Pedestrian Modern: Shopping And American Architecture, 1925-1956 by David SmileyPedestrian Modern: Shopping And American Architecture, 1925-1956 by David Smiley

Pedestrian Modern: Shopping And American Architecture, 1925-1956

byDavid Smiley

Paperback | July 10, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info

$45.44 online 
$45.50 list price
Earn 227 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 3-5 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


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.

David Smiley teaches at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.
Title:Pedestrian Modern: Shopping And American Architecture, 1925-1956Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.7 inPublished:July 10, 2013Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816679304

ISBN - 13:9780816679300

Look for similar items by category:


Table of 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


Selected Bibliography