Thursday, June 09, 2005

Southdale Shopping Center

Edina, Minnesota


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks so much like the mall my grandmother used to take me to in Arizona in the early 80s. I can totally see it in my head. These pictures are wonderful; can't wait to see many more. :)

Mon Jun 20, 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the comments, Kostia! Stay tuned cuz there's lots more on the way.

Thu Jun 23, 05:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure thats the mall in Mallrats if your interested.

Thu Jun 23, 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall in Mallrats was the Eden Prairie mall. The Southdale Mall in Edina however, was the first mall in the world.

Thu Jun 23, 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

For Minnesota, Southdale has some serious competition (MOA is a few miles up 494; Galleria across the street) yet it is still always really busy and appears to be profitable. They added on a movie theater, PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, and a Mini Cooper dealership that is supposedly the #1 in the country. God forbid Marshall Fields aka Dayton's shuts down. Minnesotans know how to shop.

Thu Jun 23, 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to hang out at Soutdale in the late 70's. It looked just like that.

Some facts about Southdale:

It was the first enclosed shopping mall in the country.

It is heated and cooled using geothermal energy.

The Southdale mall has a website with a great history page here:

Southdale History page

Fri Jun 24, 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Smokes! Does THIS take me back. I was in junior high back in the late 60's and lived in Burnsville, Minnesota. A trip to Southdale Mall was a standard Saturday morning ritual for the family. First music lessons at the music store a block down the road, then over to the Mall for a look at the clearance racks in Daytons and (if we were good) a pretzel and maybe a cold drink (yeah, we called it 'pop') from the kiosk in the middle of the mall. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Haven't been back in almost 35 years -- not that I'm getting old or anything...

Fri Jun 24, 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger بدروهي said...

Thanks for posting this, I live near this mall and always am keen on seeing historical pictures.

Fri Jun 24, 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is really interesting that southdale was the first mall..haha..i live in eden prairie, and yeah mall rats was taped at our mall back in the mid 1990s..i actually got to see the set and stuff, but the mall looks nothing like it did in the movie. they revamped it (was much needed) and now is an awesome mall.

Fri Jun 24, 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger bugette said...

This mall had to have been the inspiration for the game Mall Madness.

Fri Jun 24, 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live and work near Southdale as well (actually, I work closer to Eden Prairie Center--possibly the prettiest yet most worthless mall I've enountered).

Another tidbit of malls in the Twin City metro area is that many end in "-dale." There's Rosedale, Brookdale (I think, or something like that), and Ridgdale at least. Not sure what that means though. Southdale is called Southdale because Edina is very near south Minneapolis.

My mom told a story of going to Southdale when it first opened. She got a sandwhich with her boyfriend at the food court and found a huge bug in the lettuce.

Bugette, maybe you'd agree that our blogger here should include photos of the Mall Madness game. Love it! :)

Fri Jun 24, 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Well! More great comments, wonderful insights, and shared links here! Thanks guys. YOU rock! :)


FYI, I will cover the whole MALL RATS thing a bit at some point, fear not (it's come up a lot).

I will be sharing more Southdale stuff soon.

"Bugette, maybe you'd agree that our blogger here should include photos of the Mall Madness game. Love it! :)"

They are forthcoming, Stacia. Can't let all the surprises out of the bag at once, can I? :)

Sat Jun 25, 04:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 16 and had my first drivers license, my mother insisted I drive her to Southdale Mall. We lived in the north edge of St Paul, about a 20 mile drive. My father who drove truck wrote down the directions on paper with little maps where to turn etc. This was my first big excursion outside of our part of the city and a real big deal for my mom. Thought the mall idea was great, with being cold in the winter one could shop in comfort and no snow!

Sat Jun 25, 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Great memories, siggyoh! Thanks.

Sun Jun 26, 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southdale was planned by the father of the shopping mall, Victor Gruen, in 1953 and is considered the original shopping mall prototype. Southdale was the first fully enclosed, two-story shopping mall containing more than one major department store. Southdale's success challenged the prevalent belief that two competitive department stores in a development were bad for business and that people were too lazy to walk away from their cars, much less climb stairs to shop on a second level.

Most of the early malls that evolved from the strip mall are located in the Mid West; Minnesota's extreme weather means few outdoor shopping days, and the concept of the indoor mall rose to allow people to shop in comfort year round.

