Thursday, November 23, 2006

Brookdale Shopping Center

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota - 1967

Dayton's anchor store and interior court area views, inside the Brookdale Shopping Center in the late sixties. I've always dug that stylish Dayton's script logo, and it just seems to go so well with this rather swinging looking shopping mall!

Appears we might have another monofilament line "rain fountain" here, too, like the ones in Topanga Plaza and South Coast Plaza, among others. Here's some history from Wikipedia:
Brookdale Center is a large shopping mall in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It is anchored by Macy's (formerly Dayton's, then Marshall Field's) and Sears.

It is part of the four "Dale" shopping centers circling the Twin Cities, originally developed by The Dayton Co. The others are Southdale Center, Rosedale Center, and Ridgedale Center.
Mall history: 1964(?) - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: none

(Study images courtesy and © the Minnesota Historical Society)


Blogger Kangoon said...

Ringa Ding Ding! Maybe it is just the black and white photograph but I would not feel comfortable being in there with out a black suit, narrow lapels and a skinny tie like ole' blue eyes used to wear.

Swinging is the word for it.

What do you think are in the windows in those oversized planters in the second picture?


Fri Nov 24, 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Scott Parsons said...

What are those white boxes, anyway? Looks like you could lock your husband in there so you can hit Daytons.

Sun Nov 26, 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those white boxes are aquariums.

I remember this mall because I grew up in Minneapolis and my parents took us to Brookdale a lot. I took a piano class in the music store there -- this was back in 1977! (Ah, sweet nostalgia.)

Tue Nov 28, 04:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That "Dayton's" font and the stone planter make that image at the top perfect!

Tue Nov 28, 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living in New Brighton in the 60s and 70s, we did our day-to-day shopping at the now-erased Apache Plaza. But for the special occasions, it was Brookdale all the way! Cool place that remained pretty much as you see it in the photos until the late 90s. The came the, er, "improvements.": tore half the mall down, built a new food court, dismantled all the nice 60s style and made it Wal-mart bland--all in the name of progress mind you. Didn't help increase traffic much. When will the bastards learn !?!?!? Incidentally, anyone out there remember the cool octagonal, space-age Red Owl store on the mall property? Looked like a big space ship had landed.

Sun Dec 10, 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger rmsharpe said...

Well, I'm only 21, but I remember Brookdale in the 1980s, and it looked almost exactly like it does in the photos.

Today, Brookdale serves a more "inner city" demographic when compared to other malls in the area. Needless to say, I no longer shop there. It has gone the way of City Center, a former "mall" which should be familiar to some of Minnesota's local posters.

From less than a block away from the mall, a guy offered to sell me some drugs. This was just last month, so it shows you the state of affairs down by Brookdale.

It's really sad to see it go the way it has when you look at these beautiful photos, though. I'll always have the fondest memories of the mall, including the lovely food court.

Tue Dec 12, 02:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved hanging out at Brookdale, back in the day. Back in junior high, our big day out would be to walk from our houses (we lived close enough to not have to be mortified by having Mom drive us!!!) to the mall. We had the day planned out: Where we'd shop first, eat lunch etc. Then we'd cross Bass Lake Rd. and go to a movie! What bliss! Got my ears pierced at the Daytons jewelry counter. sigh

Sat Jan 06, 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brookdale was remodeled in 2001. However, many of the orignal brick work around the interior of the then Dayton's, now Macy's, still exists.

The remodel was a failed attempt to revitalize a failing mall. Flooring and ceilings were replaced. New seating areas and plantings were added. However, little was done to change the outside facade of the mall. When driving by, Brookdale still looks in disrepair.

During the remodel of 2001, many new chain stores were added to the mall. Stores such as American Eagle, Kay Jewelers, The Gap, and Old Navy were some of the new tenants. However, due to Brookdale's easy access to north Minneapolis, an area laced with crime and poverty, many of these "suburban" stores closed within 2 years of the remodel.

