skylight.
The ground was covered with the broken glass right below here.
||Looking off in the direction of the mall,
we see that there isn't any mall left... just a Wal-mart in the distance.
||I wish you could see what I see right
here. On the right, men's clothes... to the left, casual wear, then
the shoe department beyond that.
Is this a wake?
||All of the exposed wood in this area was
once covered with large mirrors (hence the dark circles of adhesive).
Most of the glass from here had been cleared away by the time of our visit...
||...However, the elevator was a different
story. The mirrored walls were similarly shattered, although here
all the glass littered the escalators.
To make matters worse, it was pitch black
since the only light coming into the first floor was perpendicular to the
direction of the escalators, and all we brought was a single hand-held
||Second floor: Ladies' wear, lingerie,
and a stray cat.
Yes, seriously, the only occupant (well,
that we were made aware of) was a stray cat who darted across a section
of the second floor as we approached.
||Dani is looking down into an exposed portion
of the escalator's mechanism on the side opposite the stairs we came up.
Note the debris on the stairs themselves.
||Even the skylights came down in a few
places. Fortunately, there was a lot of natural light up here.
See the next page for why.