In the beginning there was Thruway…

In the beginning there was Thruway…

North Carolina Room -- Forsyth County Public Library

Aerial57

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Like most things, shopping centers and malls are nothing new. In ancient Greece, every city had an open space near the center known as the agora where merchants could display and sell their wares. About 2,000 years ago, the Roman Emperor Trajan built a shopping center in his forum. It was semicircular and multilevel, with vaulted ceilings and contained bars and restaurants as well as shops.

Trajan'sMarket

Trajan’s market center

In 1907, a group of Baltimore merchants took a step toward the modern shopping center when they established a common off-street free parking area for their customers. The first suburban shopping center in the US, Country Club Plaza, was established by J.C. Nichols in Kansas City in 1922. But by the end of World War II, there were still no suburban centers in North Carolina.

CountryClubPlaza

The Messick family was involved in the grocery business…

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