Friday, December 29, 2023

Memorializing the Metro

 Yet another Youtuber discovered the ruins of Metrocenter.  This urban phenomena appears every so often on social media when an "influencer" makes a pilgrimage to the south Jackson mall.  Rangerricktv posted on Facebook:

In this exploration, I'll be filming in the town of Jackson, Mississippi, inside the largest abandoned shopping mall in the state. Metro Center Mall, a once thriving mall bustling with life, is now just a shade of memories. This double-decker mall opened its doors in 1978, serving the town of Jackson for many years, and finally closed its doors in 2012. Metro Center began a decline in 1999, and a steady pattern of vacancies continued until August 2007. The cause of the decline was the changing demographics in the Jackson metropolitan area, which contributed to substantial vacancies throughout the years. Even though the outside of the mall looks like it has seen better days, the inside remains pristine almost to the point where it could be a preserved time capsule from a bygone era. So join me in this exploration, and let's go back to the past.

He will post a video of the excursion on his Youtube channel.  Check out some of his pictures of Metrocenter. 

 Here is Metrocenter in its former glory.



Anonymous said...

This is all due to white flight, Trump, the CCID, and gun shows. Right?

Anonymous said...

This is what progressives and Marxists do. Right?

Anonymous said...

What a shame. That was a great mall. Made 10,000 trips to Sears. And a few to Widow Watsons for their quiche.

Anonymous said...

The interior is really beautiful, actually, and illustrates what SHOULD HAVE BEEN done, when the old Sears was turned into the Eudora Welty Library.

Metrocenter was originally built in the consummately-hideous style known as 'Nixon Era Modern'. The Sears was a timid example of '40s 'Moderne' (Modern, minus the Socialist dogma).

Metrocenter's interior, and a few entrances, were skillfully updated in the style known as 'Postmodern'. The Sears' refitting was also in the Postmodern style, although the architects may not have had any idea that's what they were doing (they may have thought they were doing "Traditional" or 'Neoclassical', and their clients may have thought the same).

But Metrocenter's (and Northpark's) Postmodernism was FUN. It energized the public, and made them want to visit and to spend (to whatever extent the zombifying demographics of South Jackson - and the Eastern side of Central Mississippi - could be overcome). I'm amazed that Metrocenter remained viable as long as it did. That fun retrofitting seems to have paid for itself.

But the Sears/Welty re-do was NOT fun. Instead of a zany party atmosphere, the building's retrofitting exudes timidity, shame, and desperation. "Hotel Lobby Colonial" is the general impression (and would be, even if the feckless city had maintained its flagship library competently).

Anonymous said...

Location Location Location It was once located in the crossroads of commerce of Central Mississippi. That changed and now it's not worth the effort to come to that part of town. Happens in other places too. Too bad it's a nice structure.

Anonymous said...

Let's go shopping.

Anonymous said...

@12:10 If they blame Trump, Republicans, white flight, gunshows, Mary Hawkins, Henefin, any other white conservatives they can think of, they don’t have to accept responsibility for what Jackson is today.

Anonymous said...

Preserve it like the Colosseum in Rome.

Anonymous said...

Turn it into a combined Police/Fire Academy.

Anonymous said...

Prominent real estate developer told me originally the mall was supposed to have been built where the Ag Museum is, but local residents didn't want it there. Even in 1978, demographics in South Jackson were changing. Had Metrocenter been built where Ag Museum is, I am sure it would still be thriving today, and perhaps Northpark would never have been built.

Anonymous said...

Prominent real estate developer told me Metro Center was originally supposed to be built where Ag Museum is, but local residents prevented that from happening. South Jackson demographics were already changing for the worse in 1978. Had Metro Center been built at corner of I-55 and Lakeland Drive, I am sure it would be still be thriving today, and perhaps Northpark would never have been built.

Anonymous said...

12:18, you really think liberals and marxists are the reason MetroCenter declined? Have you been living under a rock or have you not noticed that the market for indoor shopping malls nationwide has been rather cold for decades by now.

A. Cancer Patient said...

That's nothing. You should go see the interior of the old Jackson Mall especially how the parquet flooring has survived all these years where I get my chemo at the old Orange Julius location.

Anonymous said...

Karen at 1:45:
Liberals and Marxists are the reason Jackson has declined. MetroCenter simply got caught in the undertow.

Anyone who believes that liberals and Marxists are not the cause of the decline of Jackson are the useful idiots that enable the liberals and Marxists.

Anonymous said...

The ferris wheel would have saved it.

Anonymous said...

who is watering all of those trees and plants?

Anonymous said...

Metrocenter was the brainchild of visionaries, and made possible by enterprising people who sought to clear a piece of land and put a wealth-creating marvel in its place. It created jobs, was a huge boost to the tax base, offered great shopping opportunities, and was an enormous attractant for dollars flowing into the metro.

It was a great undertaking and enjoyed years of success. The government didn't do it. It wasn't funded by federal grants. In the early 1970s, the idea was welcomed and supported by the Jackson city government.

