Dadeland Mall

When it opened on October 1, 1962, on Kendall Drive off U.S. 1, Dadeland was dubbed ‘deadland’ because North Kendall Drive, which passes in front of it, was branded “The Road to Nowhere.” Built as an open-air strip center, Dadeland started up at 400,000 square feet with 62 merchants, including Burdines as its only anchor. But Miami-Dade’s explosive population growth along with the construction of thousands of affordable units of tract housing, the opening of the Palmetto Expressway, the expansion of Kendall Drive into a four-lane highway and the appearance of important community institutions, like Baptist Hospital, radically transformed ”horse country” into a flourishing community. Dadeland became a thriving retail outlet. By the end of the 1960s, a rapidly expanding Dadeland was enclosed and converted to a mall. By the 1970s, Kendall had become Miami-Dade’s fastest growing community, with this trend accelerating in the 1980s. In the ’90s, Dadeland Mall was the busiest shopping mall in the continental United States.

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