Victor Gruen's concept for the enclosed shopping mall is a prime example of unintended… 3

Victor Gruen's concept for the enclosed shopping mall is a prime example of unintended consequences and frankly not really thinking things through all that well. The era of the suburban mall helped make the exodus from our cities to the suburbs much more practical, thus hastening the decline of American urban centers. 

At least in some areas, the decline of the mall is running in parallel with a movement back to the cities although it's not necessarily a causal relationship. I for one won't be sorry to see the end of the mall as I knew them growing up, I've always hated them.

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The Shopping Mall Turns 60 (and Prepares to Retire)
The inventor of the suburban indoor mall came to rue his creations. But now they are dying off anyway.

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3 thoughts on “Victor Gruen's concept for the enclosed shopping mall is a prime example of unintended…

  • Kevin Jones

    Kansas City has two malls that have done massive renovations and are still as busy now as they were back in the 90's…if not more. 

    However, there are even more malls in KC that have gone belly up and  no longer exist. Interesting note: The Antioch Center housed the very first Showbiz Pizza, which later became Chuck E. Cheese's.

    Ward Parkway Center – Opened in 1959, and is just barely surviving
    The Landing – Opened 1960, mostly ghetto and crap stores now
    Metcalf South Shopping Center – Opened 1967, Only Macy's remains
    Crown Center – Opened 1971, now has Lego World and an aquarium
    Independence Mall – Opened in 1974, still a popular and busy mall
    Oak Park Mall – been open since 1975, and is EXTREMELY busy
    Great Mall of the Great Plains – Opened 1997, over 80% unoccupied

    Blue Ridge Mall – Opened 1958, demolished 2005
    Antioch Center – Opened 1960, demolished 2012
    Indian Springs Mall – Opened 1971, to be demolished in 2012
    Metro North Mall – Opened 1976, Only Macy's remains
    Bannister mall – Opened 1980, demolished 2009
    Mission Center Mall – Opened 1989, demolished 2008

  • Robert Moffitt

    Southdale, the nation's first enclosed shopping mall, is still open for business in Edina, a Minneapolis suburb. It's not too far from the famed Mall of America, which is expanding.
    Perhaps it's a bit early to write the obit on shopping malls just yet.