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The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960

The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960

by Richard Longstreth


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After attaining classic stature with palaces erected in the early 20th century, the American department store continued to evolve in ways that were influenced by changes in business practices, shopping patterns, design approaches, and urban structure. This masterful and innovative history of a celebrated building type focuses on many of the nation’s greatest retail companies—Marshall Fields, Lord and Taylor, Gimbel’s, Wanamaker’s, and Bullock’s, among others—and the role they played in defining America’s cities.

Author Richard Longstreth traces the development and evolution of department stores from local, urban institutions to suburban entities in the nation’s sixty largest cities, showing how the stores underwent changes to adapt to dramatic economic and urban developments, including the decentralization from metropolitan areas, increased popularity of the automobile, and challenges from retail competitors on a national level. Extensively illustrated, this fascinating book offers a fundamental understanding of the transformation of Main Streets nationwide.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300149388
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 06/22/2010
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 11.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard Longstreth is professor of American civilization and director of the graduate program in historic preservation at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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