Along 67 from St. Louis to Alton is a big, empty parking lot with a remnants of a few signs. Back in a copse of trees is a house that has apparently been there for a while. Google Maps shows this entire area underwater as of June, 2019.
In the small town of St. Nazianz, WI, there is a compound of buildings that used to be a seminary. The property itself is well-tended and the grounds are mowed regularly.
Several of the buildings, however, have sat mostly empty for a number of years. The sanctuary, St. Ambrose, appears to be used mostly for storage although it appears to be used for private worship as well. That’s a banner for some sort of event draped across the pews. It’s occasionally open to visitors, although none of the other abandoned parts are.
On closer inspection, you can see where water has made its way in and has started the building’s decay.
The seminary building is also mostly abandoned, and I have not seen it open to the public, other than a thrift store that is active at the back of the building.
This is the dormitory building, to the right of the sanctuary.
Although the purpose of this blog was to challenge myself to look for places where nature was taking over man-made structures, the subject of this set of posts, the St. Louis Mills Mall, is in remarkably good shape and nature has not yet made many inroads aside from a few water leaks in the ceiling. Given that the mall property is supposed to be turned into a sports complex soon, nature will likely not get a chance to reclaim this property any time soon. So I suppose that this post is a bit off-topic.
In any case, below are photos of some of the stores, and details from some of the many mall decorations in the now-closed St. Louis Mills. For some overview shots of the hallway please see my prior post.
Many of the closed storefronts were covered in banners with different shopping-related quotes.
The St. Louis Mills Mall opened in 2003 in a suburb of St. Louis called Hazelwood. It changed hands in 2012 to become the St. Louis Outlet Mall. With the rise of Internet shopping, and opening of two outlet malls in nearby Chesterfield in 2013, the mall continued to decline. This past May, tenants were given their 30-day notice to vacate. The property has been purchased and plans are to create a large sports facility.
I had a chance to walk through last June, when the mall was nearly empty. I only saw 2 stores accessible from the inside of the mall. The larger stores that were still open — Burlington Coat Factory, Cabela’s, etc. — all had their mall entrances blocked off which just added to the spookiness of the place.
Below is the store directory as it looked in June, 2019. Most of these stores were already gone.
It’s been three years since I’ve posted. Nothing drastic has happened in that time, just a job that took up so much of my time and energy that a lot of things went by the wayside.
This photo is of the railroad trestle near the flood wall in downtown St. Louis. The bridge itself is not abandoned, but the overgrowth and graffiti gives it the abandoned vibe anyway.
(Philadelphia, PA – July 2016) The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was operational from 1829 to 1971, and is open to the public for tours.
(Philadelphia, PA – July 2016) At 380 acres, this is a very large cemetery. In fact, it’s the largest in Pennsylvania. Mount Moriah closed in 2011 and was mostly neglected since then, except for two areas with military graves.
More recently, a volunteer group called Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery has been doing a lot of clean-up: mowing, clearing out underbrush, protecting it from dumpers and vandals, and bringing monuments back into the light of day. They have an active Facebook page, and given the progress they regularly post, one day this beautiful cemetery will once again be a peaceful place for relatives to visit their departed loved ones.