The death and life of great American strip malls
Manning, Matthew Joseph
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The ‘strip mall’ first became recognizable as a distinct typology in the years following the Second World War. Since that time, it has been a subject of considerable debate, as public opinion has ranged from appreciation to antipathy. Much has been written concerning its role in American culture, but the strip mall has never been seriously considered in the context of historic preservation. This work examines the origins of the strip mall, its present role, and the adequacy of existing methods for its evaluation and preservation. In the process, issues commonly facing resources of the ‘recent past’ are addressed, and the current treatment of the strip mall and other such resources is further investigated. Recommendations for the appropriate management of the strip mall are made based on an analysis of the preservation tools available and the consideration of conservation challenges unique to the typology.