Columbus Square Mall
Columbus Square Mall was an American indoor shopping mall in Columbus, Georgia. It was one of the first indoor shopping malls to open in the state of Georgia.
Columbus Square Mall opened in 1965. The style of the mall was typical for that time period, a single-level with anchor stores on each end of the primary corridor. The two original anchors were Sears and JCPenney. One interesting fact was that the Sears store was independently owned by the Sears, Roebuck and Company. The store was simply attached to the separately owned mall. In the late 1970s, Columbus Square expanded, adding another wing which extended from the rear of the main corridor and terminated with a third anchor, local department store Kirven's, which continued to operate a large downtown store for many years after opening the Columbus Square location. Another famous local store at Columbus Square was Kiralfy's, a women's clothing store.
In early 1993, with attendance declining, Kirven's went out of business, leaving one of the mall's three primary stores vacant and beginning a slow but steady process of store closings in the rear wing of the building. The entire rear wing was eventually closed off, and the few remaining tenants were relocated to the front of the mall.
The mall soon began to fall into a state of disrepair, and the facility began to be perceived as a place of crime and violence among local residents, further reducing attendance. JCPenney relocated to Peachtree Mall the following year, leaving the mall with only a single anchor store. In 1999, the city exercised the option to buy the mall after voters approved the building of a new library at the location with a 1% sales tax. The Sears building was not included in the purchase. The mall was soon demolished. Sears remained open as a stand-alone store, its former mall entrance walled in, until the mid-2000s when a new Sears store opened in Columbus Park Crossing in North Columbus. At that time, the school district bought the Sears property.
The site is now home to the Columbus Public Library, which opened January 3, 2005. In January 2008, the Sears building was demolished to make room for a new Muscogee County School District administration building. This event put an end to the final chapter of the mall's history.
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