New from The Atlantic: Because place matters.

The Mall of America

Ian Frazier

On visiting the nation's largest mall, Ian Frazier reflects on how modern shopping environments turn the American scene into a place more limited than ever before. "Buildings that differed from the Mall of America only in size spread across the landscape all around," he writes, "close enough to one another that a person wearing half-league boots could jump from one roof to the next for mile after mile--from the Mall of America to the vast Sportsmart store to Office Depot to Old Navy to Toys 'R Us to Target, pausing finally at yet another local mall, the Southdale Shopping Center, the world's first enclosed shopping mall, built in 1956 by a Minneapolis department-store owner in order to provide comfortable indoor shopping during the cold Minnesota winters." The existential meaning of malls is his larger subject, and it has never been so entertainingly explored.

Continue to story >>

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus
The Florida Report - An 8-part video series with Richard Florida The Burden of Home Ownership

The Burden of Home Ownership

Part 8: Richard Florida argues that Americans need to get over their obsession with real estate More in the series »

The Path to Recovery

The Path to Recovery

The rise of megaregions, the decline of home ownership, the shift away from a car culture - these are among the nation's responses to today's economic turmoil. Adapted from Richard Florida's new book, The Great Reset. More »

High Speed Rail All Aboard!

The future of train travel, with The Atlantic's Derek Thompson