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Hutton Tendler
John Kubler
English 114B

The Northridge Mall; Examining Spaces and Social Values


The Northridge Mall was once just an orange grove. It was established in 1971 and is
owned by General Growth Property. The first store to open was the Bullocks department store.
Soon after the mall and other anchor stores began to open. In 1994 the city of Northridge had a
massive earthquake resulting in excessive damage to the property. The mall was closed down for
one year and was eventually reopened. JC Penney is the only original store still standing today. I
have made several observations at the renovated Northridge mall which have led me to ideas
about our societies social values.
The Northridge mall has a very diverse community. The customers usually come in
groups of all ages and races. The variety of food is designed to attract different cultures. Most
people go to the mall to shop or eat. However, others sometimes go to the mall to kill time, to
people watch, and even to meet new people. It is not just a place to consume, it is also a place to
socialize and even exercise. The design/dcor of the mall is one of the key elements that attracts
customers.
From the minute you walk in the door, to the minute you walk out, you wont be
disappointed with the renovated Northridge mall. It is a very spacious building with wide
windows and skylightswhich allows for more sunshineultimately attracting customers. The
water fountain in the center of the mall, along with all of the plants, gives the building a natural
feeling. The mall is built in a circular structure allowing customers to walk by every store,

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resulting in purchases. The advertisements are placed indiscreetly throughout the mall. Each
store is designed to attract customers in a particular way; some even give away samples to bring
in more business. Several security guards are employed throughout the mall and during the
holidays they have parking enforcement to reduce traffic.
My partner Brooklyn and I interviewed 3 different people at the mall. The customers said
they felt comfortable, happy, and overwhelmed while being in the mall. The first person we
interviewed said they experience a more socially involved lifestyle at the mall. The second
person we interviewed said they come to the mall specifically to shop. The third person we
interviewed said they enjoyed the experience of people watching while being at the mall. The
Second person said she would enjoy the mall more if she was given a hand-held map upon
arrival to help her navigate. The third person said they would have a better experience at the mall
if there were some kind of transportation that took you around the mall while shopping.
After having done this presentation I was able to make several observations about human
relationships. It is evident that most people dont like to be alone; most people come in groups.
Ive also noticed that most people like to have options when it comes to food, shopping, etc.
Diversity is an important part of the American culture. The best part about the mall is that it
doesnt cost anything to go in, which allows the customers to decide what they want to spend
their time doing when they go to the mall. I have also noticed that people value technology. The
mall runs on technology, and we rely on it; from the changing ads, to the cash registers. The
malls atmosphere is designed in a circular shape, which allows for a lot of foot traffic in a small
vicinity. This setting reflects the Los Angeles lifestyle because it is always so busy inside the
mall just like it is on the streets of LA.

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Works Cited
Keith. "Malls of America." Web log post. : Mall Memories: Northridge Fashion Center. N.p., 19
Sept. 2006. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.