Cinderella City: The largest shopping center west of Mississippi, abandoned then demolished in 1999

Bojan Ivanov

The Cinderella City Mall in Englewood, Colorado was the largest shopping center in the United States, west of the Mississippi River.

On March 7, 1968 it was officially opened for business and had four sections which are the Gold Mall, the Cinder Alley, the Rose Mall, and the Shamrock Mall. One of the most amazing features was the black ceiling which was made that way to simulate night effect.

The Blue Mall was the center court area of the building where the names of the people who worked on the construction were memorized on the floor. Two of the sections (The Cinder Alley and the Shamrock Mall) were not linked and visitors had to go up to the large fountain at the center area of the mall to cross over.

Another fascinating part inside was the Cinderella City Cinema which was without interior mall entrance. There was just an exterior entrance which was marked by two story arches. The unique parts of the cinema were the restrooms where all the toilet stalls had their own vanity areas and sinks, the fountain with a 35 foot high spray, and the carousel which could held 70 people.

The designer of the mall was Gerri Von Frellick who designed it with an unorthodox shape which looked as the letter M. The Rose Mall was designed on the second floor, on the west wing and the Gold Mall was designed on the east wing. The Shamrock Mall and the Sunflower Mall (which later became Cinder Alley) were on the bottom floor. The name of the mall was not accepted at the beginning from the city officials and they named it “New Englewood: The Cinderella City”, but only few months after the opening it was decided to be “Cinderella City”.

The business flourished through the early 1970s and it was said that 15, 000 visitors came to the mall daily. In the public area there were surrealistic paintings made by the professional artist Guy “Yug” London. From 1981 to 1984 major renovation was made on the mall and almost everything was changed except the basic layout of the building. Few years later, many new shopping hills started to open in Colorado which were threats to the mall’s financial status and reputation. The new mall were much more modern which caused the Cinderella City design to appear dated.

In the early 1990s tenants begin to leave the building because of the physical problems of its structure. The last remaining anchor was shot down in 1997 which marked the operational end for the mall. The City of Englewood had many ideas to redevelop the Cinderella City but for two years it sat empthy. The demolition process began in 1998; the east end was the first to go and the only original structure that was redeveloped and today houses the new Englewood Public Library and City Hall was the former Foley’s building.