In a misguided attempt to inject some classical urban charm into the North Conway, New Hampshire location of Lowe’s, someone thought is would be a good idea to build-in a pretty hilarious row of fake second-story windows on their otherwise completely suburban box-store.
But how about the "New Urbanist" suburban shopping mall? This one in Burr Ridge, Ill. (not far from where I live) is the reason I was Ixquicking "Faux New Urbanism" to begin with.
The nostalgically named Burr Ridge Village Center boasts a "vibrant main-street setting." (They don't mention it's built right next to an interstate highway.) And yes, the buildings do attempt to mimic the homes-over-storefront look of real classic town centers. But instead of the variety of a real town (like Homewood, IL* , a rail-centered south suburb of Chicago), where on a typical block you might have a gas station, a corner grocery store, local mom-and-pop coffee shops, taverns, pizzerias and ice cream parlors, local banks, civic buildings, and locally owned hardware stores, every store in these fake company towns is a shiny clone of a national chain.
Rather than living quarters for shopkeepers and other normal people, the "apartments" above the Banana Republic and Starbucks in the Burr Ridge Village Center are high-end condos. In short, it's a mall disguised as a small town.
No doubt a candidate for "localwashing": "Shop Local! All your favorite hometown shops here — from Starbucks to The Gap!"
*I couldn't find any good photos of downtown Homewood, but thanks to Google and the U.S. government's scary satellite technology, you can just go to Google Maps punch in "Ridge and Dixie, Homewood, IL" into the address bar, zoom all the way in, and you'll get the street view in downtown Homewood. You can zip up and down the streets to your heart''s delight.
Or try Hinsdale, Burr Ridge's neighbor to the south, also with the advantage of commuter rail. For Hinsdale, punch in "Garfield and Chicago, Hinsdale, IL."