Mysteries of the Mall: And Other Essays (Hardcover)

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A deep exploration of modern life that examines our cities, public places, and homes

In Mysteries of the Mall, Witold Rybczynski, the author of How Architecture Works, casts a seasoned critical eye on the modern scene. His subject is nothing less than the broad setting of our metropolitan world.

In thirty-four discerning essays, Rybczynski ranges over topics as varied as shopping malls, Central Park, the Op ra Bastille, 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, our fascination with vacation homes, and 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 Palladio, 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 metropolises in an age of tourism and reflects on what kinds of places attract us in the modern city.

Mysteries of the Mall is required reading for anyone curious about the contemporary world and how it came to be the way it is.

About the Author


Witold Rybczynski has written about architecture for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate. Among his award-winning books are Home, The Most Beautiful House in the World, and A Clearing in the Distance, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. He is the winner of a 2014 National Design Award, and is an emeritus professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780374269937
ISBN-10: 0374269939
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September 8th, 2015
Pages: 336
Language: English