Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The first indoor mall in America

According to Wikipedia, did you know that the first indoor mall in America was located in......Tallulah, La.! It is still there on Hwy. 80, but is no longer in use. It's one long hall with stores on each side. The Bailey Theater was attached on one side and what looks like a drug store was on the other. There is some pretty neat artwork on the building, but I don't know whether it is art deco or Aztecan. Kind of got to see it for yourself. These photos were taken last week. And I bet 99 out of 100 people drive by the place and never realize the historical significance of the place. Should be sign or something erected to tell the story, you would think.


  1. Marty, I was born and raised in Monroe, and have probably passed through Tallulah thousands of time during my life ... and I wasn't aware of the mall, until now. You can be sure I'll notice it the next time I go through Tallulah, though.

  2. That's a neat fact, Marty! You always amaze me with the things you discover. Thanks for sharing this...

    Sheila :-)

  3. I read somewhere that this mall was designed by Hays Town, who is pretty important in Louisiana architecture (there's a society for preserving his residential designs, which will set a historical marker at your house if you have one of his designs).

  4. Unfortunately, the first indoor enclosed shopping mall in the United States is located in Edina, Minnesota, and is called Southdale Shopping Center. It is per Wikipedia at this URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopping_mall "The first enclosed, postwar shopping center (or mall) was the Gruen-designed Southdale Center, which opened in the Twin Cities suburb of Edina, Minnesota, USA in 1956."
    The Tallulah, LA you state is not even mentioned.
    "An early indoor mall in the United States was the Lake View Store at Morgan Park, Duluth, Minnesota, which was built in 1915 and held its grand opening on July 20, 1916. The architect was Dean and Dean from Chicago and the building contractor was George H. Lounsberry from Duluth. The building is two-stories with a full basement and shops were originally located on all three levels. All of the stores were located within the interior of the mall with some shops being accessible from both inside and out."