Shopping Town: Designing the City in Suburban America [revised edition]
Victor Gruen was one of the twentieth century’s most influential architects and is regarded as the father of the U.S. shopping mall. In spring 1979, less than a year before his death, he began reconstructing his life story. Now available in English for the first time, Shopping Town is the long overdue account of a man whose work fundamentally altered the course of city development. Shopping Town opens in Vienna in 1938 with the Anschluss—the turning point in Gruen’s life—as he narrowly escaped the Nazi regime. A few years later, in the suburbs of postwar America, the Jewish refugee sought to reproduce the vitality of Vienna’s city center and invented the commercial apparatus now known as the shopping mall. Gruen’s Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota, was the first fully enclosed shopping center in America. He then translated the concept to economically neglected city centers, setting the path for pedestrian zones and...
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