Malls are the American version of the European Square.

File this under culture. 

Malls are really nothing more than a corrupted socialistic scheme. That's right, the concept of the mall was originally designed to be a community center, similarly to the plazas and squares of Europe. They were designed to be an answer to capitalistic American sprawl by a socialist architect, Victor Gruen, (he hated outward facing storefronts destroying the beauty of America) who had hoped to build a center-city or square (the mall), surrounded by homes to create communities similar to the European style . Instead, his vision became isolated islands of capitalism, where nearby neighborhoods were replaced with parking-lots.

Most Americans would recognize Gruen's work from Epcot at Disney. His designs promised the city of the Future, and are continued under Disney's development arm, often referred to as Project X. Celebration, Florida is an example of Gruen's work.

In a sense, America corrupted a socialist's idea of modern capitalism, and distorted it into what it is today. Instead of being a social gathering point for American's living in their own little boxes, it became completely the opposite of what it was meant to be.

Another interesting fact? The Mall of America is owned by Canadians.


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