Nick pointed me at this article over on the excellent site, Design Observer. While this story would usually be relegated to the Roundup post, I found it deserving of some more shine. “The multitiered, fully enclosed mall (as opposed to the strip mall) has been the Vatican of shiny, happy consumerism since it staked its claim on the crabgrass frontier — and the public mind — in postwar America. The nation’s first enclosed shopping mall, the Southdale Center, opened its doors in Edina, outside Minneapolis, in 1956. Southdale was the brainchild of the Los Angeles– based architect (and Viennese refugee from the Anschluss)Victor Gruen. A socialist and former student of the modernist designer Peter Behrens, Gruen saw in the covered mall a Vision of Things to Come.”
A must read over on Design Observer.