AKRON, Ohio -- What was once considered a destination, now sits a vacant property plagued with graffiti, broken glass and leftover memories.
Now, there’s a new chapter for the former Rolling Acres Mall on Romig Road in Akron as crews have started a more than three-month demolition project to tear it down.
Channel 3 News was given the opportunity to get an exclusive look inside the memory-filled mall Tuesday morning before it's gone forever.
In the photo gallery below, we have 180 images from inside Rolling Acres Mall as captured on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 (app users can see all the photos HERE).
We streamed video live on Facebook for nearly two hours as thousands of you joined the conversation, sharing your fondest recollections. You can watch the entire Facebook live walking tour below (mobile users WATCH HERE). We had viewers as far away as Australia with their eyes fixed on our live video, which is one of WKYC's most popular ever.
The 55-acre property is now in the hands of the city of Akron after several failed attempts at a sheriff’s sale. The mall, which opened in 1975, slowly deteriorated after more than 25 years thriving in the Akron community.
It has been closed since 2008.
Those who remember the time spent at the once-thriving mall can immediately recognize some of the most popular attractions and retail shops that gave Rolling Acres its unique character. One of the most recognized structures in the mall remains at the center -- the main fountain, laced with trash, debris and a few pennies. Those pennies symbolize the many wishes that were made with families and friends as they enjoyed each visit.
It was clear to see the slow deterioration of the mall when the fountain no longer flowed a steady stream of water. The chandelier that once stood above an escalator is left dangling with its decorative beads strewn across the floor beneath it.
Eslich Wrecking wants to be clear: This is an active demolition site, and the property is off limits. WKYC's visit was by invitation only to take our viewers down memory lane one final time.
What’s left of the vacant mall includes a handful of unanswered questions; what is next for the property?
At this point, Akron city officials have not released any updates on the future of the soon-to-be demolished site but are actively looking to fill it.
And what if you’re looking to grab an item from the mall to save a piece of Akron’s history? Maybe an old seat from the movie theater? Contact the Eslich Wrecking and Demolition Company to see if any items are salvageable and how you may obtain them.