Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - shopping malls

Designers: Gruen, Victor, Associates (firm); Victor David Gruen (architect)

Dates: constructed 1954-1956

2 stories, total floor area: 800,000 sq. ft.

10 Southdale Center
Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435-2402

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Designed by commercial/urban planner Victor Gruen (1903-1980) for the Dayton Company, Southdale Center was the first completely indoor shopping mall in the US. Southdale opened on 10/08/1956, and took a little over two years to complete at a cost of over $20 million. It set the mold for the inward-turning, climate-controlled retail conglomeration, first built in the severe climate of MN, but repeated across the country with the benefit of advanced, energy-intensive HVAC systems. Initially, enclosed suburban malls were set primarily in suburbs, but Gruen and others reapplied this concept to revive decaying downtown areas. Many center-city malls did not fare well; additionally, as the concept began to be overbuilt, suburban malls began to close in the 1980s-1990s, particularly in the Rustbelt where population declines reduced the number of necessary shopping areas.

Originally, the Southdale Shopping Center contained 72 commercial spaces and surrounded by a parking lot with 5,200 spaces. Four anchor tenants--Dayton's Department Store, L.S. Donaldson's Department Store, Walgreen's Pharmacy and Woolworth Five-and-Dime--were present in 1956. In 2013, Southdale had three anchor stores--Macy's, Herberger's and J.C. Penney--as well as 120 smaller specialty stores, designed to serve the Hennepin County cities of Edina, Richfield, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. The mall had two floors in 1956, but this was increased subsequently to four. It grew from 800,000 square feet to its current size of 1.3 million square feet.

PCAD id: 18693