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NorthPark Center

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1965, Harrell + Hamilton Architects; 1975, 2006 expanded, OMNIPLAN. 8687 N. Central Expy.

Although not the first large regional shopping mall, NorthPark Center was the largest in the world at that time to be air-conditioned. Developer Raymond D. Nasher leased ninety-seven acres of cotton fields from the Caruth Foundation to build the mall. Despite numerous expansions, the clarity of its commercial modern design remains. Architect EG Hamilton used a limited range of materials and colors, and store signage was controlled. Rather than the usual clutter in the public spaces of a typical mall, fountains, planters, and sculpture from the art collection of Nasher and his wife, Patsy, animate the large spaces. Natural light fills the mall from narrow clerestory windows and from skylights.

Eero Saarinen was hired to design the Neiman Marcus store, but after his death in 1961, Kevin Roche completed the project. Expansion has more than doubled the size of the mall, while still maintaining a 1.5-acre park of old oaks within the center of the complex. NorthPark remains noted for its high-fashion stores and is still owned and operated by the Nasher family.

After studying at Washington University, Earle Grady Hamilton (1920–2017), known as “EG,” worked in Detroit with Minoru Yamasaki. He moved to Dallas in 1952, briefly working with Arch Swank before starting his own practice. He joined with George Harrell in 1956 to form Harrell + Hamilton Architects, which grew into OMNIPLAN in 1970. He was a strong voice for modernism in Dallas, even considering himself a minimalist.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "NorthPark Center", [Dallas, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 171-172.

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