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Touring a Deserted, Dystopian Mall in Pennsylvania

Once a mighty retail hub, Century III is now hauntingly empty.

When the Century III mall in the south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania opened in 1979, it was the third-largest enclosed shopping center on Earth. With three stories and over 200 stores, it was the place to shop, hang, eat, and make mischief involving the indoor fountain.

Not anymore. In the early 2000s, local competition, a sagging economy, and retailer bankruptcies caused Century III to struggle. Tenant after tenant shut their doors for good, giving shoppers had fewer reasons to make the trek. In 2014, anchor retailer Sears closed, followed by fellow anchor Macy’s in 2016.

Century III is now a dead mall—not entirely abandoned, but mostly deserted, and hauntingly so. A few big-name stores, such as JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Bath & Body Works, are clinging on, but great swathes of the mall are boarded up and bereft of people. 

The above video tour, created by Dan Bell as part of his Dead Mall Series on YouTube, gives a sense of what it’s like to walk through this retail graveyard.

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