Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marquette Mall - Guest post by Ryan Sobecki

Marquette Mall Michigan City, IN - Guest post by Ryan Sobecki

Malls often die a slow and painful death, and this mall is no exception. This mall opened in 1971, right when downtown was headed towards the suburbs. A 3 anchor mall with Woolworth's as a junior anchor. It was one of the first air conditioned malls in the state! I remember it having (in the 80's and 90's) a Walgreens and a Walgreens restaurant, a pet store, Man Alive, True Value, Hair Castle, Foot Locker, Chess King, Corn Dog place, Hot Sam's, an Arcade called the Gold Mine, Piercing Pagoda, Fox Jewelry, Bressler Ice Cream, K-B Toys, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Readers World/Hallmark, Record Town, I think a Castle Records (?), and later on a F.Y.E. and a Bath and Body Works.  Then they remodeled some of it in the early 90's I think and a food court moved into the Jo-Ann Fabrics area, then a Rex Audio moved into the Walgreens and now it is a Visitor Center.  They tried a McDonalds for a while, but that closed soon after.  It was never a mall that we would call "busy" because we used to go to Mishawaka (University Park)or South Bend (Scottsdale-now tore down) and Merrillville/Hobart (South Lake). The La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau moved in where the old Walgreen's and Walgreen's restaurant and then Rex used to be to try and get people to the mall I guess... The mall is about 5 miles north of I-94...on Franklin Street. The mall is currently 578,181 sq feet. The office tower is occupied by a number of law firms and health care providers.

A few vintage photos first:

A lot has changed since these photos were taken opening week. I will take you through the malls downfall, starting in 2010. All photos were taken by me, Ryan Sobecki.

Mall Directory - 2010

Carson Pirie Scott





Lets look at some OPEN stores




Now lets take a look at some closed stores




Lets look at this closed off corridor of the mall!



A look outside

Carson Pirie Scott


Office Tower




Marquette Mall Sign


Next, we take a look at 2013/2014!

Not much has changed... probably because they don't update the directory! 

JCPenney still holding on!

Carson Pirie Scott closing off there large entrance a bit

Stores like GNC could no longer hold on

The mostly empty hallways of a once bustling mall

Just add the website to make it look like its from the 21st century!

 Outside of Carson Pirie Scott


Marquette Mall 2016?

JCPenney closed their location. Sears & Carson Pirie Scott both remain. The mall is still open, but very few stores remain, and the mall is still for sale. Seems like its only hanging on due to it's anchor stores.

If you have updated photos from this mall, please submit them to deadanddyingretail@gmail.com


  1. Nice post, glad to see the blog is still going keep up the great work.

    1. I spend most of the time on the facebook "like" page. These blog entries are quite time consuming. I plan to add another one about a closing Super Kmart soon.

  2. I’m also glad to see another new article on the blog. Thanks for the post. The mall does not look super unique in the grand opening photos compared to other malls that were opening at the time, but it certainly has a pretty unique vintage look today. The anchors look pretty small at this mall and the Sears has a pretty basic outside appearance, but at least a couple of the anchors are still hanging in there. Hopefully the remaining anchors will be able to sustain the in-line tenants going forward.

  3. As for your 2016 update, the following changes have occurred:
    > All the interior stores have since closed or relocated. Game Changers, which was one of the last of the interior stores, relocated to the strip mall next to the old Wal Mart location
    > All exterior doors to the mall, with the exception of the entrance next to the office tower and the entrance next to the old Applebee's, have been locked. For the entrances which are still open, barricades have been placed to prevent people from wandering through areas of the mall which have been completely vacated
    > The entrances to the interior of the mall in both Sears and Carson's have been closed indefinitely.

    In other words, the interior of the mall has been completely closed, with no public access allowed. You can still see the interior of the mall from the closed entrances at Carson's and Sears, and the interior is completely dark. There are traces of minor renovation work especially on the Carson's end, but nothing which would indicate the mall is going to reopen any time soon.

    My prediction is if one of the remaining two anchors leaves then it won't be long before the second closes shop as well and the mall falls completely dead. If I had to guess I'd say the Sears is the next to close. I like Carson's but the selection in Michigan City is incredibly limited - especially for menswear. It's just more efficient to go to Merrillville as that location has everything the old Marquette Mall location has and more.


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