(admin note: This blog entry was originally published in August 2010. I went back to the Four Seasons Mall in April 2012 and took some new pics. However, the doors were locked, so I couldn’t get inside. The interior pictures are from the old post and cannot be enlarged. Sorry! I was there on a Sunday afternoon, so it wasn’t like I was there during off hours. Anyone know what’s going on with this mall? Post in the comments, please!)
Even Money Magazine’s “best place to live” has a few eyesores. Plymouth Center being one of them and the Four Seasons Mall being another. If you’ve driven on Highway 169 in the Twin Cities within the last 30 years (who hasn’t?), you’ve probably seen this mall. And unless you live in the area, you probably have never been in it. The back of the mall faces the highway, with signage on the structure noting what was probably at one time, a sexy lineup of stores. Today, most of the signs are blank white rectangles.
I made my first, only, and last visit (correction: I went back in April 2012) to the Four Seasons Mall on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in August 2009. I have no warm fuzzies about this mall and I don’t know of many former tenants. The Four Seasons Mall was built in 1978 and judging by the wood paneling and totally awesome tiled floors with colored squares placed at random, it likely was never updated.
It’s pretty much empty. There’s a quilt shop, a Fresh & Natural Foods (which is actually pretty busy), one of those for-profit colleges advertised on daytime television, a bridal shop, a pizza place, and Thai restaurant. And that’s about it.
I only saw one other person in this mall: a blue-haired lady who was probably on her way to the quilt shop to pick up some batting for her latest creation. She gave me a funny look. I don’t blame her though; I’m walking around a dead mall with a camera dangling from my wrist. Probably thought I was casing the joint or a misguided tourist.
The interior gave me big time Village North flashbacks. (You know, when Village North was in its decline). I’m guessing they were built around the same time (late ’70s). The mall is depressingly clean and the pumped-in music echos down the empty hallways. And plenty of posted signs at every nook and cranny of this mall banning guns and rollerblades.
You really don’t see a lot of those gunbuster signs anymore, although they are still around. Back in 2003, Minnesota passed conceal carry, causing every business owner to freak out, throwing up knee-jerk reaction “No guns allowed” signs in their windows, thinking a trip to Starbucks was going to turn into a shootout. And rollerblading? Really? I don’t think you need to worry about delinquent rollerbladers, Four Seasons Mall, this isn’t 1992.
Okay, so no gunplay and no rollerblading down the hall. Got it.
Really though, this would be a kick ass place for a bunch of lawbreaking juveniles to break out the skateboard. Not to give anyone ideas. Nothin’ like a little rampz, rails, and trespassing!
(2012 update!) According to this article, there is little hope for this mall. It very well could be a freakin’ WAL-MART in the future. No! I *like* living in a Wal-Mart free zone.
I, personally, know nothing about this mall, but another Dumpy Strip Malls reader with the handle “AFS” posted information in the comments–if this isn’t a “sexy” line up of stores, I don’t know what is!
Four Seasons! Ah, the bygone days of my youth, running through the mall on Tacky Hat Day with the Armstrong cross-country team. Former tenants:
Erickson’s NewMarket: As a young lass I’d kick and scream to shop here instead of that blasted Holiday Plus across the street. If you’ve been in a NewMarket and a Holiday Plus, I shouldn’t explain.
Summit School of Dance: if you weren’t quite snotty enough to go to the Dance Shoppe in “downtown” Plymouth, you went here. Was the feeder school for the Armstrong cheerleader squad, yet not the dance team.
Golden China: awrrrsome all-you-can-eat buffet. My now very obese aunt once walked off with one of the steam trays in Homer Simpson-esque fashion.
Woody’s Our Own Hardware-my dad preferred this place for some reason.
Some sporting memorabilia shop called Team Sports that lasted all of nine months. I remember my mom bought my dad a Quebec Nordiques hat from there for Christmas. Ah, they were a lovely team.
Hobby Time was the name of the hobby store on which the commenter above waxed nostalgic. I remember its train sets vaguely; I believed it was closed by the 1990s.
Some beauty school with students smoking out in front.
A bridal discount warehouse. My mom pointed out a pregnant teen girl shopping for gowns there as a “warning.”
The Fan Man: not once in my 13 years of residence in the 55442 did I see a customer in there. My dad posited that they ran some sort of mail order business, but for ceiling fans? Well, this was Plymouth.
Perfection Hair Stylists, just across the hallway from competitor salon Golden Razor. My parents always took me to GR whilst I secretly yearned for the KMS-ridden haze of Perfection.
Snyder Drug was the other anchor, after NewMarket. The source of many of my prescriptions filled through the years, where I once got a flu shot (meh) and the source of the annual coupon book with 5 free items in every book. Packing for college: 10% done. They didn’t hire me for a part-time job (bugger!) but the post office window inside was where I sent off an envelope to the UK in 1995 in the hopes of joining the Bjork Fan Club.
Some discount book shop that I had been inside all of 10 minutes when I left school early senior year of hs in 1999. The cashier gave me the stink eye.
At its high point, Four Seasons Mall got annual visits from Santa, monthly craft fairs and my Girl Scout troop setting up a table to sell Girl Scout cookies. Some 10 years later, it was where my mom called out fellow mothers of Armstrong’s class of 1999 for making and selling coffee with Four Seasons bathroom tap water.
Marcellos Pizza is still there I believe, and this former Chicago and current NYC resident will admit that its pizza was fanthasthico. Later on, it was where my track team would have carbo-loads. Going the distance, going for speed.
Photos taken August 2010 and May 2012