Apache Plaza

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This article is about a demolished mall in St. Anthony Village, Minnesota. For the mall in Rochester, Minnesota, see Apache Mall.
Apache Plaza
Location Saint Anthony, Minnesota
Coordinates 45°02′12″N 93°13′48″W / 45.0368000°N 93.2299000°W / 45.0368000; -93.2299000[1]Coordinates: 45°02′12″N 93°13′48″W / 45.0368000°N 93.2299000°W / 45.0368000; -93.2299000[2]
Opening date 1961
Closing date 2004
Owner Apache Corporation
Architect Willard Thorsen
No. of stores and services over 60
Website Apache Plaza tribute site

Apache Plaza was a former shopping center, located in St. Anthony, Minnesota, a small suburb of Minneapolis. It opened in 1961 as one of the first enclosed shopping centers in the US, and closed in 2004.

Early history[edit]

Apache Plaza has historic significance because it was one of the first enclosed malls in the US, opening in 1961. It was the second such center in the state of Minnesota, after Southdale. Its design, by architect Willard Thorsen, was state-of-the-art at the time. Apache had a spacious center court with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof (hyperboloid structure). The paraboloids were concrete shells, shaped like an inverted umbrella. Ten of these paraboloids made up the roof of the center court, which was ringed with Mondrian-inspired clerestory windows. The mall had more than 60 stores at its height, as well as a large monthly indoor antiques and collectables show and a bowling alley in the basement. In the early 1970s, the mall was still thriving, despite the opening of nearby Rosedale. The larger mall would contribute to the Apache's decline, with the relocation of the Apache's anchor stores to Rosedale.

Other associated developments[edit]

In addition to Apache Plaza, the Apache Corporation developed two office buildings neighboring the mall. The first, the Apache Office Park, was built in 1964. Its design had a unique, space-age look; the building was on stilts, with a stairwell/elevator in the center. The space underneath the building served as a parking lot. The second, the Apache Medical Complex, was completed in 1966. Originally strictly a medical complex, this building now houses some other businesses.

The decline of Apache[edit]

In the early 1980s, Apache underwent a major renovation, only to have its south end damaged by a tornado on 26 April 1984.[3] Three days after the tornado, a major snowfall covered the area. Since it was spring, the snow quickly melted, flooding twister-damaged areas of the mall. The damage was repaired, and the mall re-opened on 15 November. Some of the original charm was lost, as the multi-colored clerestory windows around the center court had replaced by colorless glass.

In the early 1990s, tenants began leaving the mall in droves. Herberger's opened at Apache in 1987, saving the center from demolition for 17 years. By 2000, the mall was nearly empty, but still open to mall-walkers. Around this time, Apache Plaza was voted as the "best place to dump someone" in the Twin Cities by the local alternative weekly City Pages.[4]

Apache was scheduled for demolition in April 2004. The final days saw the mall host a "Bulldozer Bash." This was intended to kick off plans for its successor development, Silver Lake Village, a mixed-use development.[5] However, the majority of the people at the event were not there to celebrate the new shopping center, but came to share Apache memories and mourn the loss of what was once the center of their community.[6]

The Apache Office Park was also demolished around the same time. The Apache Medical Complex, however, still remains.


External links[edit]