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Things do change/cycle and I have come to appreciate the stores downtown - Kroner's, Stamp 'n Hand, Pearl St. Books, Peoples Food Coop, the clothing stores and also Caledonia St. for The Sweet Shop, Uptown Cafe, Gifted Hands - locally made useful things. I will continue to support the local stores rather than online for a variety of reasons - creates a ton of WASTE, can't try things on, touch, feel, see the quality. I did enjoy the mall initially but then the offerings were downgraded, seemed our stores became the dumping ground for what didn't sell at their flagship stores. Overall the quality of clothing, furniture is so disappointing - everything is designed to be 'throw-away' even furniture. Part of this is the fact that company's don't pay livable wages anymore so they make things cheaper - it's a vicious cycle. Thanks for the photo journey - I actually worked for several high end stores in the early years and it was nice - continuous flow of customers - now it seems like a ghost town if I go there.


So, how long will the mall last? It's lost two of its anchor stores, and it is bound to soon lose the other two -- Sears and Penneys. All four have had bad business plans of late.


I worked at Leithold's from 1972 to 1978, then went to the Staats Company from 1978 to 1982. During that Staats time, La Crosse watched as downtown withered and even the Caledonia Street Shopping Center (now Oldtown north) got zapped. Interesting that in more recent history, downtown is coming back and the mall is having problems. Who knows? Maybe on-line shopping will replace both of them. I still like walking into a store where people know what they're doing, I can try the shirt or shoes on to make sure they fit and feel comfortable.


This is a great series of photos. I remember back in the 70's when highway 16 was a two lane road with farms. The only reason to drive highway 16 past La Crosse Street was to get to West Salem and it was all 2 lanes.


I was 17 when the mall opened and I remember I visited it 3 time in the first 4 days. I later worked at the mall for several years .. from 1986 to 2004. Then it became a workplace and not so much a place to spend your free time

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