Dort Mall

25 Jun

During a recent trip home to Michigan, my husband visited the super-sized Perani’s Hockey World in the Dort Mall in Flint, and I went with him to see the marvelous wonders displayed within the mall.

Dort MallLike many early malls, the Dort Mall was once a bustling shopping center with stores and even a bar downstairs. Today, it features the aforementioned gigantic hockey store owned by Bob Perani, a bargain store, dollar store, consignment store, head shop, Star Bros Coney Island, alterations shop, and sports printing shop. As the mall became painfully empty, Bob Perani began displaying things he had collected over the years. According to a 2003 Flint Journal article, Perani enjoys the thrill of the hunt – in terms of antique auctions and the like.

Curiousity ShopThe Dort Mall, or “Small Mall,” (for those of you not from the Flint area), is not a museum. The artifacts are not organized or labeled in any special way, although they are organized in an aesthetically or subconciously pleasing way. The neat thing is seeing kids come in and look at the things as though they are in a museum.

Anyway, after visiting the Dort Mall and taking the photos that I took, I read in the Flint Journal that many of the things in the Mall will be auctioned off in July. This includes the giant mechanical elephant that I view as the centerpiece of the collection. The article did not say how much would be auctioned off or why, since Perani could not be reached for comment. When he had an auction in 2003, it was because he wanted to make room for more things that he had purchased, but this time, there has been some speculation, at least amoung my family, that it may be to help the financial situation of the Flint Generals hockey organization, which Perani owns, or to procure funds to purchase Perani Arena (where the Generals play, but Perani does not own).Tegan and Little Lulu

I suppose we will just have to wait and see. If you would like to see more photos, please see the Flickr link to my other photos.

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