The trends set in motion in the 1960s played out over the next twenty years.

By the early 1990s, the University District had reached its low point. Increasing numbers of students refused to live in the squalid, overcrowded, crime-ridden neighborhoods surrounding campus.

In place of the students, more marginal tenants moved in, overseen by even more neglectful landlords. Some properties, too far gone to rent, were just abandoned. Crack was sold and gangs shot it out just blocks from High Street.

Sign, mid 1990s

A sign for Indianola Shopping Center at E. 17th and Dora, advertising businesses from the mid 1990s.

The mall changed again. By the late 1990s, it was just a shadow of its former self. The grocery store that anchored the mall was closed. Most of the storefronts were empty. Even the thrift store moved out.

The parking lot was crumbling. Grass and weeds grew in the cracked sidewalk. Signs and fixtures were rusting. Homeless men slept out back. Here and there, graffiti daubed the walls. The mall was the next thing to abandoned.

Indianola Park Shopping Center, viewed from SW, 2006

Indianola Shopping Center, summer 2006, with the old Indianola Park dance pavilion in the center.