6 January 2015

Mart Gallery - SouthPark, Charlotte, NC

The Mart Gallery posts will feature facilities where I’ve never been and for which I do not own a mallmanac. Despite having no personal connection to these centers, I’ve always found their footprints to be of interest. That being said, I won’t have a lot to say on an anecdotal level about these malls, so I’ll just let their designs speak for themselves.

 
L- SouthPark Mall’s layout at its opening. R- SouthPark Mall after its first expansion.

In SouthPark, we have another mazelike, single level sprawl mall, ala Orlando’s The Florida Mall. Although the angles are a bit cleaner than the afore mentioned center, the developers can’t seem to get enough of tagging on new anchors and corridors, tearing down older parts before rebuilding in newer formats. Today, the original footprint can be difficult to make out amongst the criss-crossing and expansive concourses.


SouthPark Lease Plan, ca. 2010. View the full PDF version here.

I first became fascinated with SouthPark when I picked up a postcard featuring the whitewashed monolith under the catchphrase “Shop Til You Drop, Charlotte NC.” The photo shows a mall with oversized porticos, rectangular vaulted ceilings and simple box skylights covering what I’m sure was a gorgeously dark accented interior, where shoppers could shun almost all natural light while browsing the sales at Thom McAn or B Dalton. Nothing truly great lasts forever, so it wasn’t long before designers of the day added a bit here and a bit there before dropping the word “Mall” from the official name entirely, leaving us with the upscale Franken-Mall that dominates the Charlotte retail scene.

 
SouthPark just keeps on expanding...

Opening Date- 12 February 1970
Gross Leasable Area- 1,621,000 square feet
Tiers- One
Anchors- Five
Spaces- 150


SouthPark Lease Plan, ca. 2014. View the full PDF version here.

Owner- Simon Property Group
Location- 4400 Shannon Road
Online- Official Website

 
L- A photo of SouthPark Mall just after its first expansion, scanned from the previously mentioned postcard. R- SouthPark as of this writing from above. (Source)

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