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bork

Overstreet Mall History?

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Just curious if anyone can give me background on the overstreet mall and all the above-street walkways around here.

Seems to me they are really bad for the city. There's a ton of stores inside. (no one on here even mentions the Belk Express downtown) A lot of people downtown during the day walk through the maze instead of going outside, so you don't see much pedestrian traffic on the street. My first visit to the city, while unaware of the oversteet mall, I was completely confused by the lack of stores/restaurants/people.

Am I wrong in imagining - if all the stores inside were street-level retail, then you'd foster a lot more foot traffic. Also, you would not have to impose early hours on these stores, and could have things staying open later, fostering more people to stay downtown, fostering more retail, etc..

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monsoon and other longtime residents could give a better history, but basically, in era of high crime, it was considered better business to put the shops inside and connect the office buildings. It was also a decision to somewhat copy similar malls in Boston and Minneapolis.

The overstreet mall is still well used, but no longer has any department store anchors, as the belk and iveys, etc., have left downtown.

City leaders have recognized the negative impact to street activity, and are pushing both street retail and oversteet mall connections. Hearst, for example, has a plaza of street level retail and an overstreet connection.

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Basically city leaders went to Minneapolis in the early 1970s and saw the skyway system there, and decided to reproduce it here. Little did they realize the one in Minneapolis was there due to necessity, (i.e the cold terrible frigid winters there that we are fortunate not to have in Charlotte) and did not notice the loss of street life as that it caused. The one in Charlotte used to be a bit larger than it is now as it crossed Tryon and included Iveys and other buildings in that block.

As dubone mentioned, the powers to be here have realized the Overstreet was not such a good idea and have been working to minimize its impact. It would help somewhat if they could find a way to give it a couple of grand entrances onto Tryon & College rather than the hidden entrances we have today.

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I have vague memories of Ivey's & some book store that was in the 'mall'. But as already stated - it was part of a national trend in the 1970's. Rock Hill SC is another city that had a 'downtown mall' - not the same as Charlotte's of course. In Rock Hill, they enclosed Main St for two blocks, fortunately - after I left they tore it down.

Atlanta is home to Peachtree Center, another 'fadish' development - John Portman developed a series of skyscrapers connected by sky walks, the subway & a shopping mall. Personally - I consider it a failure, but I work here so I have to deal with it.

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True about ATL & Rockhill. In fact the one in ATL once had an amusement park in it.

But in Charlotte's case, it was a copy of what they did in Minneapolis.

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Rock Hill SC is another city that had a 'downtown mall' - not the same as Charlotte's of course.  In Rock Hill, they enclosed Main St for two blocks, fortunately - after I left they tore it down.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What was the old mall in Rock Hill on Cherry Rd i think, before the Galleria? I think it too had Belk Sears and JC Penney if i'm not mistaken

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What was the old mall in Rock Hill on Cherry Rd i think, before the Galleria? I think it too had Belk Sears and JC Penney if i'm not mistaken

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I might be wrong as it has been a very long time, but I think that was known as the Rock Hill Mall.

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monsoon - the indoor mall you are thinking about is the pre-CNN center.

cantnot - what monsoon said, it was the Rock Hill Mall which later became a Catawba indian casino hall I think when it closed down due to Dave Lyle's Gonareah.

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