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Bashford Manor Mall, named for the surrounding neighborhood of Bashford Manor, was a 560,000-square-foot (52,000 m2) enclosed mall in Louisville, Kentucky which opened in 1973 and once had about 85 stores, including Ayr-Way, Bacon's, Ben Snyder's and A & P.

Over time, these anchors changed. Ayr-Way stores were acquired and rebranded by the Dayton-Hudson Corporation (now Target Corporation) in 1981. Ben Snyder's became Hess's in February 1987, which in turn became a Home Store for Bacon's in late 1993. Both Bacon's stores were acquired and rebranded by Dillard's in 1998 before closing in February 2003.

Also, John Conti opened one of Louisville's first 'gourmet' coffee shops at Bashford Manor Mall in the late 70's.[citation needed]

Only one tenant—a dry cleaner—remained by late 2003, after years of decline. In 1999 the mall had been purchased by Rubloff Developments of Detroit, who began to renovate it in 2001 but did not complete the job.[1] Demolition commenced at Bashford Manor Mall in late 2003. An abandoned Dillard's store, not owned by the mall, remained standing. The Dillard's store was finally razed in 2008, with a Burlington Coat Factory store being built on part of its footprint. It opened for business in March 2009.

The former mall and its environs have been the site of a successful revitalization effort. The Target store relocated a block west in October 2002, with a strip of stores being added. Wal-Mart and Lowe's were built on the previous footprint of the mall and were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In addition, all of Bashford Manor Lane was widened to three lanes with trees and other landscaping added.

The mall was briefly mentioned in national news stories when 12-year-old Ann Gotlib disappeared from the mall on June 1, 1983. She was never found and the case remained unsolved as of 2008.[2]

Bashford Manor Mall in the 1970s Edit

The original decor of the Bashford Manor Mall was themed on horses (as those raised at the former Bashford Manor farm), horse racing, and the Kentucky Derby. The coloring was warm. The floors were covered with low-pile carpets; the carpeting was brown in some places, and orange or gold in other places. The mall featured at least two narrow sunken areas within the main hallway with cushioned benches and televisions, apparently designed for casual TV-watching.

The original mall was somewhat darkly lit in places, including in the TV-watching pits. (A renovation in the 1980s made the mall significantly brighter, with white tiling and such, but also much less warm.) The mall was very popular—thriving and with few or no vacancies—in the 1970s and 1980s, and, along with the Showcase Cinemas a couple blocks north on Bardstown Road, helped create periods of significant traffic congestion in the area, most notably on weekend evenings and around Christmas.

Tenants in the 1970s included A&P (attached to Ayr-Way, marking the mall's western terminus, but not accessible through the mall's interior), Aladdin’s Castle (featuring pinball machines and early video games), Allied Sporting Goods (immediately east of Ayr-Way), Ayr-Way (west anchor; later became a Target store), Bacon’s (east anchor), Baskin-Robbins, Ben Snyder’s (central anchor), The Bottom Half, Byck’s, Cassano’s Pizza (later replaced by an Arby’s), The Family Tree, Hickory Farms, Karmelkorn, Kinney Shoes, Morse Shoes, Musicland, National Shirt (contemporary clothes for young people), Pass Pets (west end of mall), Swiss Cleaners, Waldenbooks, Walgreens (with a small adjacent diner), and Zondervan’s. (Waldenbooks and Zondervan's were immediately adjacent to each other. A narrow entrance/exit corridor ran between Zondervan’s and Bacon’s.)

An island within the northern parking lot (along Bashford Manor Lane) included Command Performance hair salon, Payless Shoe Source, and Moby Dick seafood restaurant. An establishment called Bashford Liquors stood in an old stone building near the island. A stand-alone Liberty National Bank was in the northeast corner of the parking lot. A Sizzler restaurant was accessible via a footbridge to the southeast of Bacon’s.

In the 1980s, tenants included Chi-Chi’s, TJ Cinnamon’s, John Conti's Coffee, and the local hobby shop Something To Do. The late 1990s saw a conversion to several non-“brand” clothing and gift boutiques, perhaps hastening – or signifying – the mall's decline.

Bacon’s contained two stories. The entire balance of the mall was one story. Bacon’s featured a section for younger males called “Thoroughthreads” (again harkening to the local horse/Derby theme).

The former Ayr-Way had a very bland décor, with utilitarian lighting and merchandising – it was very different from a contemporary Target, Kmart, or Walmart. Ayr-Way had a fittingly drab-looking snack bar in the rear (relative to Bashford Manor Lane) of the store.

There was a fountain outside of Ben Snyder’s in the approximate center of the mall, and another in a fairly large open area outside of Bacon’s. Santa's annual digs were in the latter open area.

The mall was host to a “shoe box parade,” for which young people submitted shoe boxes decorated like parade floats, around the time of the Kentucky Derby in 1976.

A TARC mini-bus circulated at least on weekends between Bashford Manor Mall and Oxmoor Center