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‘Those bastard developments’ – why the inventor of the shopping mall denounced his dream

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‘Every day will be a perfect shopping day,” cooed the adverts for America’s first indoor mall when it opened in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956.

Edina is blanketed by snow and ice in winter, and baked by unbearably humid heat in summer. The Southdale Center offered the bliss of balmy strolls all year round.Inside its crisp, white, rectangular blocks lay neat parades of shops arranged around a three-storey Garden Court of Perpetual Spring, where 50ft eucalyptus trees rose towards high windows and exotic vines tumbled from balconies overhead.

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