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Big Box Reuse

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Big Box Reuse Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

America is becoming a container landscape of big boxes connected by highways. When a big box store upsizes to an even bigger box andquot;supercenterandquot; down the road, it leaves behind more than the vacant shell of a retail operation; it leaves behind a changed landscape that can't be changed back. Acres of land have been paved around it. Highway traffic comes to it; local roads end at it. With thousands of empty big box stores spread across America, these vistas have become a dominant feature of the American landscape.

In Big Box Reuse, Julia Christensen shows us how ten communities have addressed this problem, turning vacated Wal-Marts and Kmarts into something else: a church, a library, a school, a medical center, a courthouse, a recreation center, a museum, or other more civic-minded structures. In each case, what was once a shopping destination becomes a center of community life.

Christensen crisscrossed America identifying these projects, then photographed, videotaped, and interviewed the people involved. The first-person accounts and color photographs of Big Box Reuse reveal the hidden stories behind the transformation of these facades into gateways of community life. Whether a big box store becomes a andquot;Senior Resource Centerandquot; or a museum devoted to Spam (the kind that comes in a can), each renovation displays a community's resourcefulness and creativity--but also raises questions about how big box buildings affect the lives of communities. What does it mean for us and for the future of America if the spaces of commerce built by a few monolithic corporations become the sites where education, medicine, religion, and culture are dispensed wholesale to the populace?

Review:

"Since 1962, big-box stores of 20,000 to 28,000 square feet have dotted the American landscape, their 'bare-boned' appearance, according to artist Christensen, promising 'bare-boned bargains.' But after the box is vacated, sometimes after only a few years, a community is left with a decision about what to do with the structure. Christensen focuses on empty Wal-Mart and Kmart stores to discuss 10 imaginative and successful projects converting boxes into a library, a Head Start center and a senior resource center, among others. Charter schools have moved into empty big boxes, as have churches, for whom, Christensen says, the big box may be 'the revival tent of the twenty-first century.' Christensen's stories can become repetitive, but the themes she draws from her investigations carry conviction and a sense of urgency. She argues that eventual reuse should be a part of a big box's original design, and that information on reuse should be disseminated so municipalities can make informed decisions. But she also questions whether we should want a future landscape of renovated big box stores: 'We are what we build,' she says. 77 color photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

andlt;Pandgt;What happens to the landscape, to community, and to the population when vacated big box stores are turned into community centers, churches, schools, and libraries? andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

andlt;Pandgt;America is becoming a container landscape of big boxes connected by highways. When a big box store upsizes to an even bigger box andquot;supercenterandquot; down the road, it leaves behind more than the vacant shell of a retail operation; it leaves behind a changed landscape that can't be changed back. Acres of land have been paved around it. Highway traffic comes to it; local roads end at it. With thousands of empty big box stores spread across America, these vistas have become a dominant feature of the American landscape. In Big Box Reuse, Julia Christensen shows us how ten communities have addressed this problem, turning vacated Wal-Marts and Kmarts into something else: a church, a library, a school, a medical center, a courthouse, a recreation center, a museum, or other more civic-minded structures. In each case, what was once a shopping destination becomes a center of community life. Christensen crisscrossed America identifying these projects, then photographed, videotaped, and interviewed the people involved. The first-person accounts and color photographs of Big Box Reuse reveal the hidden stories behind the transformation of these facades into gateways of community life. Whether a big box store becomes a andquot;Senior Resource Centerandquot; or a museum devoted to Spam (the kind that comes in a can), each renovation displays a community's resourcefulness and creativity--but also raises questions about how big box buildings affect the lives of communities. What does it mean for us and for the future of America if the spaces of commerce built by a few monolithic corporations become the sites where education, medicine, religion, and culture are dispensed wholesale to the populace?andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

What happens to the landscape, to community, and to the population when vacated big box stores are turned into community centers, churches, schools, and libraries?

About the Author

Julia Christensen is an artist whose work has been featured in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, Preservation Magazine for the National Trust, and other publications; her art has been shown in galleries and museums nationwide. She is Henry R. Luce Visiting Professor of the Emerging Arts at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262033794
Author:
Christensen, Julia
Publisher:
The MIT Press
Author:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Department stores
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Public, Commercial, or Industrial Buildings
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Art & Politics
Subject:
U.S. Architecture - General
Subject:
Stores, retail
Subject:
Buildings - Public, Commercial & Industrial
Subject:
Stores, Retail - Remodeling for other use -
Subject:
Architecture-Types
Copyright:
Series:
Big Box Reuse
Publication Date:
20081010
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
91 color illus.
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
10 x 10 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Types
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General

Big Box Reuse Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Mit Press - English 9780262033794 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Since 1962, big-box stores of 20,000 to 28,000 square feet have dotted the American landscape, their 'bare-boned' appearance, according to artist Christensen, promising 'bare-boned bargains.' But after the box is vacated, sometimes after only a few years, a community is left with a decision about what to do with the structure. Christensen focuses on empty Wal-Mart and Kmart stores to discuss 10 imaginative and successful projects converting boxes into a library, a Head Start center and a senior resource center, among others. Charter schools have moved into empty big boxes, as have churches, for whom, Christensen says, the big box may be 'the revival tent of the twenty-first century.' Christensen's stories can become repetitive, but the themes she draws from her investigations carry conviction and a sense of urgency. She argues that eventual reuse should be a part of a big box's original design, and that information on reuse should be disseminated so municipalities can make informed decisions. But she also questions whether we should want a future landscape of renovated big box stores: 'We are what we build,' she says. 77 color photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Pandgt;What happens to the landscape, to community, and to the population when vacated big box stores are turned into community centers, churches, schools, and libraries? andlt;/Pandgt;
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Pandgt;America is becoming a container landscape of big boxes connected by highways. When a big box store upsizes to an even bigger box andquot;supercenterandquot; down the road, it leaves behind more than the vacant shell of a retail operation; it leaves behind a changed landscape that can't be changed back. Acres of land have been paved around it. Highway traffic comes to it; local roads end at it. With thousands of empty big box stores spread across America, these vistas have become a dominant feature of the American landscape. In Big Box Reuse, Julia Christensen shows us how ten communities have addressed this problem, turning vacated Wal-Marts and Kmarts into something else: a church, a library, a school, a medical center, a courthouse, a recreation center, a museum, or other more civic-minded structures. In each case, what was once a shopping destination becomes a center of community life. Christensen crisscrossed America identifying these projects, then photographed, videotaped, and interviewed the people involved. The first-person accounts and color photographs of Big Box Reuse reveal the hidden stories behind the transformation of these facades into gateways of community life. Whether a big box store becomes a andquot;Senior Resource Centerandquot; or a museum devoted to Spam (the kind that comes in a can), each renovation displays a community's resourcefulness and creativity--but also raises questions about how big box buildings affect the lives of communities. What does it mean for us and for the future of America if the spaces of commerce built by a few monolithic corporations become the sites where education, medicine, religion, and culture are dispensed wholesale to the populace?andlt;/Pandgt;
"Synopsis" by , What happens to the landscape, to community, and to the population when vacated big box stores are turned into community centers, churches, schools, and libraries?
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