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I spent very little time in shopping malls during the first half of my life; they simply did not interest me. This did not stem from any nascent politics I can recall, but I found the places both boring and distracting. It was not until my first teaching job in the American Midwest that I rediscovered the mall. Most of my students had grown up in the suburbs, and the mall was second nature to them. My position about the mall was a matter of getting to see what they saw, viewing the mall as a legitimate place on anyone’s social map, but also as a place that was, like everything else, designed. As a conceived and constructed place, it was the site of conflicting motives, pasts, futures, and sensibilities. Writing this book has not pushed me to love or hate malls or other sites organized for consumption, but I continue to be fascinated by their spatial experience , by what Fredric Jameson in 1984 called (for the Bonaventure Hotel) a “constant busyness” matched with “packed . . . emptiness.” Perhaps it is unique to my generation, my ideological blinkers, or a particular thread in my profile, but I still find malls and the proliferation of quasi-public places like them to be slightly worrisome , more than a little strained, and all the more exciting for it. I am interested in malls not only as places of shopping but also as architecture, as places and representations drawn up by architects and circulated as part of architectural knowledge. This book has been in the works for more time than I would like to admit, and I owe thanks to many. Friends and colleagues who gave me things to think about include, first and foremost, Gabrielle Esperdy, whose insight, support, and humor have been vital. Ed Dimendberg has been a guiding spirit and an acute reader. Andy Shanken, Liz Hutchinson, Owen Gutfreund, Eric Mumford, Debra Fausch, and Nancy Levinson all shared ideas and methods. Early conversations with Jeff Hardwick helped spur my interest in Victor Gruen, and Robert Fishman has always been as fascinated with the mall as I. A special thanks to Mark Robbins for roping me into looking at “dead malls.” Leonard Groopman always lends a sympathetic ear. PREFACE A ND ACK N OWLEDGMENTS ix During my studies at Princeton University, I was fortunate to work with and learn from Alessandra Ponte, Georges Teyssot, Christine Boyer, Mark Wigley, Beatriz Colomina, Antoine Picon, Stani von Moos, and especially Dan Rodgers. Each, in his or her own inimitable way, impressed on me particular modes of thinking, seeing , and scrutinizing, all of which I still ponder. At Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, I had the benefit of learning from and then working with Richard Plunz, Robert Beauregard, and Gwendolyn Wright, who offer their time and knowledge on a regular basis. At Barnard College, Karen Fairbanks, the chair of my department, and RaleighElizabeth Smith were both supportive and good-humored about my progress through this book as I also struggled with the demands of full-time teaching. Many students assisted me in small and large ways; thanks much to Emily “Red” Samaniego, Stephen Davan, Stefie Gan, and Najim Kim. I had the pleasure of speaking with Norval White about his experiences as a young architect at Lathrop Douglass’s office. He laughed when recalling that shopping centers and supermarkets were done in a separate area from the “real” work. Alvin Ubell, now of Accurate Building Inspections (that is a plug), worked with Morris Ketchum and helped me get a sense of the man; Erik Furno also shared his thoughts about Ketchum’s office. Donna Ochenryder of Niles, Michigan, was uniquely helpful in gathering material about Morris Ketchum’s modernization of the town’s main street, as well as later information about redesign and restoration. Niles has seen it all. Many people gave me their time, knowledge, and e-mail addresses, some for just a few minutes and others for days and weeks. They constitute this book’s infrastructure , on which I heavily depended. Many thanks to K. C. McCrory, PPG Industries, Inc.; Marjorie McNinch, Hagley Museum and Library; Nancy Dean, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University; Karen M. Widi, library and records manager, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Carolyn Davis, Peter D. Verheyen, and Jonathan Jackson, Syracuse University Library; Mary Daniels, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; Malgosia Myc, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan; Michelle Klose, Local History...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816684212
Related ISBN
9780816679300
MARC Record
OCLC
867741885
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2013-11-28
Language
English
Open Access
No
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