Written by Joseph Holevinski, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
Gwinnett Place Mall used to be the shining center of the Gwinnett Place area. However, now it remains relatively forgotten and abandoned, the husk of a once-bustling mall whose only recent excitement is the occasional filming gig.
Will it remain this way forever? Doubtful, especially due to its potential for becoming the next big entertainment facility. The mall offers something unique that other buildings or new constructions can’t offer: an unparalleled dystopian aesthetic.
While to some that may not sound that appealing, exploring and photographing abandoned places has become a large trend online, specifically with these “dead malls.” While the term makes these places seem grim, it actually creates this feeling of nostalgia which is prevalent in liminal space photography. By utilizing this aesthetic as an advantage, the mall could be turned into a hub of entertainment for all ages.
Because of the mall’s large square footage, it might be hard to imagine it as an entertainment facility. However, this space allows for a variety of different activities to be housed in the one location. The old food court would become the main gathering area at the mall. Even though food might not be sold there anymore, it could serve as a large open area where people would congregate to purchase admission to the different activities offered.
Since there are a lot of open and unused hallways, one half of the mall could be turned into a go-kart track with the potential to have two floors of track to drive around. It would give the feeling of racing in a mall similar to the Coconut Mall course featured on the game “Mario Kart 8” on the Wii. This would be an attraction that teens all the way to adults can enjoy and will be a unique experience.
One fourth of the mall could be turned into a multi-floor airsoft or laser tag arena. This would be like a mall first-person shooter video game in real life.
The other fourth of this extreme entertainment center could be divided up into several different activities for all ages to enjoy: arcade games, a restaurant or even a zipline that goes through the middle of the three-story hallways.
The possibilities are endless, but no matter what, Gwinnett Place Mall has the potential to again become the shining center of Gwinnett Place like it once was.