Once upon a time in 1983, Battle Creek, Michigan's Lakeview Square Mall burst onto the scene with a blaze of glory, plants, skylights, and unique architecture to greet over 10,000 shoppers on it's August 3rd, opening day. Michigan malls in the 80s were the hub of commerce, culture, and social hierarchy. But now...now the Lakeview Square Mall sits as another example of just how different commerce has become.

Related: DEAD MALLS of Michigan: Jackson's Nearly Empty Westwood Mall

Yes the 80s were more than just the setting for Stranger Things. When Lakeview Square Mall opened it had three anchor stores: JC Penney, Sears, and Hudson's. The inner concourse opened at 70% occupancy, which equaled 46 stories, the vast majority of which were clothing, jewelry, and shoe merchants according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Remembering When Battle Creek Gathered at the Lakeview Mall

DEAD MALLS of Michigan: Battle Creek's BLEAK Lakeview Square Mall
NorthCDogg22 via YouTube / Canva
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It wasn't odd to see the halls of the Lakeview Mall lined with cars, boats, hot tubs, pools, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or even Barbie on the weekends. Aside from the wares offered by retailers there was always a different expo or show you could take in on a Saturday.

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It was also Battle Creek's go to destination for pictures with Santa and the Easter Bunny. Back to school shopping didn't start by typing in a domain, it started by picking which entrance you were going into and finding a parking spot close to the door. Even the 90s were a great time to be at the Lakeview Mall.

DEAD MALLS of Michigan: Battle Creek's BLEAK Lakeview Square Mall
NorthCDogg22 via YouTube / Canva
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But, oh how times have changed since then. The mall scene hasn't completely crumbled, but with just 21 tenants listed on the Lakeview Mall website, and a total of over 70 slots available when it opened in 1983, it's fair to say that it's struggling.

Related: Gone But Not Forgotten Michigan Born Businesses: Borders Books

Perhaps there will come a time, sooner than later, that we look up from our screens and decide it's time to once again purchase goods in a brick and mortar location. Until then, maybe I'll see you at the mall? I'll be the other person there who isn't working.

DEAD MALLS of Michigan: Battle Creek's BLEAK Lakeview Square Mall

Opened in 1983 by Forbes/Cohen and anchored by Hudson's, Sears, and JC Penney, the Lakeview Mall was once Battle Creek's meeting place. Face forward to today, and you'll find nearly entire wings void of shoppers or merchants. Here's a look at the empty storefronts, corridors, and halls of Battle Creek's Lakeview Mall.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

DEAD MALLS of Michigan: Jackson's Nearly Empty Westwood Mall

Jackson, Michigan's Westwood Mall once boasted 72 tenants and a lush retail environment. Today it sits with well over 20 vacancies and an empty anchor store. Here's a look inside the nearly empty halls of Jackson's Westwood Mall.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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