Friday, January 25, 2008

The Rise and Fall of the Shopping Mall

The December issue of The Economist ran a great story about the history, the rise and eventual fall of the modern shpping mall.
Here's an excerpt:
"America now has some 1,100 enclosed shopping malls, according to the International Council of Shopping Centres. Clones have appeared from Chennai to Martinique. Yet the mall's story is far from triumphal. Invented by a European socialist who hated cars and came to deride his own creation, it has a murky future. While malls continue to multiply outside America, they are gradually dying in the country that pioneered them."

Ironically the creator of the modern American mall had designed malls to replicate European shopping and civic districts where the community whould shop, eat and discuss the issues of the day. To read the entire article, click here.

Closer to home in Baltimore, many area malls have died recently and have been reconverted into "Avenues" where chain retail stores now face out onto an internal street with angled parking, mimicking a small town's main street. Often times these "Avenues" that are beautifully landscaped have internal roads that lead back to an expressway and are surrounded by a sea of parking. Check out "The Avenue at White Marsh" and "The Hunt Valley Town Centre"

1 comment:

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