Scenes From the First American Shopping Mall (1956)

In 1956, the Southdale Center in Edina, Minnesota, opened its doors and became America’s first climate-controlled indoor shopping mall.

4 Comments leave a comment below

  1. This reminds me so much of our shopping mall, growing up. We actually had a giant aviary and a pond with resident ducks! So bizarre when I think about it, now, but it was a lot of fun as a kid!

  2. I was a graphic designer in Minneapolis from 1990-2010 and learned the reason and value for designing indoor climate controlled shopping under one roof. What wonderful nostalgia! I actually worked at the Dayton’s department stores art gallery (where wearing a suit jacket and tie was mandatory) for many years. Dayton’s developed the Target chain which of course brought such designer names as Graves, Stark, Mizrahi, etc. to the masses.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. So funny. I live in Minneapolis and just took my 12yo to Southdale mall this weekend and mentioned this bit of trivia. (Cut to kid looking around a mall with lots of closed stores: “Uh, really? What happened?”)

    I’m excited to show them this video too! Thank you!

  4. This is so cool!! My mom was born in 1952 and spent the first five years of her life on Xerxes at 72nd, which is just blocks from the SouthDale Mall. She would tell me, when I was little, that before the mall was built it was a field that she would play in with her brother. I could never picture it, couldn’t believe it, because that area is so built up around there. The opening scenes of this video contain some aerial footage and wouldn’t you know it! There is empty land all around the new Southdale mall. Thank you for sharing this. I sent it to my mom right away. My grandmother worked at the Woolworths shop. I know this footage will bring back some serious memories!!