Mon Jun 27, 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the very insightful background, Frede! Your Mall thesis writings in your link are fantastic! Pleasure to have you here.

Wed Jun 29, 05:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sun Aug 14, 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the Picadilly circus (?) Not sure if that is the correct name in the basement at Southdale? They had tigers and kiddy rides. My sister and I used to go there when we were small. It was so much fun!!!!

Mon Nov 28, 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was Picadilly Circus. On a similar note from that era, anyone remember "Roz"? It was a magic/novelty/rubber mask/costume shop in the basement in the 70's - early 80's? I was terrified of the scary masks in the window when I was a little kid going by. Later on I bought my first "professional" magic tricks there!

Mon Dec 19, 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also remember that place which we remember as Picadilly Circus. I can't remember when it closed but it must've been sometime around the time when they remodeled the whole mall. But i liked that place back in the 70's-80's. Is my memory that good that i remember it seemed to have a semi-circle entrance to it. Do they even still have a basement at Southdale?

Tue Apr 17, 10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sis and I used to ride our bikes from Richfield to Southdale Mall in the "sixties". We'd park our bikes, no locks needed and spend an afternoon inside hanging out by the birdcages and/or shop if we had babysitting money. I think it was the gariffe or elephant parking lot where we left our bikes, but the last store we stop by was Fannie Farmer candy store. I'd buy a couple of butterscotch canes and maybe some chocolate mint fudge candies. --These days I google map the route and roads to the mall from our house and recall those summer days and think to how dangerous that would be today for a kid.

Tue Mar 31, 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to remember the name of a restaurant that I used to eat at in the mall as a little kid. It was a "family restaurant" on the first floor, and I don't remember much besides the walls having a horrible green and white striped pattern. Does this sound familiar to anyone out there who was not six when they went out of business? I'm thinking that this was sometime in the mid- to late-eighties. Any help would be appreciated.

Tue Jun 23, 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous gary flint said...

my father is from Bloomington and he remembers when the mall was being built and when my brother and myself were 4 and 5 years old around 1974 75 we use to go there during christmas, one thing that I will never forget was the walt disney magic mountain they put up they had a giant mnt where you could walk through with all the disney figures it was the coolest thing id ever seen growing up I wish I could find some pics from then to share Gary Flint

Mon Mar 22, 01:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Z said...

Roz in the basement of Southdale was fantastic! I think about it alot, as was Picadilly Circus the video game arcade. The restaurant that someone mentioned with the green and white was called the Raintree family restaurant and it used to have rain falling on strings (much like a rain oil-lamp) and it had pumped in thunder sounds and lightning flashes and it was set up as if you were dining on a garden veranda during a rainstorm. There was also a restaurant out in the middle there by those giant birdcages and two-story high cast iron trees. I grew up in Richfield and Southdale was my home in the 70s and 80s!! Fantastic memories of America's first indoor mall.

Sun Nov 20, 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight on the previous restaurant. I'm pretty sure that the place I was thinking of was just a plain old Arby's. Maybe they took over the space occupied by Raintree, but it's definitely a different place.

I also didn't know that picadilly circus existed in southdale in the 1980s. What a trip. My only experience with the place is as a new business in Cen Lakes circa 1998. Odd.

Sun Nov 20, 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sue Blevins said...

First indoor shopping mall. Southdale opened in 1956

Wed Feb 17, 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Sue Blevins said...

First indoor shopping mall. Southdale opened in 1956

Wed Feb 17, 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I remember "ROZ". My mom and dad couldn't ever get me out of the shop. I and a friend of mine did magic when we where kids, (matter of fact, I still have magic tricks I bought from Roz) we would take all our mowing lawn money at go to Eagle Magic then to Roz. If you remember in the window, a oversized tophat that had a floating fountain with water running into it..I bought it. Yes, fond memories.

Tue Aug 02, 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

southdale video 1956

Sun Dec 23, 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger DaveDave said...

People forget that the original Southdale opened with:
a) a lower level/basement 5 cage zoo that lasted about a year (I saw it when I was 3yrs old),
b) a semi-trailer tunnel that was used to stock Red Owl Grocery & other stores,
c) the Donaldson's Dept store that refused to use the mall's construction firm and instead used builders that they owned (Donaldson's used their own builders in every mall built: Rosedale, Brookdale, Ridgedale)

Sat May 11, 11:51:00 PM  

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