PBS Special Features Southdale As 1 of 10 Influential U.S. Bldgs

When the Edina complex opened in 1956, it served as the first enclosed shopping mall in America—and hundreds of other shopping malls across the United States were subsequently modeled after it.

A PBS special that will air early next year will feature Southdale Center as one of the “Ten Buildings That Changed America,” according to PBS member station WTTW Chicago.

When the Edina complex opened in 1956, it served as the first enclosed shopping mall in America—and hundreds of other shopping malls across the United States were subsequently modeled after it.

Southdale was thought up by the Dayton family and designed by Los Angeles-based architect Victor Gruen. The mall has since been expanded and remodeled several times and is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation.

The 10 buildings being featured in the PBS program are all said to have “changed the way we live, work, and play.” Many of them were designed by famous architects—and the show’s cast and crew selected them after consulting with a panel of historians and architects from across the country. The PBS special will air nationally in early 2013.

According to the Star Tribune, PBS host Geoffrey Baer and the crew of Chicago public television station WTTW will shoot program footage at Southdale on Wednesday.

Southdale is anchored by Macy’s, Herberger’s, JCPenney, and Marshalls—and it has more than 120 specialty stores.

The nine other buildings that will be featured in the documentary—along with their locations, architects, and the year in which each was built—are:

• Virginia State Capitol (Richmond, Virginia), Thomas Jefferson, 1788
• Trinity Church (Boston), H.H. Richardson, 1877
• Wainwright Building (St. Louis), Louis Sullivan, 1891
• Robie House (Chicago), Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910
• Highland Park Ford Plant (Highland Park, Michigan), Albert Kahn, 1910
• Seagram Building (New York), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1958
• Dulles International Airport (Chantilly, Virginia), Eero Saarinen, 1963
• Vanna Venturi House (Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania), Robert Venturi, 1964
• Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Frank Gehry, 2003

“It’s an honor to be recognized with these other landmark buildings,” Les Morris, a spokesman for Southdale owner Simon Property Group, told the Pioneer Press. “They notified us back in March that we were perhaps on the list; there was still some deciding to do. Southdale made the list.”

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