For Sale: 200,000-Square-Foot Box
What happens to the store when Wal-Mart leaves town?
The big-box aesthetic does not immediately lend itself to any other use. The buildings are often upward of 150,000 square feet. There simply aren't many enterprises that need that much space, and because the buildings are built for a single-use purpose, it's not so easy to break them up into smaller units. Yet all over the country, resourceful communities are finding ways to reuse these buildings, turning them into flea markets, museums, schools—even churches.
Click here to read a slide-show essay on how to recycle a big-box store.
Julia Christensen is the author of Big Box Reuse. She is the Luce visiting assistant professor of the emerging arts at Oberlin College and Conservatory.