In this "Pre-Malls" exhibit, we explore the history of the centralized shopping center, which had its beginnings in antiquity and evolved, in the late 1940s, into the standard, United States-style shopping mall.

One of the earliest shopping center incarnations, a roofed commercial passageway, was built in Damascus, Syria in the 600s and is still in use. The concept was introduced in Europe with an enclosed gallery of shops. This was built in Saint Petersburg, Russia between 1757 and 1785.