Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

A Pall Over the Suburban Mall
Burlington, Vt., defeats a competing shopping center

TIME Magazine - Time Inc. - Nov 13, 1978

They had glamorous names like the Miracle Mile, Fashion Island and Greenacres. Away from decaying downtowns, offering ample parking space, often lined with shaded walkways, they were gleaming oases of retail chic among the growing, monotonous tracts of ranches and split-levels that spread out from the nation's cities after World War II. Now, more than a generation after the first sprawling shopping centers began sprouting up in suburbia, these great concrete meccas of merchandising are coming under increasing attack.

Many of the malls were convenient, innovative and handsome. Indeed, the shopping center became a glittering symbol of a modern, efficient America. But even some of its early promoters have had a change of heart. Architect Victor Gruen, who designed suburban Detroit's Northland and Eastland, Chicago's Randhurst and Philadelphia's Cherry Hill, as well as other successful shopping centers, is disillusioned with the ugliness and fast-buck approach of many projects. Says he: "I refuse to pay alimony for those bastard developments."

Read the full article here.


Blogger Cora said...

If they really want to save downtown shopping districts, they're approx. forty years too late, because especially the smaller US towns often have no real downtown to speak of.

For better or for worse, suburban shopping malls killed downtowns all over the US. It's a done deal, there's nothing that can be done to change it. And considering the extreme climate in many parts of the US, indoor malls are actually a perfect solution.

And there are better solutions for the problem of energy consumption than closing down malls altogether. How about organizing a regular bus line to the local mall in order to deal with the traffic problem? Using low energy bulbs for interior lighting. Don't turn the air conditioning quite so low or have better insulation, so the interiors keep cool longer. Solar panels on the roofs, etc...

Thu Oct 26, 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

Oops, just realized that this article is 28 years old. Funny how people were complaining about high energy prices even then.

My suggestions still stand, however.

Thu Oct 26, 07:05:00 PM  

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