Friday, October 27, 2006

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

Malls: Death of an American icon
The shopping mall is headed the way of the drive-in
movie and the eight-track. What's replacing it?

CNN/Money - July 24, 2003
By Sarah Max

(Excerpt) If you spent your formative years at the local shopping mall sipping Orange Julius and hanging out near the ubiquitous water fountain, you might be sad to learn that the mall as you know it is headed toward extinction.

Even former mall rats seem to think there are better ways to spend a weekend than wandering through the windowless vestibules of a non-descript mall, shopping in tired department stores and eating food court fare.

After turning our backs on Main Street and fleeing to the suburbs, Americans are looking for a sense of place. We're fixing up houses in the older parts of town and spending more of our free time in newly-revived downtowns. And when we want to do serious shopping, we head to upscale mega-malls and big-box stores such as Costco, Home Depot and Target, even if it means driving a little farther.

Read the full article here.


Anonymous didi said...

There is nothing terrific about anything described in this article.

Fri Oct 27, 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

The "New Urbanism" is not taking place in the traditional downtown areas. There is nothing anyone is going to do to get people to consitently come to the downtowns of Bridgeport, Newark and other Northeast failed cities.

You are seeing the new urbanism in places like Henderson, Nevada's "The District" where an urban setting was created on vacant land. While this area is very nice, it is not a true downtown and it is not public land.
Remember, the free speech function that the real downtowns or town greens came with does not exist on private property. The owners of these "new downtowns" can keep out any groups or messages they do not agree with.

This article is a typical CNN rehash of lite news. The only good thing about it is that it mentioned


Fri Oct 27, 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dug the piece myself. Anything about malls is a-ok in my book. Interesting read.

Fri Oct 27, 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest we forget, malls did to city centers what Wal-Mart is currently doing to small-town retail centers. They helped to kill off downtown shopping districts, increasingly closed themselves off to mom and pop businesses and helped to usher in the era of soulless chains. And all without having to foster any of that pesky free speech.

So yes let's please celebrate the classic architecture and design of the malls that deserve it, but let's not put on the rose-colored glasses tinted so heavily that we can't actually see out of them. :)

Sat Oct 28, 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Well, surely you're not suggesting that anyone here would ever do that? ;)

Btw, that's partly why I shared that article--to look at this from a different, more cynical angle for a change.

And I agree, Anonymous #1. :)

Sat Oct 28, 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cora said...

It's not "New Urbanism", it's "Faux Urbanism". Build some faux mediterranean or Mexican villages with fake stucco and plaster fountains and call it a new downtown. But these places are not new downtowns, the actual downtowns are still as dead as they have been the past thirty to forty years. At least the old malls had character. These new lifestyle things are just fake recreations of some urban neverneverland. Plus, it's real easy to keep the less savoury aspects of true urbanity out.

Sat Oct 28, 06:19:00 PM  

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