Dean Fisher Shares Southdale's Story in the "10 Buildings that Changed America"

A new PBS documentary, “10 Buildings that Changed America,” turns the spotlight on Edina’s Southdale Center, built in 1959 by Austrian-born architect Victor Gruen. “And no, it’s not because of the food court,” quips the Star Tribune in a preview this week.

The documentary includes an ed05NWpbs-2-300x200.jpginterview between College of Design dean Tom Fisher and WTTW host Geoffrey Baer on location, talking about the early days of the mall, when men wore suits and women got dressed up with high heels and pearls. In the early days, Southdale’s Garden Court was a conservatory with birds and ponds, and the building was air conditioned in the summer using water from Lake Corneila.

“Southdale’s model of turning the shopping center inward on two floors with department stores at the ends of the concourses was emulated in most malls that were built afterward,” said Fisher in a Sun Current article about the show.

Other buildings highlighted include the Virginia State Capitol, Richmond, Va.; Trinity Church, Boston; Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Mo.; Robie House, Chicago; Highland Park Ford Plant, Highland Park, Mich.; Seagram Building, New York; Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va.; and Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.

10 Buildings that Changed America” airs locally Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. on TPT (Channel 2).

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