Shopping Malls – United States

Thanks to wirehunt for this link.

### Jul 13, 2012
Urban Wonk
The Shopping Mall Turns 60 (and Prepares to Retire)
By Emily Badger
The enclosed suburban shopping mall has become so synonymous with the American landscape that it’s hard to imagine the original idea for it ever springing from some particular person’s imagination. Now the scheme seems obvious: of course Americans want to amble indoors in a million square feet of air-conditioned retail, of course we will need a food court because so much shopping can’t be done without meal breaks, and of course we will require 10,000 parking spaces ringing the whole thing to accommodate all our cars. The classic indoor mall, however, is widely credited with having an inventor. And when the Vienna-born architect Victor Gruen first outlined his vision for it in a 1952 article in the magazine Progressive Architecture, the plan was a shocker. Most Americans were still shopping downtown, and suburban “shopping centers”, to the extent they existed, were most definitely not enclosed in indoor mega-destinations.

At the mall’s peak popularity, in 1990, America opened 19 of them. But we haven’t cut the ribbon on a new one since 2006.

Gruen’s idea transformed American consumption patterns and much of the environment around us. At age 60, however, the enclosed regional shopping mall also appears to be an idea that has run its course (OK, maybe not in China, but among Gruen’s original clientele). He opened the first prototype in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956, and the concept spread from there (this also means the earliest examples of the archetypal American mall are now of age for historic designation, if anyone wants to make that argument).
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● Emily Badger is a contributing writer to The Atlantic Cities. She also writes for Pacific Standard, and her work has appeared in GOOD, The Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

Southdale (b.1956) two overlays – WAI Architecture Think Tank

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

12 responses to “Shopping Malls – United States

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Jul 2012
    Sydney shopping centre ‘in danger of collapse’
    A major Sydney shopping centre remains unstable and is in danger of collapsing further in a “domino effect” that could send debris flying hundreds of metres. Retailers have been kept out of the building in Sydney’s southeast, and surrounding roads remained closed on Tuesday evening after the collapse of a nine-metre steel pole that supported the carpark roof. Emergency services were called to Westfield Eastgardens, in Pagewood, at 7am and 500 to 600 people were evacuated from the shopping centre in Sydney’s south. Nobody was hurt. Police said the collapse could have been disastrous if it had happened just a few hours later when shops were open. Firefighters are worried that the entire building could collapse if the concrete panels above the shops move, creating a domino effect. AAP
    Read more

  2. Hype O'Thermia
    Hilary Calvert, of Dunedin, believes Dunedin City Council returns from the Wall Street mall are much less than ratepayers have been led to believe.

  3. JimmyJones

    I hope she does, Elizabeth. Hilary would make a good change from what we have now. Councillor wanna-be, Aaron Hawkins is always looking for an opportunity to use the word “Neo-Liberal”. This his favourite type of scapegoat, but none of the current councillors fit the profile. He would be satisfied with Councillor Hilary Calvert, though. No doubt the two have different politics, but I think the main difference is that Aaron makes a lot of noise, but doesn’t have a deep understanding of the issues. Hilary would be the one that reads the reports and asks the hard questions. Anyone that can say no to the “bug-eyed hippy-new-age-greeny cyclists and the organised cycling lobbyists” would be a big improvement, however.

    • JimmyJones, I asked the question by autoreflex, but now that you put it that way. Yes! Hilary should front as a candidate, she’d get in this year. Aaron’s statements of late are most disappointing; at times he appears to side with the lesser Greater Dunedin seesaw weak-knee behaviours. That simply won’t do. Even Cr Bezett would eat him for breakfast.

      • Hilary Calvert would be the sort of gal to give Lee Vandervis not only a run for his money in council, but also provide practical voting support on issues of mutual interest and benefit to ratepayers. It may not have worked out in the House for her on the MMP lists via ACT, but she could definitely perform well in local government – and with her business and legal expertise she’s the one to push Kate Wilson aside as Chair of Planning and Environment. Hooray! I was becoming more than slightly depressed (April is frightfully close to October) that no-one could pull that off, but……
        I doubt I would support Hilary 100% if she decided to stand, but she is feisty and capable of rigour. That’s greatly to her credit in the Dunedin political desert.

  4. Peter

    I think both Hilary and Aaron would be good candidates. They are both intelligent and not afraid to ask hard questions…. and demand answers.The fact that they seem to be at both ends of the political spectrum doesn’t concern me. Gerry Eckhoff, a former ACT MP, not the political type I usually would support, is fearless and no brown nose. He thinks independently. We need people like this on both councils, not wannabes who just want a job/income stream and any opportunity to hoover up goodies at morning/afternoon teas provided by others.

    • Peter, if Aaron campaigns strongly and ticks some particularly hard boxes – given the current situation with DCC finances and the post stadium ‘meltdown’, then he stands a good chance of support. He’ll have to go wider than support to art and culture that involves spending money this council does not have. Let’s see what he brings to these next months. He’s in the picture.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    Wasn’t there rather a hint of suck-up about Aaron recently? A touch of “Sir sir pick me sir , I’ll stay behind and clean the dusters sir.”

  6. Phil

    Just a minor correction to Hilary’s article in so far as the two upper floors (on the original design) were deleted as a result to discussions with City Planning prior to the consent process. They were only going to be car parking levels anyway, with City Property building new offices for themselves on the top floor, overlooking Filleul Street. Neither here nor there today.

  7. Phil

    I wonder if the staff costs are included in the Mall expenses. Originally those staff were employed as City Property staff, reporting to Rhonda Abercrombie. If that is still the case then their costs are hidden under the general DCC wages bill.

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