In 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad selected the south shore of Commencement Bay as the terminus of its transcontinental line. Connected to, but independent of the railroad, the Tacoma Land Company created a city adjacent to the terminus. By the early years of the 20th century, downtown Tacoma was the place to go for a wide array of activities from retail shopping and government activity to entertainment. Streetcars, and then automobiles, contributed to the ever-changing vitality of people and place. After the late 1960s, when developers constructed a mall south of the central core, city planners created a new type of urban experience centered on amenities designed to lure tourists and Tacomans alike.