When And Where Was The First Mall Built?

Published : March 4, 2019

The answer to the question of when the first mall was built depends on where the first mall was located and how shoppers of malls patronized them.

The definition of a mall factors heavily around when the first mall was built. A mall is a one-stop shopping center where patrons buy goods at a variety of stores, eat, window shop or take in a movie in one of the many multiplex movie theaters (source).

In addition, malls hold special events and programs, as well as centrally located kiosks with special items for sales.

Location & Date Of The First Closed Shopping Mall

The first mall in the U.S. was built in 1956, in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St.Paul. It is known as Southdale Center Mall. It is the oldest climate controlled, fully enclosed mall in the U.S.

The First Open Air Shopping Mall

Prior to this, Lakewood Shopping Center in California was built in 1952. It was an open-air shopping mall that was situated on 154 acres and has a parking lot that accommodates 10,000 cars. It was enclosed in the 1980s.

Shopping Malls Then and Now

The first shopping malls were not nearly as artistically designed as malls are today. The basic premise of building shopping malls was to create a singularly contained community where shoppers and people could spend time enjoying a wide range of shopping and entertainments. Most were built as a one-story layout design.

Today’s malls are luxuriously designed for patron attraction and convenience. These state-of-the-art malls are intended to offer the ultimate shopping and entertainment experience.

Shopping In Lancaster Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania is well known for its tourists, shoppers outlets and malls. So popular is the “The Shops @Rockvale,” located in Lancaster, that many out of state organizations and groups regularly plan tours here. Click here for “things to do in Lancaster”.

Tour buses transport visitors who enjoy the diverse shops and fun and exciting “Trolley Service” that makes for a truly unique mall experience.

The Shops @Rockvale has kept the traditional style of the first malls built after World War II by offering the types of stores shoppers favor most. This includes brand names like Coleman Factory Outlet, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Five Below and the Disney Store, to name just a few.

The Evolution of Shopping Malls

Shoppers today love to spend a weekend at popular malls and shop leisurely in a relaxed atmosphere. For the large malls that extend over several acres, these have traditionally been located within easy access to major highways. This often encourages impulse buyers to stop by and enjoy a few hours of mall shopping.

The Shops @Rockvale makes a weekend stay for tour groups possible with a Comfort Inn located within the mall business community.

To continue the “community” atmosphere of the traditional malls, there is also a bank, two ATM locations, a fast food restaurant, a Mexican Grill as well as a KFC, Long John Silver, and the authentic Rockvale Diner.

The design of the Shops @Rockvale is family friendly with a future playground coming for children and events like a PA Family Travel Fair, Make-A-Wish Mother’s Day Convoy and Fireworks and The Park @Rockvale Grand Opening. All of this, makes The Shops @Rockvale, Lancaster’s favorite place to Eat, Play, and Save,Together.

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