Originally Posted by dalesun
Mid-20th-century car-focused redevelopment lost that broader civic focus on the "metropolitan realm."
In DC, this resulted in things like closing 4th Street SW to build the isolated and failed Waterside Mall on top of it--recently demolished to allow the street to be reopened. The nearby Rockville Mall is another failed example, also demolished to reopen the streets and replace it with Rockville Town Center--to great success.
Please. The reason Rockville Mall failed was because they never managed to get decent stores. Rockville Town Center replaced a poorly run mall mall with various other buildings to serve other purposes. It could hardly suck more...great success? Eh, it's nice but not something I'd bother to visit unless I lived very nearby. Even then I'd still be driving to the big box stores like Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot on 355 as well as the two area malls...Mongomery and White Flint.
Living in Rockville and not owning a car is not optimal.
"Great success" is like Tysons. I drive to Tysons sometimes even from Columbia. But oh noes, that's an example of car-focused development and suburbia!
Ballston Mall sits in the middle of Ballston, a fairly nice area to live. The difference between Ballston and Rockville is it actually had anchor stores that didn't suck. Not because of some failure of being car-focused. Ballston has metro right next to it along with a bunch of residences but still has a huge parking garage.
Columbia Mall is pretty much the focus for Columbia. Sure there are village centers but if there isn't a good anchor supermarket they're dying. Wilde Lake Village center comes to mind. Funny, people prefer to drive to the stores they like over tiny stores they don't.
If you want successful urban malls you can look at Boston's mall at the Prudential building (whatever its called...Prudential something?) or Houston's Galleria. If Rockville Mall had the anchor stores that White Flint initially had it would still exist. It would have been the destination mall that White Flint was for a long time before it's decline. But OMG, yes, you'd have to freaking drive there if you didn't live on a metro line.
Where Waterside Mall failed Mazza Gallerie still exists. Frankly Waterside just sucked as a building. That was more the cause of its failure as opposed to "malls in urban areas don't work".
So congrats, you found two examples of urban malls that failed, one of which was a terribly architected brutalist reinforced concrete building (seemingly built to withstand a nuclear "event") and the other was a mall that never
had stores that didn't suck while ignoring two successful malls in the same cities.
The design of the new campus accomplishes the nostalgic objectives that Steve Jobs set out for it.
It's actually highly functional. Apple and Jobs are the antithesis of nostalgic and any analysis that draws the conclusion that Steve's objectives has anything to do with nostalgia is clearly deeply flawed.
While "Retrograde Cocoon" may be a bit smart-assed or trollish, a case has been made for the design being retro,
Again, Apple isn't retro. Why on earth would Apple do retro? It wouldn't. So any "case" is again, flawed and simply projection of the critic's own biases.
These criticisms are actually valid
Except they aren't valid since they are based on an incorrect premise.
The shock and disbelief in response to any criticism of Apple's new campus show how inured we all are to the paradigms of sprawl.
No, it's just been the criticisms have been completely wrong (it would take you hours to walk to a meeting), misguided (the objective is to be retro/nostalgic), snide (retrograde cocoon), arrogant (you don't have the expertise to discuss) or single/simple minded (sprawl bad, therefore all car focused buildings bad).
I like living in the city. I like living in the suburbs. I like living in planned communities. They ALL have their advantages and disadvantages. The speaking in terms of a "paradigm of sprawl" is IMHO just a way of being snooty about how awesome you are for living in the city as opposed to being a suburbanite. Meh.