Architectural Attention

In case you missed it, a couple Minnesota malls have been in the national news lately, receiving architectural praise and criticism.

First, Southdale Center in Edina was named one of the “10 buildings that changed America.” It was the first indoor mall in America, after all, opening back in ’56. Joining the ranks of the Wainwright Building in St. Louis and Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, VA, we’ll learn more about why historians and architects deem it so valuable in a forethcoming PBS documentary.

Then, California Home and Design magazine said Mall of America should be demolished. (What?!)

Granted, it was a “what if you had a wrecking ball” hypothetical question for architects, with no true repurcussions planned, but no one wants to be on that list. The MegaMall was named along with EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, Trump Tower in New York, NY, and The J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C. As mentioned: Neal Schwartz of Schwartz and Architecture claims that the Mall of America itself is the “poster child for quantity over quality.”

Can’t we have both? MOA expansion plans may upset Mr. Schwartz even more, but should be additional tourist attractions for our state. This got us thinking: What makes architecture award-worthy or just plain worthy? And what local structures will make the news in another few decades?

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