What’s happening? 

Insider’s Joey Hadden tours Baltimore’s Old Town Mall and documents the largely deserted outdoor shopping center with photos. The buildings appear “frozen in time,” Hadden notes, as the city’s efforts to revitalize the center have not yet been successful. 

Why is the Old Town Mall significant? 

For about 100 years, the mall flourished as a market in Baltimore’s Old Town neighborhood. Built in the 1800s, the center features a blend of architectural styles emblematic of its time, including some Victorian, art-deco and modern buildings. But by the mid-twentieth century, businesses struggled to survive, and the area crumbled as many Baltimore residents moved to the suburbs. 

Over the last few decades, the city has tried to revive the area, including converting it into a pedestrian mall in the 1960s. But poverty and unemployment in nearby neighborhoods contributed to the area’s demise once again in the 1980s. Since then, initiatives to restore business and prosperity have not thrived.

Anything else I should know? 

Henson Development said in 2020 that it plans to renovate some of the abandoned buildings into stores and apartments. Some other structures have already been repurposed, including an old furniture store that now operates as a haunted house in October.  

You can read more here.