Sunday, August 09, 2015

Malls and shopping centers, 1977

Fashion Island, Newport Beach.
Today I stumbled across a copy of the Shopping Center Development Handbook, a 1977 book about the planning of malls and large shopping centers published by the Urban Land Institute. It's fascinating reading if you're interested in such things, and it uses examples from all over the country. I thought I'd share the book's few Orange County images here on the blog.

Westminster Mall sits on a 93-acre triangular site.
Nostalgia is to history what pine-tree-shaped air fresheners are to forests. But that doesn't mean I don't have something nostalgic hanging from my rearview mirror. Nostalgia has its place, and sometimes it makes us stop and think about the larger and deeper scope of history.

Little inspires more nostalgia in Orange Countians than the shopping malls and shopping centers they grew up with. For me, it's memories of The Broadway, B. Dalton Books, Big Boy Jr., and the fresh-squeezed lemonade stand at Huntington Center (before it became the mess that is "Bella Terra"). It's also Silverwood's, koi ponds, Modernist playgrounds, and tostadas in the Robinson's lunchroom at Fashion Island. For you, it may be fond memories of shopping with your parents or friends at the Mall of Orange, the Laguna Hills Mall, or Fashion Square.
La Paz Plaza, Mission Viejo

I hope at least a few of our local malls survive. It's hard to get nostalgic over cookie-cutter big box stores.

9 comments:

Teresa Vaughn said...

The Anaheim Plaza. the Orange County Plaza, Buena Park Mall...they all still stand but look nothing like they were in their retro heydays. Westminster Mall and South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island were latest hot tickets in the early to mid 1970s as was the Cerritos Shopping Center. Enclosed malls with food courts... at least 40-45 years since that started happening here in OC. Thanks for sharing Chris.

colony rabble said...

The BP "downtown" (cue laughter here) when it was an open air center, and had these areas sunken down below grade where Moms could sit and kids could play. I remember these enormous boulders with tubes cut through them, or were they pipes and the boulders were for climbing on? getting old sucks. Beats the alternative, but still....where did my memory go?

Alan Hess said...

Does anyone know what happened to the three sculptures at Fashion Island -- looked like acrobats, raised high on columns over the water feature? They disappeared in the recent renovations.

Anonymous said...

Any pictures of the interior of the Westminster Mall in the 1970's? There was a DeWain Valentine sculpture there.

Mark Anto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
retrocounty said...

That's one of the more historic buildings in M.V.

Manny Med said...

Too bad the Cerritos mall got rid of the stained glass and indoor trees

Anonymous said...

What was the 1970s fashion shoe store called in the Cerritos mall?

Chris Jepsen said...

I don't have to know anything about the Cerritos Mall. It's over the line into L.A. County. :-)