Northland Shopping Center
W. Florrissant & Lucas-Hunt Road, Jennings
Architect: Russell Mullgardt Schwartz & Van Hoefen, 1955
Taut, severe, clean, contemporary - Northland Shopping Center was an elegant piece of architecture. When demolished, it was still solid and handsome, and not especially old or worn out. Unlike many contemporary buildings, it wasn't even visibly dated. Northland Shopping Center was a poster child for the delima of Mid-Century architecture - too old to be new, too new to be old. As no one had both the money and the vision to step up and save it, it is here noted and remembered.
For me personally, the Northland complex marked several significant points of departure: it got me looking at St. Louis beyond the city limits, it made me reconsider the auto-centric suburbs as places that could contain exciting discoveries, and it taught me to look and look again at buildings I might otherwise take for granted. It was my gateway drug into the world of Mid-Century architecture. And Northland also taught me the sad lesson of Not Old Enough.
Further commentary, documentation and photographs can be found on these off-site links: