Demolition Valley West Mall


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Welcome to the demolition of Manistee Towne Center, formerly Valley West Mall now that has been redeveloped into Northern Crossing in Glendale Arizona (AZ) 

Photos copyright SMECC 2005 -  shot in 2002.

Something new at every turn.... The Sign promised...

I will share some pictures and thoughts that I captured as the progress went on.....We have CD's available that have hundreds of photos on them... I have just picked out a few...  This series of pictures serve to document yet another  dead shopping mall project... Ed Sharpe Archivist for SMECC

See the Museum at

Many of these photos can be seen in enlarged form if you click on them.

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"Demo Doug"

A long time friend I had not seen for a long time  (10 years) showed up to get a book from one of the sale racks at the Coury House, He looked familiar... When asked what he did for a living he said "I demolish things!" I replied a pity you are not demolishing Valley West Mall.... "But I am!" He replied as he got a card out... I looked at the name on the card and.... yep! that is why he looked familiar! 

I was invited to come and gather  materials to use to construct more display cases for The Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation that resides at the Coury House Building Complex 

Here is some of what followed.....


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I Love the Smell of Machinery in the Morning!


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This poster  found in the old Waldenbooks store foretold what I was to see....

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Monitoring  air quality and testing material for asbestos....

DANGER! We did not play in the areas where the asbestos abatement was taking place...

Eerie shadows cast on the plastic and the scraping sound of asbestos tile being removed from the floor...
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Asbestos ..


The remains of the blueprint room where just a day before I had removed a van load of blueprints of the mall...


Where the mall office was...


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Down come the walls....


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Ballast removal crew.... Recycling PCB  Florescent light Ballasts is their mission!


Hungry Hungry Dinosaurs....wpe24.jpg (17920 bytes)
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Umm! Tasty Structural Material!


Eating away inch by inch... foot by foot... yard by yard...


Bargains everywhere...

'The Final Flight...."

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Many great things of the past....

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Remains of the Waldenbooks store... note the poster on the far wall....


'Dehydro-Lizard'.... He's everywhere!


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Hosing down the debris to lower the dust....


Main power buss for the switch gear that distributed power to the tenants of the mall...


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Sun City Engine Company 132 came to practice on the old building as well as other fire departments and police...  By these practice exercises on the mall buildings personal train to save lives...

'Demo Doug' and helper repair the small tractor.... hard work even for tough machines...



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Reach for the sky...


There was not much left of the structure when I last waked through this opening that had been my portal to shopping adventure for weeks to the left is where I kept my red shopping cart stashed It was like going to home depot before work every day but.... you sort of had to unbolt and unfasten and clip anything  you wanted to take with you!...


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Became This...
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Scraping up the cement slab...


Sawing the studs off the  steel beams...

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Jaws at rest!


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Overview of the slab with not much of the mall left...

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But even giant machines get sick...


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But George can weld them back together and put them back to work!

Preparing the machinery to recycle the concrete slab and wall from VWM.

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Preparing the machinery to recycle the concrete slab and wall from VWM. The material will be ground up, steel separated from it and expelled in the form of ABC to go under the foundation of a new set of buildings! Parts of VWM will live forever!
(Note worker Arc welding!)

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It had rained in the morning and I knew the machine line was consuming concrete slab pieces turning them into ABC to go under yet another new building...  the afternoon offered some great photo opportunities...

Machinery in action! The slab is consumed!

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Yes sir yes sir three buckets full!
(as fast as they feed  the material it is converted to ABC... it is a job just to keep the crusher fed!)

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Scraping and gathering

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Dumping slab into the input hopper

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Processed material travels along the belts

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To be deposited in an ever increasing mountain!

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We will come back to this towards the end of the process and see how big the mountain gets.....

Removal of the Power Distribution Panel


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Obliviously I was getting weird with the photo editor program!

The Eye of Ankhsenamen Found At last In the Rubble! (Actually may turn out to be the eye master's logo!)

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Display case at the Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation (SMECC) which houses part of the museum's computer collection. Built from a donated sliding glass door and  the rest from reused Valley West Mall Material. The VWM components made the top, sides, back slat wall, support beams trim strips etc...

See the Museum at:


The Bob Huffman sign on display at SMECC aux-1 building. An interesting time to display it as there was a council race in this district January-February '02. We need to find a permanent home for this neat sign!


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