Thursday, April 21, 2016
|Photo courtesy Simon Property Group|
On April 21, 1950, hordes of shoppers attended the opening of Northgate Mall. The mall was designed by John Graham Jr., who later became chief architect for the Space Needle. Northgate's first president was Jim Douglas, who went on to serve as the Century 21 vice president of construction.
Northgate is considered to be the first regional shopping center defined as a "mall," although there were at least three predecessor shopping centers. One was Bellevue Square, which opened four years earlier. Bellevue's center, as well as the first floating bridge across Lake Washington, helped to transform the bucolic farming community into a bustling suburban city.