The Real History of a Groundbreaking Dallas Shopping Center: Fifty Years of FashionBY Linden Wilson Jobe // 10.19.15
NorthPark Center's construction site, 1963
Raymond Nasher, Patsy Nasher, Mr. and Mrs. Morton Heller, and Mr. Howard Neilson, 1965
Dallas Symphony Orchestra conductor Donald Johanos and Raymond Nasher, 1966
Pop perfection in Peter Max's 1967 poster
Raymond Nasher, Henry Moore, Patsy Nasher
Roy Lichtenstein's Double Glass, 1980
Elizabeth Taylor charms the crowd at Neiman Marcus NorthPark, 1987.
The Nasher Sculpture Center in the Dallas Arts District
Roberto Cavalli at Fashion at the Park, October 2008
Tory Burch and Karen Katz at Fashion at the Park, November 2007
CONCEIVED BY RAYMOND AND PATSY NASHER AS A PLACE OF RETAIL EXCELLENCE AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE, NORTHPARK CENTER THRIVED FROM 1965 TO 1995 UNDER THEIR GUIDANCE. OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS, DAUGHTER NANCY A. NASHER AND HER HUSBAND, DAVID J. HAEMISEGGER, HAVE PROPELLED NORTHPARK INTO ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S TOP FIVE LUXURY SHOPPING DESTINATIONS, A PLACE WHERE FASHION AND ART COALESCE. WE TAKE A LOOK AT 50 FASHIONABLE YEARS.
Pre-NorthPark, the land five miles north of downtown Dallas is an expansive 97 acres of cotton fields leased to real-estate developer Raymond Nasher by the Hillcrest Foundation set up by the Caruth family. NorthPark’s architect is E.G. Hamilton, co-founder of the firm Omniplan; Hamilton receives a Lifetime of Achievement award from the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2013.
On August 18, the day before the official opening of NorthPark, Raymond and his wife, Patsy Nasher — wearing a Geoffrey Beene gown — celebrate with Mr. and Mrs. Morton Heller (Morton Heller was Raymond’s roommate at Duke University) and Mr. Howard Neilson. At the time, NorthPark was the world’s largest climate-controlled retail establishment.
￼￼￼Titche-Goettinger, one of NorthPark’s four original anchor stores (the others were Neiman Marcus, Woolworths and JC Penney), opens July 22. On hand to celebrate is the store’s president, Lee Starr. The space now houses Dillard’s but still features the mechanized 28-by-32-foot, two-ton door.
Neiman Marcus NorthPark, designed by Kevin Roche of Eero Saarinen and Associates with input from John Dinkeloo, opens on July 22. NorthPark Center, designed by architect E.G. Hamilton of Harrell & Hamilton (later Omniplan), opens on August 19.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs for the first time at NorthPark with conductor Donald Johanos.
A NorthPark multimedia event, which traveled the country and was organized by JC Penney, introduces the fashion of British designer Mary Quant with a promotional poster designed by artist and illustrator Peter Max.
￼NorthPark Gold, the center’s own shiny currency, is first introduced. Today, coins can be purchased in values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
Eiseman Jewels, one of NorthPark’s only remaining original tenants, has a countertop inside Titche-Goettinger (seen here) and later Frost Bros., before it moves into its own space in 1990.
Raymond and Patsy Nasher stand with sculptor Henry Moore outside NorthPark National Bank (now Comerica Bank) with his Working Model for Three Piece No. 3: Vertebrae, 1968. The sculpture — now on view at the Nasher Sculpture Center — was the prototype for Moore’s The Dallas Piece, 1978, which currently sits outside Dallas City Hall.
In celebration of NorthPark’s 20th anniversary, Raymond and Patsy Nasher install new art for a center-wide exhibition featuring 21 pieces, including Andy Warhol’s Ads, 1984; Barry Flanagan’s Large Leaping Hare, 1982; John Chamberlain’s Zaar, 1959; Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure: Angles, 1979; Roy Lichtenstein’s Double Glass, 1980; and Jonathan Borofsky’s Hammering Man, 1984 – 1985.
Elizabeth Taylor makes a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus NorthPark to promote her Passion fragrance.
Patsy Nasher, a longtime art collector who was instrumental in the creation of NorthPark, passes away in July.
Supermodel Linda Evangelista stars as the face of a NorthPark advertising campaign, appearing in ads, on billboards and in the shopping center’s directory.
Raymond Nasher sells his stake in NorthPark Center to his daughter, Nancy A. Nasher, and her husband, David J. Haemisegger, and begins investing $70 million to build the 55,000-square-foot Nasher Sculpture Center in 1995 downtown Dallas. Raymond and his late wife began their art collection in the early 1950s, eventually acquiring sculptures such as Jean Arp’s Torso with Buds, 1961, and Barbara Hepworth’s Squares with Two Circles, (Monolith), 1963, both currently on view at the sculpture center.
Farrah Fawcett films a scene outside Tiffany & Co. at NorthPark for Dr. T and the Women on November 20. The rom-com also features Richard Gere, Helen Hunt and Laura Dern.
The Trains at NorthPark holiday exhibit debuts and continues to draw thousands of nostalgic visitors.
The Nasher Sculpture Center opens on October 20. Located in the Dallas Arts District, the center is designed by architect Renzo Piano and landscape architect Peter Walker and houses one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculptures in the world.
NorthPark completes a $250 million expansion, adding 1.3 million square feet that 2006 includes the 1.4-acre Center Park garden and a state-of-the-art movie theater.The expansion is designed by Mark Dilworth of Omniplan, NorthPark’s original architectural firm, and brings the center’s total square footage to more than 2.2 million.
NorthPark’s first of four Fashion at the Park extravaganzas debuts in March. The four-day fête draws the ultimate who’s-who crowd for 15 spectacular shows from designers including Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo, all under a luxurious 19,000-square-foot tent. A second Fashion at the Park is held in November, with special appearances by Oscar de la Renta vice president (and stepdaughter) Eliza 2007 Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen, the brand’s CEO; Vogue’s Hamish Bowles; Isabel Toledo (at that time, designer of Anne Klein) and husband, Ruben Toledo (fashion illustrator).
￼Raymond Nasher passes away in March. He leaves behind an inimitable legacy, having forever changed the Dallas art and retail landscape.
Shopping Centers Today magazine names NorthPark one of the “7 Retail Wonders of the Modern World.”
NorthPark holds its third Fashion at the Park in March 2014, which culminates in a grand gala honoring Naeem Khan. During the fourth and final installment, in October, Roberto Cavalli makes a personal appearance to showcase his fall ￼￼￼￼collection, while Thakoon Panichgul, Peter Som and Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig attend a special runway presentation celebrating five years of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
NorthPark’s expansion accommodates a host of luxury brands, beginning with Michael Kors (the first store in the U.S.). Valentino, Cartier, Roberto Cavalli, Tod’s, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Gucci, Tory Burch, Tesla and Mulberry are soon to follow.
NorthPark celebrates a milestone 50 years with a philanthropic “Fifty Years of Giving” initiative, donating to 50 organizations from August 20 to October 28. The center also hosts an “Art Meets Fashion: 1965-2015” fashion exhibition through January 3, 2016, “Fifty Years of Fashion” runway event and the inaugural Dallas Symphony Orchestra.