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Alcove – Old Tallahassee Mall – August 31, 2017

 On North Monroe Street in Tallahassee there used to be an enclosed mall creatively called “The Tallahassee Mall”.  It was the second of three malls that used to service the Capital City (Northwood’s being the first, and Governor’s Square being the younger, and bigger brother).  When I was first in Tallahassee for my two years at FSU in the early ’90’s the Tallahassee Mall (TM)had seen better days (and the Northwood’s mall had already begun its slow, painful transition from mall to State Offices[!]), but things were looking up for TM, a new wing and major upgrades to the existing infrastructure were on the planning board.  By the time I got back to Tallahassee in 1996 it had a new lease on life, sort of.  There were major schematic issues with the new design, including having a large Montgomery Ward store intersected by the main hallway, and having at least two stores only accessible from the outside.  But it did have one thing over its now more popular younger brother (Gov’s Square): it had the AMC theater (I should use a capital T for The since its the ONLY AMC in the Big Bend region).  But time and style and the effect Tallahassee seems to have on everything eventually took its toll and by the early years of the 2000’s it was back down on bad luck.  Most of the stores eventually closed, Monty Ward became a Burlington Coat Factory, still intersected, and then only on one of the sides.  And finally a new ownership group came in to save it…by ripping the living crap out it.  In transitioning it to “The Centre of Tallahassee” they basically made an indoor mall into an outdoor mall, I guess because ripping the roof off was cheaper than fixing it?  And I’m sure not having a roof is cheaper than having to heat that barn, but then there’s part of the problem: it gets hot and wet in North Florida most of the year (which to paraphrase “Good Morning Vietnam”,  is nice if you’re with a lady but ain’t no good if you’re in a mall!)  And then of course they have yet to actually finish the refurb, as is evidenced by the picture that started this whole post.  That little alcove used to be in the hallway leading to the North entrance just off the Food Court, across from Chik-fil-A.  Now its an eye sore that would be more at home in the 1980’s Meat Packing District than an outdoor mall in North Florida, but there you are.

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