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Southdale Center in Edina, Minnesota

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Originally appeared in 10 Buildings That Changed America
on May 12, 2013
Southdale Center in Edina, Minnesota
Southdale Center, Edina, Minnesota (1956)

Victor Gruen's Southdale Center was America's first modern indoor mall. Inspired by the open, outdoor social spaces of his native Vienna, Gruen intended to create much more than a shopping mall. Bothered by post-war America's move to the suburbs, Gruen's imagined social vision included houses, schools, and commerce, all centered around "a garden court of perpetual spring" that would include fountains, aviaries, zoos, and of course, shops. Though his ideal was short-lived, and never fully developed to include all the community-enriching elements he wished for, the Southdale Center spurred scores of imitators and set the pace for a most recognizable form: the American suburban shopping mall.

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