A deep exploration of modern life that examines our cities, public places, and homes
Following How Architecture Works, Witold Rybczynski casts a seasoned critical eye over the modern scene with Mysteries of the Mall. His subject is nothing less than the broad setting of our metropolitan world.
In thirty-five discerning essays, Rybczynski ranges over subjects as varied as shopping malls, Central Park, the Paris opera house, and America's shrinking cities. Along the way, he examines our post-9/11 obsession with security, the revival of the big-city library, the rise of college towns, and our fascination with vacation homes, and he visits Disney's planned community of Celebration. By looking at contemporary architects as diverse as Frank Gehry, Moshe Safdie, and Bing Thom, revisiting old masters such as Christopher Wren, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright, and considering such unsung innovators as Stanley H. Durwood, the inventor of the Cineplex, Rybczynski ponders the role of global cities in an age of tourism and what places attract us in the modern city.
Mysteries of the Mall is required reading for anyone curious about the modern world and how it came to be that way.