Shopping Town: Designing The City In Suburban America by Victor GruenShopping Town: Designing The City In Suburban America by Victor Gruen

Shopping Town: Designing The City In Suburban America

byVictor GruenEditorAnette Baldauf

Hardcover | May 30, 2017

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Victor Gruen was one of the twentieth century’s most influential architects and is regarded as the father of the U.S. shopping mall. In spring 1979, less than a year before his death, he began reconstructing his life story. Now available in English for the first time, Shopping Town is the long overdue account of a man whose work fundamentally altered the course of city development. 

Shopping Town opens in Vienna in 1938 with the Anschluss—the turning point in Gruen’s life—as he narrowly escaped the Nazi regime. A few years later, in the suburbs of postwar America, the Jewish refugee sought to reproduce the vitality of Vienna’s city center and invented the commercial apparatus now known as the shopping mall. Gruen’s Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota, was the first fully enclosed shopping center in America. He then translated the concept to economically neglected city centers, setting the path for pedestrian zones and fighting passionately for an urban ideal without compromise. 

Highlighting Gruen’s sense of humor as well as reflections on the complex forces that sustained the postwar transformation of American cities, Shopping Town embeds Gruen’s experiences and perspectives in a wider social and political context while helping us understand his problematic place in American architectural culture. With afterwords by his son and daughter, Shopping Town closes with Anette Baldauf’s richly insightful essay on the legacy of Victor Gruen.

Victor Gruen (1903–1980) was an architect and planner who specialized in a range of retail landscapes. He was the author of The Heart of Our Cities and Shopping Towns USA. Anette Baldauf is professor of epistemology and methodology at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria. She is the author or coauthor of several books in German.
Title:Shopping Town: Designing The City In Suburban AmericaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.9 inPublished:May 30, 2017Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1517902096

ISBN - 13:9781517902094


Table of Contents

Preface: Why Victor Gruen?
Anette Baldauf
Book Project
Victor Gruen
1. Vienna 1938
2. Flashback
3. Discovering America
4. The Big Breakthrough
5. The Storm
6. Architectura
7. Environmental Planning
Michael Gruen
More About My Mother
Peggy Gruen
Consumed? The Heritage of Victor Gruen
Anette Baldauf

Editorial Reviews

"Gruen offers readers insight into one of the most significant cultural and economic powerhouses of the mid-century: the suburban shopping mall."—New York-Pennsylvania Collector