The Decline and Nostalgia of White Flint Mall

The Decline and Nostalgia of White Flint Mall

White Flint Mall has been in the news recently and we wanted to highlight some of these articles.

As of January 4th, Lord & Taylor is the only store open in White Flint Mall. The mall property will be redeveloped into a mixed-use space, adding to the walkable street grid of the Pike District.

An article from the Huffington Post last week discussed the mall and one reporter’s nostalgia of growing up going to White Flint Mall. The reporter mentioned that she spent her childhood visiting the mall and is having trouble getting over the fact that mall will be closing some day soon. Both Amy and I have the similar feelings of nostalgia around this mall. Personally, I grew up visiting the mall to buy books, to eat, and to even go to my dentist.

An article in the New York Times also focused on dying malls across the U.S. There is a popular website that provides pictures of dying malls. One of the malls this article highlighted was White Flint Mall. This article focused on the types of malls that are closing. One individual mentioned in the article said that “There are B and C malls in tertiary markets that are dinosaurs and will likely die,” but “A malls are doing well.”

White Flint Mall, however, was always known as an upscale A mall, bringing the one of the first Bloomingdale’s to the area in 1977. So to say A malls are “living,” is not the whole truth. As Amy Ginsburg mentioned in the Huffington Post article “the gradual decline of malls speaks to a desire to reclaim an older way of life,” where a walkable community is focused around a street grid that provides space to live, work, and play. As more planners and developers across the U.S. learn to use smart land-use strategies, we will continue to see malls close.

Rebecca Hertz


Rebecca Hertz is the Assistant Executive Director of Friends of White Flint. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts in 2012. She completed her Master’s Degree from Clark University, as well, in Community Development and Planning in 2013. She is interested in how built environments impact the health and growth of communities. Prior to this role, she worked as a youth worker and mentor for several non-profit organizations in Maryland and Massachusetts. She grew up in Rockville, MD and has recently moved back to the region.

One comment

Tom Corn

Please convince the current owner of the White Flint Mall to not have the White Flint Mall be torn down even if the new tall buildings get built next to the White Flint Mall building and let new stores, new restaurants move into the White Flint Mall building especially the ones that are not at the Pike & Rose and if the White Flint Mall build be made safe again if it’s unsafe, even if the multi-level parking garage gets torn down and if the rest of the White Flint Mall property gets redeveloped and if it becomes a self sufficient community with everything is within walking distance of each other. The population near the White Flint Mall is bigger now other than someplace else.. I think the White Flint Mall is good for the environment and some indoor events even if an apartment building a condominium building an office building and a hotel gets built next to the White Flint Mall building. It might help reduce traffic. Thank you! I don’t have an answering machine but I’m easy to reach at 301-816-0422 most evenings during the week.

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