Synopses & Reviews
After attaining classic stature with palaces erected in the early 20th century, the American department store continued to evolve in ways that were influenced by changes in business practices, shopping patterns, design approaches, and urban structure. This masterful and innovative history of a celebrated building type focuses on many of the nationand#8217;s greatest retail companiesand#8212;Marshall Fields, Lord and Taylor, Gimbeland#8217;s, Wanamakerand#8217;s, and Bullockand#8217;s, among othersand#8212;and the role they played in defining Americaand#8217;s cities.
Author Richard Longstreth traces the development and evolution of department stores from local, urban institutions to suburban entities in the nationand#8217;s sixty largest cities, showing how the stores underwent changes to adapt to dramatic economic and urban developments, including the decentralization from metropolitan areas, increased popularity of the automobile, and challenges from retail competitors on a national level. Extensively illustrated, this fascinating book offers a fundamental understanding of the transformation of Main Streets nationwide.
"Retail managers and shop-till-you-droppers alike will revel in Longstreth's ode to the American department store."and#8212;P. G. Kishel, CHOICE
"Through blindly crisp photographs, dreamy ads, and architectural renderings that could sell a world's fair, the hefty tome makes the medicine of understanding traffic control, merchandising, and city planning go down as deliciously as a fruit tart from the tea room."and#8212;Chris Nichols, Los Angeles Magazine - The Chic Leak Blog
". . . an essential source for understanding the department store and the regional mall in the twentieth century. . . . exhaustive research allows readers to have complete confidence in Longstreth's findings and to be persuaded that he has, more than any other scholar, captured the vast and complex landscape of department store growth in twentieth-century America."and#8212;William Littmann, Buildings and Landscapes
and#8220;The depth and range of research alone makes The American Department Store Transformed an essential source for understanding the department store and the regional mall in the twentieth century.and#8221; and#8212; Buildings and Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum
About the Author
Richard Longstreth is professor of American civilization and director of the graduate program in historic preservation at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.