Minneapolis, Donaldson, South Dale discussed on Stuff You Should Know


No windows in a chair and a camera in it. You're not allowed to leave. And this one. It's a micro apartment, basically. This one had chains on this benches. And I was like, nah, that's a jail cell. Yeah. So I saw that too. There was like a target cart under a spotlight, I think. I thought that was beautiful. Yeah, it was. It's very arty. Haunting. I'm with you, lady. All right, so jumping back forward again to Minneapolis outside of Minneapolis. Is it Idina? Thank you. 1956, south Dale, 20 million bucks, the anchor store was Donaldson's and Dayton's. Right. Who can forget Donaldson's? I did. Okay. And Dayton's actually commissioned this mall to be built because they were building a new outpost in the suburbs of Minneapolis. And it wasn't just by coincidence that a diner was ten miles away from downtown Minneapolis, because again, this is 1956. So it's during the Cold War. And that's actually right outside the 8 mile blast radius of atomic bomb. Were it to be dropped out? Because of course it's what the ruskies were thinking. We're going for Minneapolis first. But they built a mall outside of the blast radius, so I guess we'll just give up. So the original idea for them all from Victor gruen was to he wanted to know how they had with these mixed use centers now. He had this idea way back then. And he wanted people to live there and kind of congregate there. And we'll get a little more to this later. But it sort of ended up just being a shopping mall to his disappointment. But he modeled it on northgate and Seattle. And sort of the big idea was that you go to these department stores because that's where people were used to, but how do you get them to these other stores? Was the big question? Right. How do you get them chopping? Oh, at the mall? Yeah, like once they're there. Because people went to department stores. So if you put a department store out in the suburbs, they'll go to the department store. They're like, oh, I thought it was supposed to take a left. Now I'm taking a right. I'm at the department store. Who cares, right? The problem is, is if you put a 110 other stores coming off of that department store, they just go to the department store and leave. Not good, right? If you're one of these other stores. So what northgate figured out and what is mind numbingly obvious, but really works is you just take this department store, put another department store, and then put the shops in between them. And then the people take a right, but they should take a left, but they're fine. The department store. Oh, there's another department store. Well, I'll just walk past this. Maybe I'll buy that. I'll buy a little bit of this. Sure, I'll take a feather boa. And then they walk into the other department store. And consumerism is saved. That's right. It was revolutionary at the time. So he built, he was commissioned at least by Dayton's department store to build this kind of advanced shopping center. They didn't call him all the time. They called the mid band shopping centers. And it's so high-tech. He actually added space for a competitor at the other end because he had this idea like how to keep people there. And I don't know how he talked daytons into it. The other day, wait, wait. Hold on a second. No, we're paying you to do this. And you want to put a competitor store in there. He's like, yeah, it'll work. Trust me. So a few minutes ago, I mentioned that introvert my uncle still texting me. Still looking for parking. Just circling the Castro at this point. So we mentioned introverted and extroverted malls previous to this were outdoor, and like we said, they were extroverted. So in other words, you walk the perimeter and the stores face the outside and they had doors on them that you would walk into if you wanted to shop. So he had this idea like, wait, let's reverse all that. Let's turn it all inside where you walk into this huge building. You got these two stores on both ends. And there are no doors. They might have a gate they lower at night, but it's just open. People will just walk through this little concourse and all the stores are wide open for everyone. It's air conditioned. It's heated, not at the same time. At appropriate times. Especially in a place like Minneapolis. Right. It's probably a nice place to go in the wintertime. Yeah, it was a big deal. Introverted them is what they're called, right? Where they look in on themselves. And they're enclosed as well. So for the first time ever, you could just walk around this beautiful place with trees and he put like a 20 foot birdcage and there were goldfish ponds and all of this stuff. And it'd be the middle of winter and you could walk around in short sleeves and be like, I live in a diner, not a Dina. The other thing he kind of nailed right out of the gate was previous to this shopping malls were usually or shopping centers are on one floor. And they were spread out over this big broad area and you had to enter from the outside and walk around the cold and it was all just one big single level. And he said, how about this? How about we stack it? Because this is ingenious everyone. Put a store on one end, put a store on the other end. You stack them on top of each other. You put escalators on both sides. You park in this side, you go into your department store, you walk down on the first level to get to the other department store, you could down the escalator, and then you walk back on the other level to get to your car, and you've seen every store. And it was genius. It was retail genius. Exactly. Pretty amazing. And again, we take this for granted now, but at the time everyone was like, huh, I never thought of that. Well, the point that we take this for granted, like all of this sounds brain dead, all of this came essentially from this one guy, the dude named Victor grew it, who was kind of like a high artsy fartsy society type from Austria who fled the Nazis in 1938 and was a self taught architect. Who just started designing them all. And he invented the mall. And he got basically everything right right out of the gate. Actually, it's really amazing. The Economist has a really great quote about him. They say that he was as if orville and Wilbur Wright invented not just manned flight, but also tray tables and duty free service. Not bad. The other thing he got right right out of the gate was low balconies. If you ever go into a mall, you know, if you're on that top floor, you can look down and say, oh, I got to go into chess king and get some parachute pants. Sure. Or if you're down on that bottom floor, you can look up and you can see I got to go to Mary go around and check out the ladies. Merry go around, man. That takes me back. There will be a bit of nostalgia peppered in here and there. Actually, I don't even think I put merry go round. I put Camelot music is what I have in my Camelot music everyone. And the joke I have was the Duran Duran kiss single. Oh my God, the single. It's like I just ate a whole bunch of member berries or something. Of what? Remember berries? I don't know. There's a whole South Park thing. Oh, okay. Yeah? Well, three other people love that joke. So more than 75,000 people, 75,000 people turned out on the grand opening day of south Dale mall. And not just local press, Life magazine, Time Magazine, New York Times, business week, newsweek. They all came out and said things like it's the splashiest center in the U.S. as a goldfish pond birds art, ten acres of stores and all under one Minnesota roof. It's a pleasure dome with parking,

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