The Louisville Galleria Mall opened in 1982 and was considering totally hip and cutting edge. By last year, the mall was mostly vacant as retailers moved out of downtown and into the suburbs. Efforts to revitilize downtown Louisville are in full swing, and the anchor of the effort, Fourth Street Live!, recently opened to the public. The FSL project has turned the dead urban mall into a community entertainment district, complete with dinning, new retail, and a more inviting pedestrian environment. "We de-malled it," says Blake Cordish, the partner in charge of the Baltimore-based Cordish Company, which developed and owns FSL. "We wanted the development to be external, rather than internal, to embrace the sidewalk." While many Louisville residents like the project, some worry that the city will loose its character in the redevelopment process. A recent visitor commented, "You go down there to be a part of this collective experience, but after fifteen minutes all I feel is disconnection, like I'm not in Louisville anymore."
Thanks to Peter Buryk