That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

January 8, 2006

Angry Man Build Mall Soon To Be Dead Mall With Retro Wards

Filed under: — Anita @ 8:19 am

Oh my god, I just got this e-mail in my inbox, so funny (ok, at least to me):

NAME: Grafwritah (.com)
EMAIL: grafwritah@—–

Subject: A pic…
Mall(s): Regency Mall / Augusta GA
Message Type: Submission Existing

This is nothing exciting in regards to mall architecture but something perhaps
you could add “just because”. Besides, it puts a face with one of the masters
of mall creation.

And I’d say you’re researching, no?


That is a link but I don’t know that you will be able to pull it from that. If
you can’t, I can send it to you if you want it.

PIC: Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. at Regency Mall Opening Photograph
This 7.7″ by 10” (19.8 by 25.4 cm) image depicts Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. The
photograph was taken at the grand opening of the Regency Mall in Augusta,
Georgia in 1978. DeBartolo was a Youngstown business leader who amassed one of
the nation’s largest business conglomerates. He constructed the early malls and
shopping centers in the suburbs around Youngstown, to which some attribute the
demise of downtown Youngstown. Twice Forbes magazine named him the wealthiest
man in Ohio.

Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. in the Smokey Hollow section of Youngstown, Ohio. His
father, Anthony Paonessa, an immigrant from Bari, Italy, died two months before
he was born. In 1914, his stepfather Michael DeBartolo started a construction
company in Youngstown, where Edward worked from an early age. He graduated from
South High School in Youngstown in 1927 and from the University of Notre Dame
in 1932 with a degree in civil engineering. In 1935, he began building a series
of innovative single-family residences in a Youngstown suburb. After serving in
the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, he married Marie Patricia
Montani and founded the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation. By 1949, the company
built the first shopping plaza in the greater Youngstown area, the Belmont
Avenue Shopping Center. Boardman Plaza, an Austintown shopping center, and
Southern Park Mall followed. DeBartolo also developed properties in Pittsburgh
and Akron. In 1976 he opened the world’s largest mall at Richmond Park, near

In 1987 DeBartolo bought the Higbee Company for $165 million and Federal
Department Stores, Inc. a year later. In 1994, the DeBartolo real estate
investment trust, DeBartolo Realty Corp. made its debut on the New York Stock
Exchange. Edward DeBartolo also owned sports venues and teams, starting with
Thistledown racetrack near Cleveland in 1959. Balmoral, outside Chicago, and
Louisiana Downs in Shreveport followed. The company added the Pittsburgh Civic
Arena, three professional sports teams in Pittsburgh, the San Francisco 49ers,
and 52 video game parlors.

Collection Name:
Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Photograph Collection
Business and Labor; Shopping centers; Stores & shops; Rites & ceremonies;
DeBartolo, Edward J.
Youngstown (Ohio); Mahoning County (Ohio); Augusta (Georgia)
Online access is provided for research purposes only.
For more information, duplication requests, or to see the item or full
collection in its original (non-digital) format, please contact the
contributing institution. Contact information is provided below.
Contributor: Youngstown State University Archives & Special Collections
One Youngstown Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555
(330) 941-3487
Contributor website:


  1. sure wish that pic was still available in the links. regency is one of my dead mall favs and a pretty spectacular dead mall. you gotta love the burnt orange tiles on the monkey ward. if you have that pic, can you send it to me to put on MY blog? πŸ™‚

    Comment by J.T. — July 11, 2006 @ 6:25 am | Reply

  2. One error – the 1976 Largest Mall was not Richmond Park, but Randall Park Mall, in North Randall.

    Sadly, it’s teetering. Another big beautiful mall may soon bite the dust.

    I visited on Saturday to make sure I got to see it in case the worst happens soon.

    It was a heartbreaking experience.

    Comment by Funky-Rat (a/k/a Railyn) — April 17, 2007 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

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