Friday, September 08, 2006

Northland Center Mall

Southfield, Michigan - 1954

Stunning and rarely seen photo of Northland Center Mall, right around the time it first opened in 1954! Truly the shopping mall Golden Age, and this was one of its crown jewels. Architect, Victor Gruen, the master Mall Maker, sure designed a classic beauty in Northland!

Mall history: 1954 - present
Architect: Victor Gruen (1903-1980)
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

(photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic is right! They don't make malls like this anymore. Oh they can still make them beautiful of course (in a slick, modern way), but not like *this* anymore. I remember this place from way back in the day and it was truly a sight to behold. This photo is a vision of the exterior that I've not seen in years! Since I was there as a kid.

Fri Sep 08, 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the statement that the circa-1954 NORTHLAND is some high-end, "classic" mall architecture. I only wish there was more information on it available over the www. Keith has some GREAT photos on the blog here...but I was also curious about the physical layout of the original mall.

Victor G. was brilliant to say the least. I wonder who wins out, though, as the true "father of the American mall"......he or James Rouse? This is kind of up in the air...seems to me.

There appears to be some contradictory info about J. Rouse. It is said that his MONDAWMIN MALL (in "Balmer"; opened 1956) was "America's first enclosed mall". Then...someplace else...I heard that Rouse's HARUNDALE (Metro-Baltimore; opened 1958) was the first. I don't know where *they* figure Gruen's SOUTHDALE into all this (Metro-Minneapolis; opened 1956)......

Maybe somebody out there can shed a bit of light on this historical issue for me. Thanks much.


Fri Sep 08, 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Parsons said...

Northland... pure genius. It's ominous and has such presence. I wish they built them like this still.

Fri Sep 08, 09:58:00 PM  

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