Long before there were malls, long before malls began their slow death, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar in the 15th century spread over 58 busy streets.
INSIDE were rows of 4,000 shops. And the Great Bazaar in Teheran which was completed in the 17th century spread over 10 kilometers and housed 180 shopping centers. Or in St Petersburg in Russia from the 18th century: the 53,000 square meter Gosiny Dvor had more than 100 shops inside.
These forerunners of the mall—an American term that in the 20th century came to refer to a ‘shopping center’—already began their giant...