This month, Docomomo US is launching Mallitecture & Memories, a crowdsourcing campaign to document midcentury shopping malls.
Shopping malls became a staple of American society after the Second World War, providing convenient access to domestic needs while offering social and cultural components. Early malls were small, open-air groupings of commercial enterprises with a small parking lot out front. But the idea rapidly expanded with the creation of fully enclosed malls in Edina, Minnesota (Southdale Center, 1956), and Southfield, Michigan (Northland Center, opened in 1954 and enclosed in 1975), among many others. This new take on suburban commercial structures began the trend for these sprawling structures that became ubiquitous within our built fabric and only continued to morph and change over the course of the 20th century.