Michigan Once Had the World’s Largest Mall – Now It Sits Abandoned
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
For decades, we were taking malls for granted. Yeah, we knew prices were jacked up in all the shops, but we didn't care. We liked hangin' out at the food courts, window shopping for stuff we couldn't afford, spending our hard-earned dough in the arcade, and scopin' out the opposite sex in the center court.
Now most of them have closed down or half the shops have.
Michigan just happened to be the home of the World's Largest Shopping Mall - the Northland Mall in Southfield. It opened for business on March 22, 1954 and was the first regional shopping center. Merchants and shop owners in downtown Detroit saw the writing on the wall...this was the beginning of the end for the highly successful downtown shopping district. Thanks to Northland Center's overwhelming success, more started opening up in the suburbs.
According to the Detroit Historical Society, at a cost of 25 million dollars, Northland made national headlines that touted it as the future of American shopping. Their big store was Hudson's, which sat in the center surrounded by 80 shop spots. The entire shopping center featured artwork, auditoriums, a bank, fountains, landscaping, post office, and sculptures.
The entire shopping center was surrounded by parking lots all the way around to accommodate the masses In 1975, Northland was enclosed and officially became a “mall”.
As the years went by, the mall's age began to take its toll. Merchants began moving out, robberies and shootings made the news, and the number of annual shoppers went from 18 million to 9 million.
Hudson's had become Macy's, who shut down in March 2015. It started being demolished in 2017, but most of it still stands.
The gallery below shows this once mighty mall – at one time the world's largest – in its deteriorating, partly demolished state.
Northland Mall - Once the Largest in the World
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