Spooky Side of Sears

Spooky Side of SearsA darkened and boarded-up mid-century husk of a former Sears is all that remains of the Dayton, Ohio area’s first shopping mall.

The city of Trotwood borders Dayton to the immediate northwest. Originally opened in 1966 and peaking at over 100 stores following a reconstruction in the 1980s: the Salem Mall eventually faltered to mismanagement and local overmalling at the end of the 20th, into the 21st century. By 1997 Sears was the last of Salem’s original four anchors; the mall shuttered and was promptly demolished within a decade’s time, leaving this store freestanding until its own demise at the chronically-incompetent mitts of Eddie Lampert in 2014.

Aside from a neighboring Home Depot, the rest of the mall site remains undeveloped, anchoring a rather desolate corner of vacant retail and fast food eateries in the triangle formed by Salem Avenue and Shiloh Springs Road. A year ago, municipal funds were allocated for final cleanup of the mall site and demolition of Sears, however the area’s recent brush with a rather violent tornado (mere days after I had passed through to shoot this) could now either expedite or further delay the inevitable.

Polaroid 600SE
Mamiya-Sekor 127mm f/4.7
CineStill 800T


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