Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pg. 99: Richard Longstreth's "The American Department Store Transformed"

Today's feature at the Page 99 Test: The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960 by Richard Longstreth.

About the book, from the publisher:
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 nation’s greatest retail companies—Marshall Fields, Lord and Taylor, Gimbel’s, Wanamaker’s, and Bullock’s, among others—and the role they played in defining America’s cities.

Author Richard Longstreth traces the development and evolution of department stores from local, urban institutions to suburban entities in the nation’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.
Learn more about The American Department Store Transformed at the Yale University Press website.

Richard Longstreth is Professor of American Studies and director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The Page 99 Test: The American Department Store Transformed.

--Marshal Zeringue