Photographer Phillip Pessar took this photo, and the two that follow, along the open-air mallway at NORTHSIDE CENTER. Above, we see one of the terrazzo animal statues created -in 1959- for the shopping hub. Cast figures of animals, such as the Turtle seen here, were used as decorative elements in countless mid-20th century shopping malls.
Photo from Flickriver / Phillip Pessar


The NORTHSIDE CENTER Alligator. The mall's animal statues were created by local artisan Earl La Pan. Although something of a standard fixture in America's earliest malls, most -if not all- such statuary has been removed as part of the umpteen "smear everything over with new" renovations that have been done to vintage shopping malls over the years.
Photo from Flickriver / Phillip Pessar


In a way, it is fortunate that Miami's NORTHSIDE CENTER fell on hard times so early in its existence. Eclipsed by bigger and better malls, this shopping hub has been left essentially the same as it was over 50 years ago. Above, we see some of its original mid-20th century design elements.
Photo from Flickriver / Phillip Pessar