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Pedestrian modern : shopping and American architecture, 1925-1956

Author: David J Smiley
Publisher: Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [2013] ©2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Too close to the wiles and calculations of consumption, stores and shopping centers are generally relegated to secondary, pedestrian status in the history of architecture. And yet, throughout the middle decades of the twentieth century, stores and shopping centers were an important locus of modernist architectural thought and practice. Under the mantle of modernism, the merchandising problems and possibilities of  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David J Smiley
ISBN: 9780816679294 0816679290 9780816679300 0816679304
OCLC Number: 816563798
Description: xi, 357 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Contents: Preface and Acknowledgments --
Introduction: Centers and Peripheries --
1. The Store Problem --
2. Machines for Selling --
3. Park and Shop --
4. Pedestrianization Takes Command --
5. The Cold War Pedestrian --
6. The Language of Modern Shopping --
Conclusion: Pedestrian Modern Futures --
Notes --
Bibliography --
Index.
Responsibility: David Smiley.

Abstract:

"Too close to the wiles and calculations of consumption, stores and shopping centers are generally relegated to secondary, pedestrian status in the history of architecture. And yet, throughout the middle decades of the twentieth century, stores and shopping centers were an important locus of modernist architectural thought and practice. Under the mantle of modernism, the merchandising problems and possibilities of main streets, cities, and suburbs became legitimate--if also conflicted--responsibilities of the architectural profession. In Pedestrian Modern, David Smiley reveals how the design for places of consumption informed emerging modernist tenets. The architect was viewed as a coordinator and a site planner--modernist tropes particularly well suited to merchandising. Smiley follows this development from the twenties and thirties, when glass and transparency were equated with modernist rationality; to the forties, when cities and congestion presented considerable hurdles for shopping district design and, at the same time, when modern concerns about the pedestrian deeply affected city and neighborhood planning; to the early fifties, when both urban shopping districts and suburban shopping centers became large-scale modernist undertakings. Although interpreting the tools and principles of modernism, designs for shopping never quite shed the specter of consumption. Tracing the history of architecture's relationship with retail environments during a time of significant transformation in urban centers and in open suburban landscapes, Smiley expands and qualifies the making of American modernism."--

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