Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Shopping Spree – Part 5 (Southdale Center)

Written by Christopher Alm • September 26th, 2006
Shopping Spree – Part 5 (Southdale Center)

Time for another peek at past shopping experiences. This time we are leaving Scandinavia to have a look at some photos from an American shopping center. Since most of the mid-century Swedish malls and shopping centers took their inspiration from their American counterpart, I thought it would be a good idea to compare the design and architecture of them.

This is Southdale Center Mall in Edina, Minnesota. It was built in 1956 and still stands today (although heavily modified of course). Southdale Center was also the first climate-controlled enclosed mall in America. Much like “Shopping” in northern Sweden was when it was built a year before. So the Swedes beat the Americans for once, which is kind of odd. For more past-time shopping experiences, be sure to visit my friend Keith’s Malls of America website.

Update 2016: A video takes us back the late 1950s and the history of Southdale Center.

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • Anonymous

    Sweden beat the USA with the credit card too, you know.

  • Chris

    Didn’t know that. Thank you for telling me :)

  • BIGMallrat

    Wow… Love the pics. I’ve never seen the one in color. Thanks for posting it!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It’s kinda nice knowing those little tidbits about how America’s shopping mall got it’s genesis.

  • Funny the things you find out later in life.  Too bad we Americans abuse everything we ever get.

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