A case for turning empty malls into housing

CityLab Daily

Second life: In the Lynnwood suburb of Seattle, developers are turning a big part of the 41-year-old Alderwood Mall into a 300-unit apartment complex, a grand experiment in transforming struggling malls into much-needed affordable housing. 

Such conversions may be the best use of vacant space across an over-retailed country, writes contributor Patrick Sisson. Before the pandemic, shifts in consumer behavior were already hurting brick-and-mortar stores. Shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have accelerated the trend, bringing in-person shopping to a standstill. Shopping centers, it turns out, are often sited in locations that would be perfect for commuters who work downtown but can't afford to live there. The challenge now is to create community-oriented developments, not just replace stores with apartments. Today on CityLab: The Dying Mall's New Lease on Life: Apartments

-Linda Poon

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The masked felines

Source: Jonathan Blanc/New York Public Library

The New York Public Library's famous marble lions, Patience and Fortitude, were named by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia after the qualities he felt were needed to survive the Great Depression. The big cats are also known to dress for the occasion. They wear wreaths during the holidays and hats to celebrate New York City's two Major League Baseball teams. Now, as the city slowly reopens, they're setting a good example by masking up. Each one measures three feet wide and two feet tall. 

Like libraries across America, the NYPL is cautiously preparing to serve patrons again, and will reopen some branches for grab-and-go service in mid-July. All visitors, just like Patience and Fortitude, are required to wear masks.

What We're Reading

  • How St. Louis' history of private streets led to a gun-brandishing couple (Curbed)
  • The street corner where George Floyd was killed has become a Christian revivalist site (Slate)
  • China enacts a law cracking down on civil liberties, asserting more direct control over Hong Kong (NPR)
  • How small towns are responding to the global pandemic (The Conversation)
  • These 11 mayors are really trying to get their cities' residents a guaranteed income (Vice)


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