A ghost mall in White Flint (Photos)

The main entrance to White Flint Mall and its stained facade that now welcomes few visitors. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
The front doors at the main entrance. I went through the doors on the left. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Just inside the front doors, a mall directory sits blank. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Blocked off escalators to nowhere. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Signs still advertise the mall's deactivated website. A Lord & Taylor and a P. F. Chang's are the only businesses still open at the mall. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A look down an empty, although still running escalator. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
What you might call the mall's "center court", including elevators that still work. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
The mall's closed movie theater, and a creepy hallway beyond. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
The mall's sign along Rockville Pike advertises the two businesses still open. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Some parts of the mall still look elegant. Other parts, not so much. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
The nearly-empty parking lot in front of White Flint Mall. Many other parking areas are now inaccessible. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
P. F. Chang's is still open at White Flint, but the restaurant is scheduled to close by Jan. 15, 2015. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Also still open at White Flint is Lord & Taylor, which is in full, pre-holiday sale mode. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
This sign near the elevators used to include the logo for Dave & Buster's, which was located on the mall's third floor. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
It's the holiday season at the White Flint Mall, and while the escalators still work, there's really nowhere to go. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

WASHINGTON — Most malls are crowded with harried holiday shoppers now, but White Flint Mall in Rockville is nearly silent, and a bit creepy.

The lights are on, as are most escalators and elevators, but they’re not carrying many people inside the three-level mall that opened in 1977. There are no holiday decorations, and almost every storefront is covered by either metal gates, or plastic.

The mall’s owners want to knock the place down and turn it into a more modern, town center-style area where people can live, work and shop. As those efforts continue, businesses have largely fled the mall, and only two are still open.

Lord & Taylor is fighting the redevelopment in court, and has no plans to close. The department store’s lease doesn’t expire until 2055. But P.F Chang’s China Bistro at White Flint is scheduled to close on or before Jan. 15.

Assistant manager Flavio Cruz says the restaurant is expected to reopen within the new development in a few years.

In the meantime, employees are either trying to transfer to other locations (the closest is in Chevy Chase), or are looking for new jobs.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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