Scranton’s Ghost Mall: A Photographic Narrative

The MarketPlace at Steamtown, a modest mall in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania appears to have a shortage of shoppers and retailers.

Several powerful trends may be at least partly responsible for decline of the MarketPlace at Steamtown. The mall opened  in 1980 when the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported the total population of Lackawanna County at 227,908. The most recent published data by the PA Department of Labor and Industry shows a population of 214,477 in 2012, a decline of 6.07%. But also affecting the mall may be vast changes in retailing with the rise of online sellers like Amazon, which have taken business from “brick-and-mortar” retailers.


In a city with four shopping centers and a shrinking population, the retail scene is stark.


An empty candy store on a Sunday afternoon in Steamtown Mall.

Sales are prevalent to revive consumer spending.





According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median income of LA County is reported at $15,000 below the state of Pennsylvania. With decreased cash flow, the demand for luxury goods decrease.

No lines at the aquarium.
A community college in the heart of the shopping mall.
Cavity pain? Visit the dentist at Steamtown Mall.


‘HighPoint’ furniture store with an empty showroom.


A well-kept mall with a small crowd.


Email the Author & Photographer, Malak Saleh at