The Ephemeral Shopping Mall

Harundale Mall, one of the first enclosed malls built in the country, is now a strip mall. This article contains an examination of its somber decline and the direction in which Harundale--and other malls--may be headed next.
October 3, 2008, 9am PDT | Judy Chang
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"It is ironic that Rouse's project ended up as a strip mall, said Joshua Olsen, who wrote a biography of the developer, because he had envisioned Harundale Mall as an antidote to the aesthetically and socially impoverished strip shopping center.

'It's strange to talk about the community and malls, but that's very much what he wanted to do is create a place where people could gather and at least rub elbows,' Olsen said."

"People may say they like [strip retail centers], but such boosters may be unaware of the alternatives, [Ed McMahon, senior resident fellow for sustainable development at the Urban Land Institute] said. He imagines that many strip malls will go through transformations to become friendlier to residents, transit and pedestrians.

Michael Beyard, also a fellow at the Urban Land Institute, agreed. 'We think that, slowly, communities will recognize that these older strips have outlived their usefulness,' he said. 'There could be opportunity there.'"

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Published on Thursday, October 2, 2008 in The Baltimore Sun
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