In 2016, the projected eighteen-month process of demolishing the 1.1 million square-foot building began, leaving a gutted husk of urban decay where merchants formerly peddled their wares. Predictably, it has become a source of fascination for urban explorers who are willing to bend trespassing laws to get a glimpse of the ruins.
But citations are so damn costly and annoying — there's got to be a better way!
It turns out there is, and local video producer and musician Christian Kirk has found it. The 35-year-old sent in a drone equipped with a camera to examine the wreckage in early March, resulting in a mesmerizing two-minute video documenting the gutted building.
"I work at an agency so I do like, corporate-y stuff," Kirk explains. "But in my own free time I kinda do whatever. Just express myself and look for weird ideas. My brother said, 'Oh you should go shoot something at the mall, at Crestwood, with your drone.'"
Kirk runs his own video production company called Mindframe, and he shoots, edits, directs and scores all of his work himself. He's put in time behind a drum kit for a number of local bands over the years as well — most notably Lojic and Toymaker — but he says his videos are his primary creative outlet now.
"Right now I'm like, trying to raise my kids, and that's my music — is making videos and scoring 'em," he explains. "That's all I have time to do 'cause I can't go out at night.
Kirk is already father to a ten-year-old and a one-year-old, and in a case of interesting timing he will likely have a third by the time this article is published. At the start of our conversation he explained he'd be taking his wife Trisha to the doctor in roughly twenty minutes — and only later mentioned, casually, that the visit was so she could give birth.
Trisha was on-site for the shooting of the drone footage as well, Kirk says.
"She was pregnant standing next to me while I was shooting, telling me to hurry up," Kirk laughs. "She was like, 'Come on, let's get this over with,' and I was like, 'Come on, just let me get one more shot.' That conversation definitely happened."
Watch the video, entitled "Concrete Graveyard," below:
Concrete Graveyard from Christian Kirk - Mindframe on Vimeo.
After 56 years in business, Crestwood Mall closed its doors for good in July 2013, citing declining revenues and an abundance of vacant storefronts as reasons for its demise.