Destination: Southdale Center – Edina, Minnesota

Southdale Center HeaderSouthdale Center Plantscaping

The modern mall was invented at Southdale. Designed to be a gathering place, Southdale Center brought the community together under one roof, where they could socialize, shop and perhaps enjoy a cup of coffee or cigar.

On October 8, 1956, seventy-five thousand visitors attended the grand opening to see what took $20 million dollars, 800 construction workers and nearly two years to construct. What they experienced was the first fully enclosed, climate controlled shopping mall. In the next week an additional 188,000 customers visited the 800,000 sq ft mall that combined two anchor stores with 72 shops and restaurants.

Southdale Center Escalator

Free parking was available and sufficient with 5000 parking spaces on upper and lower levels. Areas were grouped into lots with well executed signage. Pictorial signs of animals were used to identify each lot. Pictures were preferred over the use of numbers or letters, which may be difficult to remember. The customers could easily see these signs as they were driving in and around the parking lots as well as when they retreated to their cars after a long day of shopping.

Southdale Center Parking Map

Places of rest were incorporated into the design. Trees and flowers along with music, fountains and sculptures created enjoyable spaces to pause and reward all of your senses during your long day at the mall.

Southdale Center Water Feature

Look like an original in one of these spiffy Southdale shirts by Untitled Colours.

Southdale Center by turboglyde

Store Showcase: Parisian – Riverchase Galleria, Hoover Alabama

Parisian You're Somebody Special

Parisian was founded in 1877. The store was sold several times before it was purchased in the early 1920s by Carl Hess and William Holiner and largely remained in the Hess family for the next 70 years. The company went public in 1983 to raise funds for expansion, but the Hess family remained one of the majority shareholders. By 1996, Parisian owned and operated 38 stores. That year, the Hess family sold the successful retail chain to department store giant Proffitt’s, Inc., which retained the Parisian brand. Parisian’s reputation continued to soar, as customers shopped for designer labels and high-end fashion lines alongside more moderately priced merchandise. In 2006 Belk, Inc., purchased the company for $285 million. Unlike former owners, however, Belk chose to phase out the Parisian brand and by September 2007 all signage and marketing displayed the Belk name.

Parisian Storefront

Above: Parisian storefront at Riverchase Galleria.

Below: Layout and design plans for Parisian at Riverchase Galleria.

Parisian Store Layout

The Parisian at Riverchase Galleria was conceived with a central core that had several levels. It was filled with natural light and seating. It was a meeting place as well a stage for special events.

The colors were light, the lighting was bright, and the ambiance fresh and relaxing.

Parisian Store

Show everyone that you are some special. Purchase your own Parisian shirt or other moderately priced merchandise by Untitled Colours.

Parisian Shirt

Parisian by turboglyde

Parisian by turboglyde