Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Northland Shopping Center

Northland Center, located in Southfield, MI was the world’s largest shopping center when it opened in 1954. For many, its construction heralded the beginning of the end for downtown Detroit’s shopping district.

Designed by Victor Gruen and constructed at a cost of approximately $30 million, Northland Center’s opening, widely publicized in the national media, was said to signal the future of shopping in post war America. The Center had a Hudson’s department store as its anchor with an additional 110 stores, all surrounded by a vast parking lot. Northland Center also featured a bank, post office, auditoriums, artwork, fountains and extensive landscaping, design features that were soon incorporated by other developers across the country.

In 1974, Northland center was enclosed as a mall and a food court was added to the complex in 1991. Despite these additions, Northland has suffered a natural decline as it aged. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, major tenants vacated their operations, as did several of the anchor stores.

 


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