This weekend, I was introduced to director Terence Davie’s film “Distant Voices, Still Lives”. Described to me as a film worth watching because it is focused on the depiction of a place (working class industrial Liverpool) that no longer exists but is still physically there. Thinking in those terms, I cannot help but feel that when I walk through the streets of Milwaukee in mid-winter, I’m walking through a similar shell of place.
The 800,000-square foot former shopping center on the corner of 76th St. and Brown Deer Road sits just 10 minutes from River Hills, one of Milwaukee’s most affluent suburbs. Built by Herb Kohl and his partners, it opened in 1973, a virtual carbon copy of Southridge. And after a slow decline, it finally shut its doors 30 years later in 2003.