One of the world’s first shopping malls built in the traditional way with which most of us are familiar is all but gone. On the site of the old Bon Marche, the first of three in the metro designed by Seattle architect John Graham Jr, now sits a hockey training facility for the Seattle Kraken. Not that I’m not a fan; hockey is my second favorite sport after football, but having grown up in North Alabama, the Predators are my team.
I was excited that Seattle’s Link light rail system would finally have a stop right at a shopping mall. But a few years before the Northgate Station opened, this excitement turned to dismay when Simon announced that the old shopping center would be taking on the name of its transit-oriented neighbor and would be rebranding itself as Northgate Station. Fortunately, this would include a complete redevelopment of the facility. Unfortunately, it involved the elimination of the majority of the extant structure.
Only one small interior section continues to exist at the very north end of the facility. But it is largely unoccupied and perhaps only remains open while the few tenants inside serve out their leases. A good portion of the southern end of the mall remains as well where the food court was once located. It seems, however, that the old interior concourse is being restructured to host only tenants with outdoor entrances.