Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mall Reader Bookshelf

People have been requesting that I do something like this for a while now, so I'm finally getting around to it. Here's the first offering, with many more to come. Hope these picks prove interesting or useful to someone out there.

Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream
by M. Jeffrey Hardwick

New York Times, Book Review, June 27, 2004
"An insightful account...Gruen believed that the self-contained mall would become 'the center of cultural activities and recreation.'"

Malcom Gladwell, The New Yorker, March 15, 2004
"Victor Gruen may well have been the most influential architect of the twentieth century. He invented the mall."

Amazon reviewer:
"A great read and remarkable that no one has written about Gruen before now. if American retail and architecture is your thing, this is a must have. Hardwick captures Gruen in an objective light, in his time, for the reader to judge."

Amazon reviewer:
"My first true mall shopping was done in a Gruen mall, although I was quite unaware at the time, of the fascinating story behind this complex man and his vision for America's public spaces. Thanks to this engaging work by Hardwick, I now feel enlightened as I prowl the mall that Gruen built. You don't need to be an architect or a social scientist to enjoy this book because the author makes the subject approachable for the inner shopper in everyone."


Anonymous Paul said...

So funny -- I just got my copy of mall maker from Amazon today -- used a gift card I got for x-mas. Can't wait to read it. I've posted before -- grew up in rochester, ny... loved midtown plaza so much... hope that the book covers it a little.

thanks for the great blog!

Thu Jan 26, 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie O. said...

OMG! Such a cool book. I wish the author was a tad less dry (and did he strike anyone as quite judgemental of Gruen? Golly!) but I was really amazed at how much Gruen changed.. well, retail in total!

Mon Mar 13, 12:52:00 AM  
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