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Northland Shopping Center - Outparcels
The outparcel office building, whose surreally absurd sign labels it "Office Building" on the side facing the mall (the opposite side reads "Northland Office Building", and was reportedly "Medical Center" before that), is a fabulously dated piece of Modernism. Strip windows, metal spandrel panels, and sans-serif letters mark it as a distinctly post-Corbusier product. The tacked-on sun shades may be a later addition.

More Corbusian features: the ground floor is recessed to allow automobile access to a bank that once inhabited the ground floor, leaving the upper floors to be supported on what Corbu preciously dubbed "pilotis" (that's French for "plain old ordinary column"); the services (a stair tower, in this case) are pulled out and established in a clearly defined zone of their own. Site visitor Fred Nergenah reports that the bank drive-through once created impressive traffic backups on W. Florrissant on Fridays.

Colored glass run amok may be one of the banes of 1950s Modernism, but in the dark of an otherwise unlit stair, awash with streaming sunlight, it has a surreal beauty.

   


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The former grocery store contains other touches of Auto-Age Modern -- the colored tile on the side walls, and the tall vertical chimney. The mansard roof at the front is a later addition.

The Family Dollar store is perhaps the most dated of the group, largely by virtue of its color scheme.

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