Iowa's shopping malls continue to disappear. Changing habits and online shopping have become too much for most to overcome. Another eastern Iowa mall is nearly vacant. What hurts the most is to see how it once looked.

Before we turn to 2023, let's look back at 2014. On March 31 of that year, after nearly 35 years, Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids closed. It was a beautiful place in its prime, bustling with shoppers at over 100 stores on two levels.

Businesses have popped up around where Westdale Mall once stood, but the only remaining portion of the mall is one of its anchor stores. JCPenney is still open seven days a week.

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Google Maps
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In Waterloo, Crossroads Mall is struggling to survive.

Jesse Spitzner, YouTube
Jesse Spitzner, YouTube
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Jesse Spitzner visited Crossroads earlier this week. When it opened in March of 1970, it was one of the first malls in the state. It was also the first fully enclosed mall in Iowa and the only two-story one. Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids wouldn't open for another nine years.

Like Westdale Mall did, Crossroads Mall has two levels. Sadly, that's not where the comparisons end... at least not as far as the way Crossroads looks today, much how Westdale appeared before the doors were shuttered.

This Facebook post inspired Spitzner to shoot the video below:

Amanda Goodman, Facebook
Amanda Goodman, Facebook
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Spitzner worked at the Dillard's store at Crossroads for five years and provides a unique perspective in the video below. He shows us the bustling activity the mall once enjoyed, compared to how it is today. When we spoke this morning, he shared with me the sadness he felt going through Crossroads Mall this week and the hope that, somehow, it can be saved.

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