Old Cotton Mill Square Mall

The Cotton Mill Square Mall was originally a cotton mill built in the 1890s and later turned into a small shopping/antique mall in the 1980s. It was abandon somewhere between the late 1980s and 1990s. Most of the original storefronts are intact, and the overall structure itself is very sturdy and well-built, but age, water damage, and vandals have made the old mill unsalvageable at best and a down-right hazard at worst. Most of the wood floors were warped and rotted, so navigating was quite sketchy.

Of the different old, abandoned, and dilapidated buildings I've visited/photographed, this was by far the most unsafe.

After sitting unused and uncared-for for years, it's apparently being torn down soon. So, these could be some of the last photos ever taken here.

This Soundslide/slide show was put together using photography from my first visit with Paige (shot with 35mm) and my second visit with Christen and John Helms (shot with digital). On my third visit (with Katie and Mel) we had a frighting encounter with the belligerent caretaker and his guard dog. And despite the police officer's advise to just let us go, the owner insisted on charging us with burglary, but was issued as trespassing. It was later dropped entirely by the Guilford County DA.

Individual images from this soundslide can be viewed larger here.


Anonymous said...

the old cotton mill is being torn down as of now I am happy to see that all of the wood and bricks are being salvaged for use elsewear for they are of much higher quality than can be purshaced new

Anonymous said...

I think it is sad to see exstinction. Gone forever. I knew some one who worked there when it was a mill and when it was a mall. I know it was an eyesore but it will surely be missed.

Duffy said...

Greetings, I am currently writing a story that involves the cotton square mall and was looking for some photos of it. I drive past it often on my way to work, and it serves as an inspiration point to me. Do you have any pics that you would be willing to let me use? I was really loking for something shot from the tracks looking towards the mall

Duffy said...

The first shot that you have on the cotton square mall post would work as well. Anything would be great. My e-mail address is on my contact info page on my blog. I tried yours but couldn't get it to work. I would give you credit for the shot. Thanks and nice photos

Anonymous said...

You really captured the feeling of abandonment of a once vital mill- turned-mall. You can almost feel the essence of those who passed through - not just shoppers or workers, but little mice & nesting birds, maybe a few gang-types scrawling their graffiti, hookers, drunks & druggies - who knows. I used to enjoy shopping there, but moved away. Had no idea it was being torn down until today - probably long gone as I write this. Its a funny thing I think - there is a warmth about the old brick, the worn wood floors, the simple architectural beauty in the arches, windows, etc. Our modern buildings so often seem so cold & impersonal. But despite that warm feeling, I think of those who worked in the cotton mills - my dad is 86 & worked in one while a high school student, he was the youngest in his family - an older sister started work in a textile mill at age 13. The workers didn't make much money & were encouraged to bring their children to "help" them - these little kids, some only 5 or 6 years old, weren't paid much, but every penny counted in many families - they worked long hours, too. Such different times - kids today have so much, yet can be such spoiled brats.