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How One Very Tall Christmas Tree Saved Northgate Mall

Courtesy of C.R. Douglas
The world's tallest christmas tree was at Northgate Mall in 1950.

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

Back in 1950, Northgate Mall was just opening its doors. It was struggling to get off its feet and fill empty shops. Big local retailers like Nordstrom and Friedlander didn’t believe that a regional shopping center all the way up north could survive. At that time, downtown was where people went to shop.  

Jim Douglas set out to change this. Douglas helped launch major city legacies like SeaFair and the World’s Fair, but his crowning achievement was saving Northgate.

He ran Northgate Mall from 1949 to 1976. In the mall’s early days, he saved it with the help of one very tall Christmas tree.  

Douglas died in 2005 at the age of 95. However, he shared his stories with his young cousin, C.R. Douglas. Today, C.R. is a political analyst for Q13 News.

Sound Effect host Jennifer Wing sat down in front of Northgate Mall with C.R. to talk about how Jim and this impossibly tall tree, turned things around for the struggling mall in 1950.