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Gruen designed some of the first malls and many pedestrian malls in the late 50s and 60s. This was his synopsis of all that is wrong with America, as seen at the height of suburban flight when there were no centers to the miles of residential houes. Cool ideas about utilitarian functions and peoples use of space. He hated the decentralization and sprawl and one solution was to create new centers where people could socialize and experience culture together. Ironically this was the mall, which he ...more
An interesting read, and much less dry than you'd think it would be. A little sad, as few of his optimistic hopes for the future of the revitalized city ended up coming true--partially derailed by the mercenary bastardizations of his dream city core, the ubiquitous shopping mall.