It opened in 1957 to great fanfare, and after nearly 60 years, it is ready to come crashing down and make way for a new development that will be transformational to not only the city of Crestwood but to the entire St. Louis County. It was the first mall of the St. Louis area to include more than one anchor store. It was once an open air mall like to Chesterfield outlet malls. However, after several years and many expansions, the mall was finally in closed in the mid-1980s. It was one of the many other malls that were appearing in St. Louis to be very strong. But after the Galleria was expanded and West County Mall reopened up after reconstruction, Crestwood Mall fell into freefall and in July 2013, it finally shut its doors to the public. This is a brief overview of what this whole post will be about. It will be about the Rise, the Fall and the Eventual Closing of the once most popular mall in the St. Louis area.
I remember as if it was yesterday, when I was younger in the stroller in the middle of Crestwood Court riding down a ramp that was near Sears coming from one of the older parts of the mall that was enclosed in the 70s and 80s. I remember how it was full of life, people, and even more shops and I Could've imagined at the time. It was a place that my family and I used to go to almost every single week to pick up some things that we needed it to get things that others needed to. It was the closest mall to our house since we lived in the South Hampton neighborhood of St. Louis. However in 2009, it was the last time I would ever step foot into the operating mall with store to eat at the burger joint called Fletcher's on the outer rim of the mall. After that, the mall was in freefall and in July of 2013 my dad and I went to the mall on it's very last day before no one was allowed to be inside of it.
It was a sad day for all the memories that I had there. My brother was too young to realize that he's ever been there, and my sister was even too young to realize what she's ever been there for also. After the mall closed, I thought that a developer would come in and reopen the mall better than ever before. However I was wrong. In 2015 developer firm UrbanStreet group purchased the mall for $1.5 million on eBay and announced that they would wreck the place and build a new district that would include residential, a hotel, shops, and a gas station. This made me furious. And I could only wonder if the developer would open it up one last time for everyone in the City and County of St. Louis to go back one last time and reflect on memories from the mall.
This hope was sort of fulfilled in 2016 on April 16 when city of Crestwood held a Food Truck Party on the Plaza where thousands and thousands of people showed up to say and celebrate their final farewell to the mall before it is demolished on May 1. While there I explored around with my friend and we dug into why they did not reopen the inside of the mall. What I found and he found was some of the scariest and most disgusting looking things we have ever seen. UrbanStreet group let the mall go. They refused to keep it up. Internal ceilings were collapsing in from water damage, awnings were ripping, Windows are broken all over the place, mold was in the old store areas, and graffiti was all inside of the abandon mall. It was a sad sight to see and I can only wonder why and how the mall got this way. Now it is time for me to tell you the story of how Crestwood Rose, Fell, and Closed and what the future holds for this St. Louis Landmark.