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Southdale Amongst ‘10 Buildings That Changed America’

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(credit: Southdale Center)

(credit: Southdale Center)

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EDINA, Minn. (WCCO) – It was the first indoor shopping center in Minnesota — and the United States. For that, the Southdale shopping center has been named one of “10 Buildings That Changed America.”

When it opened in 1956, the Edina shopping mall changed the game, according to Louis Johnston, associate professor and chair in the Department of Economics at the College of St. Benedict.

“There had been a shopping center in Detroit,” Johnston said. “But it was outside, so in Detroit in the wintertime, the traffic went way down.”

He said the same architect who built the Detroit mall drew up plans for Southdale with one major change: All the shops would be indoors.

Johnston said the mall’s location in the suburbs is also historically significant.

“After the second World War, with the acceleration of suburbanization, shoppers wanted to be able to shop where they lived,” Johnsotn said.
Southdale continues to adapt to the changing culture, with a major renovation announced just last month.

The list was compiled by historians and architects for a documentary that will air on PBS next year.

Here is the list:
Virginia State Capitol, Richmond, VA
Trinity Church, Boston, MA
Wainwright Building, St. Louis, MO
Robie House, Chicago, IL
Highland Park Ford Plant, Highland Park, MI
Southdale Center, Edina, MN
Seagram Building, New York, NY
Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, VA
Vanna Venturi House, Chestnut Hill, PA
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA

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