Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall - Book Talk & Conversation about Michigan’s Northland Center

Southfield Public Library

26300 Evergreen Road
Southfield, MI
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Join the Michigan Chapter of Docomomo US and our friends at the Southfield Public Library and the Southfield Historical Society as we partner with Docomomo US for Tour Day 2022 to explore the history and future of shopping malls across the nation, including Michigan’s iconic Northland Center in Southfield.

The evening will start with a recorded talk by architecture critic Alexandra Lange, author of the newly released book Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall (Bloomsbury Publishing, June 2022). With an eye on the mall’s formative development in Michigan, including Victor Gruen’s pioneering Northland Center (1954), Lange’s illustrated talk will walk us through the atriums, escalators, and food courts of these disdained yet beloved, disappearing yet surviving spaces. In Lange’s perceptive account, the mall becomes newly strange and rich with contradiction—environments of both freedomand exclusion, consumerism and community.

Following the recorded presentation, Lange will join us on Zoom for a conversation in the library featuring short in-person presentations by Megan McAdow and Bruce Kopytek on the past, present and future of the Northland Center site and amoderated panel discussion.

Megan McAdow, Director of the Marshall Fredericks Museum, will discuss the role that art played in Michigan’s malls, focusing on Marshall Fredericks' Boy and Bear sculpture. Originally located at Northland Center, the sculpture is one of several works that now welcome visitors to the Southfield Public Library.

Bruce Kopytek, AIA CARB, who is the author of a forthcoming history of the J.L. Hudson’s company, Hudson's: Detroit's World-Famous Department Store (Editions BK LLC), and the Chief Architect at Contour Companies, will discuss Contour Companies’ multi-faceted project to redevelop the Northland site. Their work will feature the adaptive reuse of the original J.L. Hudson’s building and other historic Northland structures and signature elements.

Book Beat, an independent bookstore located in Oak Park, Michigan, will have copies of Alexandra’s book, Meet Me by the Fountain, for sale at the Southfield Public Library throughout the evening.

Keynote Speaker

Alexandra Lange, Architecture and Design Critic and Author of Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall

Guest Speakers

Megan McAdow, Director, Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, Saginaw, Michigan
Bruce Kopytek, AIA NCARB, Chief Architect at Contour Companies, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


Deborah Lubera Kawsky, Art Historian and President, Docomomo US/Michigan

Presented by Docomomo US/Michigan in collaboration with the Southfield Public Library, the Southfield Historical Society, and Book Beat.


5:30pm – Refreshments
6:00pm – Presentations
7:15pm – Panel Discussion and Q&A


Seating is limited; advance registration required

Free and open to the public

For more information, contact Deborah Lubera Kawsky at

This event is part of Docomomo US Tour Day 2022.

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