malcolm gladwell on victor gruen, malls, and assett depreciation after 1954

In the "Terrazzo Jungle," a New Yorker article from 2004, Malcolm Gladwell recounts the history of the shopping mall and the role of Victor Gruen, the Viennese crusader for the shopping mall as a new form of urbanity in the 1950s United States. Gladwell points to a little known change in the 1954 Internal Revenue Code that allowed developers to write off their investments much more quickly, stimulating them to make ever bigger shopping centers and, in so doing, undoing America's downtown retail districts.

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