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The Mall Celebrates a Big Birthday

To trace the origins of the mall, one must travel back to the mid-1950's, when an Austrian-born architect (who, ironically, detested the suburbs) gave the United States the prototype in Edina, Minnesota. Enormous, enclosed shopping centers surrounded by enormous, unenclosed parking lots soon swept into the suburbs nation-wide. The mall building boom crescendoed in 1990, when 19 opened in the U.S. The subsequent demise of the mall at the hand of a variety of forces- including the real estate crash, Great Recession and population patterns- has been reported on for years now. But in examining the history and glum future of malls as they currently exist, this piece from The Atlantic Cities also identifies the opportunities offered in the re-purposing these structures, which could belatedly honor the original intent of their creator. [The Atlantic Cities]