When the Randall Park Mall was first built in 1976, the snazzy, brightly hued plaza briefly enjoyed the title of the world's largest shopping center, employing 500 of North Randall, Ohio's 1,500 inhabitants and bustling along for nearly 33 years before eventually shuttering in 2009. Some five years later, an intrepid photographer who goes by the pseudonym of Seph Lawless shot the place for a series called Black Friday, which chronicles the growing number of deserted American shopping malls crumbling due to economic downturn.
"We all grew up with malls to a certain extent. It was a happier time for America," says Lawless in an interview with American Photo Magazine. "I found that people were connecting with these photographs more so than any other photographs that I've ever taken. I found people were not only missing the malls, but they missed everything that's connected to them. In a sense, they missed America, because shopping malls kind of represented us at that time." Do head over to Lawless' website for the full gallery.
· Spooky Abandoned Mall Was Once the Largest in the World [Curbed National]
· Abandoned Randall Park Mall in Ohio [Weezbo]
· Seph Lawless [Official site]
· All Malls posts [Curbed National]