"As most know, Cinderella City's initial incarnation included a spectacular fountain and enough seating and places to gather to be the envy of even today's most experience-driven developers and architects. Its center court was a gathering place, ostensibly Englewood's communal living room. Its tenant mix was mostly charming, local or regional brands. The shopping center featured Englewood High School's "City Campus," where students from nearby EHS could learn on site in the mall. It had a police and fire substation, and the Cinderella City Merchants Association often held concerts, plays, car shows, boat shows, trade shows and competitions in various open areas in the mall. I show some of these events in the Instagram account. It of course also had its brightly painted, color-coded malls, plus Cinder Alley, which was a bazaar of specialty and boutique shops that is all the rage in retail design today. This place was more than a mall when it opened.
"I'm fascinated by just how fast Cinderella City changed from decade to decade. By the early 1980s, the idea of a fountain was out of favor, the lush furniture that made the Blue Mall feel like a living room was undesirable, Cinder Alley was renovated to be more like a typical 1980s mall. The Englewood High City Campus was long gone, concerts and events were scarce, and the bright colors of the five malls were painted beige. Cinderella City changed ownership a couple of times during this period, and management apparently thought everything that gave the mall character in the 1960s and 1970s needed to be scaled back. So Englewood got roughly the version of the mall I show in the video, a shell of a once-opulent and grand vision of community engagement. In the later years, the mall had little to differentiate itself, with chain retailers and offerings that could be found in other malls around Colorado. It didn't age well.
"Starting my rebuilding efforts with the 1980s-’90s version of the mall is simply a factor of having more information available to me from this era of Cinderella City's life. This era wasn't Cinderella City's finest, and modeling it as such isn't terribly exciting. Apart from the technical feat of making an interactive game inside a 1.35 million-square-foot shopping center, the more I model the mall as it was in its later life, the more I long to move on to modeling its earlier life, so I can re-create something that's a little more forward-thinking and optimistic. I can't wait to send out videos and images of that when I get there."