The Mall of America is no stranger to superlatives. With the title of “Largest Mall in the Western Hemisphere,” there are bound to be some mind-bending factoids connected with such a place. From welcoming over 40 million visitors annually, to 170,000 Legos lost in its play area, and showcasing a special seat festooned high above the theme park ride, this indoor mall is filled with curious wonders.
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Designed by American firm DLR Group, the now famous shopping behemoth opened its doors in 1992. Built upon the old grounds of Metropolitan Stadium, where the Minnesota Twins baseball team once played, the megamall can now hold seven New York Yankee stadiums within its walls. Featuring 520 stores, an amusement park, a cineplex, hotels, and over 5.6 million square feet of space, it’s hard to imagine it was once a small-market baseball stadium. The only hint is a chair nailed into the wall above the Log Chute ride. Commemorating the 522-ft home run blasted by Harmon Killebrew in 1967, the stadium seat is displayed in the exact spot where it was located, even if for now it looks like it floats above shopping patrons.
While tenants have come and gone over the years, the mall has only continued to grow in size and popularity. Its annual visitors is equal to seven times the population of Minnesota, and it even has its own postal zip code. Starting in the 2010s, DLR Group was brought in again to renovate, expand, and update the mall, designing new hotels and a water park set to open in 2025. What is most genius about the mall’s design, however, is that even with the cold Minnesotan climate, the mall’s only heating is at some entrances and ground levels. Otherwise, DLR’s skylights, use of electricity, and the warmth of so many visitors makes heating such a massive indoor area a lot easier than one may think.
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One of the most visited tourist attractions in America, the mammoth mall sets its gaze on the world, once again with the help of DLR Group. The mall and its surroundings are a part of a bid to host World Expo 2027, focusing on “Healthy People, Healthy Planet,” promoting the hundreds of natural lakes and water sources of Minnesota. If tasked with the exposition, it would be just another fact to add to a list as long as the mall itself.