Friday, November 30, 2007

When Did They Build That?

Our visit to Sawgrass Mills shopping mall yesterday had me thinking about the frailty of our world. Sawgrass Mills was a state of the art shopping mall when it was built in 1990, and actually has been one of the top five Florida tourist destinations for years. Yet it has already been surpassed by another mall south of it in Miami.


When I was a teenager we hung out at Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. It was the state of the art mall of it’s time, the first totally enclosed mall that I had ever seen. It opened in 1966, coinciding with me getting my drivers license, a perfect storm. That was where I bought all my records (old fashioned recording devices before I-Pods and CD’s), did all my Christmas shopping and picked up the fashionable clothes of the time.

In high school all the boys were wearing skin tight pants that left nothing to the imagination, and Beatle boots that had pointy toes with inch and a half heels. After one trip to the mall I came home looking and feeling really ‘groovy’ in my new Beatle boots. My dad had a different opinion, and told me that I looked like a ‘broad’, and made me return the cool shoes and go back to get some respectable ones.

Dixie Square lasted only twelve years before it went belly up, mostly because the town it was in had turned almost all black and the mall became known as a place whites didn’t go to. It will live on forever in film however, because it was used in the movie ‘The Blues Brother’s for the scene where they drive through it, destroying it. The problem is, they really did destroy it. The last I heard it was a derelict wreck still sitting on Dixie Highway, because the town of Harvey can’t afford to tear it down.


One of the things I don’t like about South Florida is that they have no respect for the past. One day you drive by a cute little house that’s been there for sixty or seventy years, the next time you drive by it’s gone and a new cookie-cutter townhouse is sitting there. Sometimes I sit in my yard and look at all the trees I planted and wonder what will happen after I’m gone. Will a bulldozer turn it into a flat vacant lot, perfect to build another townhouse? Or will it will find its way into the arms of another tree hugger like me. I'd like to think that the oak tree I planted will be here a hundred years from now.

8 comments:

  1. Tear-downs are happening all over the place. All the affordable "starter" homes are going away...valuable only for the land they sit on and the address they can provide. So many towns are being taken over by McMansions that look down their noses at the little ranch next door! I always want to know how so many people can afford such big houses........

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  2. Dennis of the desert.November 30, 2007 at 7:47 PM

    I think the plants will totally take over your house and it will disappear...that is until some explorer finds it like the ruins in the Mexican jungle. It shouldn't take that long from what I can see.

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  3. I always wanted a pair of those Beatle boots. Only the rich kids had them. We were so poor my mother wouldn't get me a new pair of shoes until the bottoms wore a hole through them.

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  4. Well all I can say is when I sold my house in SE Ft Laud. The developers bulldozed eveything and used just about every inch of the property to build on. You would be better off donating a tree in your name to a local botonical garden or city park.

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  5. Sounds like you need to get out a bit more often.

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  6. The flip side to the tear down is the abandoned, foreclosed property. We have three in the block that I walk Molly. Thank you greedy bankers. My property value has fallen by about $100K.

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  7. Really! How much are they going for?

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  8. I don't know. go to
    http://www.realtor.com
    and enter zip code 33305.

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