Friday, September 08, 2006

Nostalgic for Huntington Center

Bella Terra is having their belated grand opening this weekend. Their PR people are calling Bella Terra "Huntington Beach's lifestyle center." Who knew our “lifestyle” was defined by a faux-Italian shopping center?

Personally, I still miss Huntington Center. Sadly, as the middle class was pushed out of Orange County, the businesses that served them (e.g. most of the stores in Huntington Center) fell by the wayside. Now we have Wal-Mart and Nordstrom’s, and not much in between. .
The photo above is The Broadway at Huntington Center in 1965, just days before it opened.

2 comments:

GovernorGrayDavis said...

Sadly, I think a faux-Italian shopping center defines a big segment of Orange County all too well. My biggest gripe about the county is our willingness to plow under anything that looks old and has character in favor of slick new chain stores or tract housing.

I've only lived in HB for three years, so that shopping center has pretty much been empty since I've been here. Whats the word on the Wards building? Are they turning that into something new, or will it just continue to sit there?

Chris Jepsen said...

I've heard nothing about the Ward's building lately. Still stuck in limbo, I guess. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows differently.

As for the pink-stucco crowd... LUCKILY, most of them are have been contained south of Costa Mesa.

Huntington Center certainly needed a major rehab (and possibly an expansion) to attract tenants. But it seems kinda goofy to turn the place inside out and force shoppers to cut through busy parking lots to go from store to store.