Best Mall

Crestwood Court

A banner stretches across the easternmost façade of Crestwood Court (formerly Crestwood Mall), facing Watson Road. It advertises 17,000 feet of open retail space available. Losing an anchor store often spells disaster for a mall, but for Crestwood Court, losing Dillard's in 2007 just meant finding a new port. Inside, banners hang from the ceiling, imploring visitors to "Imagine," "Amuse," "Dance," "Play," "Create." A casting call for the George Clooney flick Up in the Air was held here in January, and these days once-empty storefronts are home to theater and dance companies, a costume studio, the St. Louis Calligraphy Guild, a yoga studio, the perplexingly named shop I Don't Want to Kiss a Llama, and many others, transforming a doddering center of passive consumerism into a nexus of active creation. Perhaps this mall is best summarized by the storefront for Repurposed, which houses a display of shredded lampshades, peeling wooden chairs, mangled chandeliers and this sign: "It's not trash. It's not worn, it's not out-dated. It's not ruined. It is a 'been-there-done-that' that's about to go somewhere else...Repurposed. New life, new meaning."

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