City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950

City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950

by Richard Longstreth

Hardcover

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Overview

Winner of the Lewis Mumford Prize for Best Book Published in American City & Regional Planning History 1995-1997

From the 1920s to the 1950s, Los Angeles did for the shopping center what New York and Chicago had done for the skyscraper. In a single generation, the American retail center shifted from the downtown core to the regional shopping center. This rise of the regional shopping center is one of the most significant changes to the American city in the twentieth century, and no other American city has done as much as Los Angeles to spur that change.

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 an 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 building types--and 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 LAphotographs published anywhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262122009
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 04/04/1997
Pages: 536
Product dimensions: 7.92(w) x 11.34(h) x 1.52(d)

Table of Contents

I THE PERILS OF A PARKLESS TOWN
3(16)
Metropolis
6(3)
Settlement
9(4)
Automobiles
13(6)
II THE PROBLEM SOLVED
19(38)
Skyscrapers
20(4)
Department Stores
24(10)
Expansion
34(9)
Parking
43(14)
III WESTWARD HO FOR BUSINESS
57(24)
Origins
58(5)
Development
63(8)
Chain Stores
71(6)
Boom
77(4)
IV HOLLYWOOD--LOS ANGELES'S OTHER HALF
81(22)
Aladdin Cities
82(1)
Stores
83(6)
Business Diversity
89(5)
Promotion
94(2)
Struggle
96(7)
V FABULOUS BOULEVARD
103(40)
Transformation
104(8)
Bullock's
112(15)
Miracle Mile
127(16)
VI A GUARANTEED NEIGHBORHOOD
143(34)
Precedents
145(8)
Palos Verdes
153(6)
Westwood Village
159(18)
VII A HINDRANCE TO BUSINESS
177(22)
Beverly Hills
178(7)
Main Street
185(14)
VIII HOLD ON!
199(22)
Remodeling
201(9)
Parking
210(5)
Predicament
215(6)
IX MARKETS IN THE MEADOWS
221(48)
Market Conditions
223(3)
Department Stores
226(1)
Crenshaw Center
227(11)
Westchester
238(10)
Design
248(7)
Valley Plaza
255(14)
X GRASS ON MAIN STREET
269(38)
Shopping Courts
273(13)
Experiments
286(10)
Models
296(11)
XI NO AUTOMOBILE EVER BOUGHT A THING
307
Emergence
309(3)
Stein
312(11)
Gruen
323(9)
Realization
332(3)
Lakewood Center
335(6)
Sequels
341
Acknowledgments ix(4)
Introduction xiii(8)
Maps
xxi
Afterword 349(4)
Notes 353(14)
Bibliographical Note 467(6)
Index 473

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"[A]n engaging look at the neglected history of retail architecture and its relationship to the automobile." Mary Marien ,Christian Science Monitor

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