But over time, crime and blight overtook the communities closest to Metrocenter, the patronage dwindled, the mall stores closed up, and it became a haven for fingernail emporiums, head shops, and the like.
It finally closed its doors and today it stands as a monument to inner city decay. Jackson's business-friendly posture was pushed aside and a toxic political climate emerged. The city became a hostile environment to any business, large or small.

Jackson became a place to be avoided by visionaries. Other areas have become home to such things as Trustmark Park, Basspro, Outlets of MS, Renaissance, etc. Those projects went to the towns where they get the little things right, like garbage and streets. It's a shame that the state's once-great capital city is now governed by shouting matches, lawsuits, appeals for federal help, and finger-pointing.

Anonymous said...

Sears went down after I bought all their tools...

Anonymous said...

@2:39, the last sentence in your comment has made the most sense. I was just thinking yesterday how much fun it was shopping used to be at The Metrocenter. Back when I was younger Christmas shopping was a very exciting time. On another note, I remember Westland Plaza was a great place also. It had the connector area just to the right of McRae’s and if I remember correctly Santa was in that area. Jackson Square was a nice place at one time and they had a particular shop at the rear of their connector area, Diamond Jewelers, owned by Mr. George Trebotich. He was a very good man. Wow, that was a long time ago when we had a different city that was run properly. Sure brings back a lot of good memories.

Anonymous said...


Thats the most verbose way one can possibly say "they remodeled and folks liked it"

Anonymous said...

At 2:35 - Ain't no percentage in watering plastic plants.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me why this has not yet become a massive homeless camp?

Anonymous said...

I’m pretty sure Rukia and her brother have plans to utilize this enclosed structure for their mom and dad’s vision of New Afrika. Should be very interesting and entertaining for those of us who aren’t invited.

Anonymous said...

Detroit v2.0

Anonymous said...

The roller coaster ring road surrounding the mall was awful before the place collapsed in attendance. Best demo of why not to build on Yazoo clay.

Anonymous said...

MetroCenter Mall was a gamble on the speculation of expansive growth to the west of Jackson. By the mid-1980's, west Jackson's blight was here to stay.

Anonymous said...

KF, thanks for the photos! I never have been inside the Metro Center. It's beautiful inside still.

When I moved here, it still was open, but I was advised over and over that it was "too dangerous" to go there and was in a "horrible" area.

I am absolutely certain that it was not communists or liberals that told me that. The "advice" was from prominent, successful Mississippi citizens. At the time, they lived in Jackson and some still do.

I now see this as an example of how self-destructive prejudice is and dysfunctional social and economic competition. Mississippi is so beautiful with such a rich culture North Mississippians hate Coastal Mississippians, and both hate Jacksonians. Fear of losing status or group control.

An economic plan that isn't part of a statewide plan to improve all of Mississippi gives us a land of abandoned buildings that need tearing down. A good plan starts with making ALL of Mississippi " beautiful again" with enforced building codes and neighborhood protections.

Madison had the right idea but ignored quality to insure a lasting blueprint of success. Money blurred the vision.

In our current political climate, that is impossible. Indeed, for the first time in decades I'm hearing racial slurs in "polite society" and in social settings. Nor are the slurs "masked" in jokes.

I warn Jews and Catholics, you are no more accepted now than when the Klan controlled everything. Your usefulness is temporary. And, surely, women should see that ultimately, like in Iran, you'll lose your status and any wealth you've accumulated. The odds of avoidance are slim to none. In all one party/one party leader/one religion or no religion governments women have only token status of less than 20% though they represent the majority of the populations. A woman's value is only to "breed" more "followers".

Anonymous said...

Didn't the shyster Socrates Garrett file a lawsuit against the city over his bad investment in the mall? Is there any update on this grifter's attempt to force the city to bail him out of his own business stupidity?

Anonymous said...

11:29 You were probably feeling confident when you hit the Publish Button. You thoughts are full of extremely objective opinions. The prominent people you speak of were prejudice against thieves and crime. That should be easy to comprehend. Not sure what your idea of quality is. Think about your statements and try again.

PittPanther said...

Your can't convince me that the Jackson area can support two indoor malls, regardless of how great the surrounding areas.

Jackson Mall killed McRaes in North Fondren.
Metro Center killed Jackson Mall
Northpark killed Metro Center
Renaissance is killing Northpark
Grandview will kill Renaissance

Anonymous said...

@ 5:08 PM - You are assuming a static population that just changes locations. The population of the Jackson MS MSA in the past 30 years has essentially doubled to almost 600,000 people. Only ~15% of that growth can be considered migration from the CoJ.

Jackson - 25%
Clinton + 30%
Madison +250%
Pearl + 35%
Brandon +200%
Flowood +270%
Richland + 75%

However, while indoor malls have lost their appeal in many areas, the decline accelerates when the surrounding area goes to hell in a handbasket (downtown Jackson, West Jackson, County Line, ...). The Outlets of MS could be in jeopardy due to the proximity to the CoJ and the possible loss of the MS Braves.

Anonymous said...

If the powers that be would just reopen Aladdin’s Castle Arcade, all these problems would disappear.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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