Alderwood Mall 197x

December 14th, 2009 @ 12:19 am by Cliffe | Sorted Historic Buildings |
Maybe you’ve seen enough of the subject of today’s image while shopping for gifts. Opened in 1979 by developer Edward J. DeBartolo Sr, Alderwood Mall has in recent years reversed the “enclose it” trend and embraced open air shopping. Below find the 1978-79 architectural drawing from artist Ken Duffin. Ok, ok, maybe categorizing it under Historic Buildings is a bit of a stretch but it had to go somewhere. Click for the high res and good luck with your shopping.
Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood, Wash. architectural drawing, gouache or acrylic on board by Ken Duffin, 1978-1979. John Graham Jr. received international recognition for his large scale shopping complexes. Combining architectural skill with business acumen, Graham helped shape Seattle’s commercial environment after World War II. Born in Seattle to architect John Graham Sr., Graham Jr. enrolled in the University of Washington’s architecture program in 1926. Transferring to Yale in 1928, Graham graduted with a degree in fine arts four years later and initially pursued a career in merch andising rather than architecture. When John Graham Sr. retired in 1946, Graham Jr. took over his father’s architecture firm. When the post-World War II economy spurred suburban growth and expansive commercial development in King County, Graham, groomed in retail management, recognized the potential for innovative design strategies. With an initial collaboration with department store owner Rex Allison, Graham conceived the model for the suburban shopping center. Key elements were scale, concentration of shops, abundant parking and easy highway access. When Graham decided to enclose the entire complex, the modern mall was born. Image courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division.

6 Responses to “Alderwood Mall 197x”

  1. Brian Lutz says:

    Interesting. If I ever manage to get back into my long-stalled malls project over at my site I’d probably know more about the history of this mall than I do, but there are a couple of interesting things to note:

    -The Bon Marche store (which in this photo looks like a virtual copy of the Southcenter store) ended up looking nothing like this;

    -The Lamonts and Notdstrom stores that the mall used to have aren’t present in this picture, nor is the mall’s food court (constructed in 1995-1996, according to Wikipedia.) If you look at HistoricAerials, you can see the mall as it appeared in 1990 (unfortunately, HistoricAerials doesn’t have anything older than that for this area, even though they have photos of the Eastside as far back as 1936,) with the Lamonts store on the left at the north end of the mall, and the Nordstrom on the right. When the Lamonts closed (it was one of the locations that didn’t get turned into a Gottschalks) it was demolished, and a new Nordstrom store was built in its place, after which the old Nordstrom store was demolished to make way for the outdoor shopping area. This was also when the parking garages and the current movie theater were built.

  2. Colin says:

    This mall has a very 1960′s look to it that must have quickly gone out of style. It never looked like this. Notice the sunken parking lot in front of the Bon and how it looks like the Southcenter Bon!

  3. I wonder if they realized that returning to a car parked on a hill with armloads of merchandise — especially in the era of monstrous real metal car doors — was not something that would endear shoppers.

  4. Joel Riehl AIA says:

    As I noted in a different blog on the same topic, the rendering is by Ken Duffin, not Earle Duff. I knew both men. Ken is still around unlike, sadly I think, Earle Duff. Go to , click on the “illustrations” tab and note the identical signature on the works to the one in this illustration, which clearly says “Duffin”.

  5. Cliffe says:

    Thanks Joel. Corrected the mistake.


  6. Amara says:

    I remember this mall very well. I grew up in the Lynnwood Area and remember as a young girl going shopping in the early 80′s with my mother and there was a food court there. I can vividly recall a very 70′s looking food court with all types of food vendores and funny looking tables (looked like Mushroom tables) oranges/browns, very 70′s. then they rebuilt a new one, a completly different location, and as well as a new look. and that was in the 90′s.

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