City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950
Ten years in the making, City Center to Regional Mall is a sweeping yet detailed account of the development of the regional shopping center. Richard ... Show synopsis Ten years in the making, City Center to Regional Mall is a sweeping yet detailed account of the development of the regional shopping center. Richard Longstreth takes a historical perspective, relating retail development to broader architectural, urban, and cultural issues. His story is far from linear; the topics he covers include the emergence of Hollywood as a downtown in miniature, experiments with the shopping center as an amenity of planned residential developments, the branch department store as a landmark of decentralization, the evolution of off-street parking facilities, and the obscure origins of the pedestrian mall as a spine for retail complexes. Longstreth takes seriously the task of looking at retail buildings - one of the most neglected yet common of building types - and at the economics of real estate in the American city. He shows that Los Angeles in the period covered was a harbinger of American metropolitan trends during the second half of this century. Over 250 illustrations, culled from a wide variety of sources, constitute one of the best collections of old LA photographs published anywhere.