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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Century 3 Mall Carousel, West Mifflin, PA

I had the chance to check out the new double decker carousel at the Century 3 Mall in West Mifflin, PA. This carousel is operated by a vendor that has a contract with the mall. The operator told me that it was moved from another mall in California and that it was built by Chance. It is a gorgeous machine that has helped to breathe life into this transforming mall. I have gone to the mall several times since it was installed over the summer, and there have always been some riders. 
Next door to the carousel is Bradley's Books, where you can find several amusement park related books, including our friend Dave Hahner's recent book on Kennywood, and our book on Pennsylvania Amusement Parks. It is an honor to be on the same bookshelf with Dave Hahner, one of the most knowledgeable people out there when it comes to amusement parks.
Venturing further through the mall property, you see many vacant storefronts, including several anchor department stores. At one point this mall was home to 200 businesses, and it was the largest in America. It was built upon the slag pile left over from local steel production. It was a huge undertaking to make this land stable enough for a mall. A perfect storm in the nationwide decline of malls, and the economic plight of the region and the Rust Belt as a whole, has caused this mall to struggle. New ownership has come in that is looking to expand the entertainment offerings of the mall, including this carousel and a high tech movie theater. Hopefully the plans come to fruition to not only revive the mall, but to also provide employment to people in the region.  
Lots of empty directional arrows for former department store anchors.
 Sears closed just this past December, just in time for Christmas. How kind of them!
For those of you carousel lovers out there, be sure to visit this mall.

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