In 2003 The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes opened in the nearby suburb of Maple Grove. "The Shoppes" is a very large, very fancy lifestyle center. The opening of The Shoppes proved to be the final blow to an already depressed Brookdale. It took a vast area away from Brookdale's regional retail trade area. It also took many of the more affluent customers away.

Today, Brookdale is a dangerous place to be. Most of the traditional mall stores have jumped ship. In there place lies either vacant store fronts or stores that cater to the "inner city" youth demographic. Shouting and fighting can be heard through the halls of Brookdale. Even the mall's Macy's store feels unsafe to be in. In late 2005, Brookdale was actually shut down for a day when a musical concert held in the mall got out of control. Fighting broke out among youth, and police evacuated the mall. Two of the four anchor tenants have also left the mall in the past couple of years.

Brookdale is a neat place to go for anyone interested in mall history. While the other four "dale" shopping centers (Southdale, Rosedale, Ridgedale) in the twin Cities have been updated through the years, Brookdale still has many of its original parking lot designation signs, architecture, etc. However, it not an ideal shopping destination. If you do go to the mall, park near one of the Macy's entrances. Trouble always seems to be lurking in the dark corridors that lead to the main mall entrances.

Brookdale is now under new management, and changes have been promised. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Wed May 02, 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger jbydlon said...

Brookdale was really something in her hay day I have many found memories.

Mon Jun 27, 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brookdale is long gone. Torn down this past summer. People didn't go there because of the close proximity and ease to get there from the troubled areas of North Minneapolis. Crime was getting out of hand. As one that grew up going to Brookdale I no longer went there because of the problems there. Harrassed often. The fighting and yelling made it uncomfortable. I always wanted to find a niche and have a shop there but when the problem people started there I wanted nothing to do with that place. Doesn't bother me anymore that it is gone. Sad as it is.

Fri Dec 09, 01:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Kay Kirscht said...

The "White Boxes" were actually FISH TANKS, that held horrible Piranha, and very lost Clownfish. One by one, the fish died...all but the mighty Piranha. I think the tanks were gone by '77-78.
This part of Brookdale is long gone - and all but Sears will remain by fall 2013.

Mon Sep 09, 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to go there with my mom in the 70s. Beautiful architecture. Red owl on the property too. They left it because of the flying monkeys. I cant use real words on TV.

Fri Dec 30, 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Brookdale was my life growing up. We lived west of Osseo (Brooklyn Blvd) Rd and North of Bass Lake Road, and went to the Robbinsdale schools, including Northport and Twin Lake. As our leash got longer we'd walk over in the winter, and would ride our bikes, Schwinn Sting Ray 3 speed I might add, in the warmer months, making our way through Northport and then across the busy Osseo road. Spent a lot of time in the movie theater that was on the far East end of the Dayton's parking lot too.

Supervalu was on the northwest corner before it moved off site, but sears was were every piece of clothing as elementary kids our parents bought. Daytons clearance items came into play as we got into junior and senior high years in the mid 1970s.

Gagers Hobby Story was my perpetual destination, I must of handle every airplane model box twenty times and bought a hundred testers paints. There was model rockets too!

It's been interesting watch Brookdale grow and die, first when it opened just Sears and SuperValu and a drug store I think, then Pennys came, then Donaldson's came after along with expansion to the east that added a lot of small shops in the Late 1960s. The biggest and most lavish change came with the addition of Daytons and the court to it to join with the Penny's/Donaldson's end. The photos above are from that area, then newest portion.

Today I believe "The Dales" and especially Brookdale to be a looking glass into who were were as a society from the 1950s until the 2000s when the tear down started.

The changes driven by economics, demographics, growth and consumer sentiment all pieces contributed to the birth and death of this iconic piece of our Minnesota history, and amazing evolution.

PS, I loved the fish tanks and the hexagonal fountain that fell from the celling in front of Daytons to the floor by clear plastic strands. Innovative for 1972.

Sat Feb 29, 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

More photos from the StarTribune.

Sat Feb 29, 12:03:00 PM  

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