Friday, July 21, 2006

Northgate Mall - The Bon Marche


Seattle, Washington - 1950s

One of the original Northgate Mall anchors, The Bon Marche department store, lit up and glowing brightly, beckoning to shoppers, in this wonderful vintage nighttime photo!

History: 1950 - present
Architect: John Graham Jr. (1908-1991)
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2



9 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Love it!

Fri Jul 21, 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool photo!

Fri Jul 21, 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous tkaye said...

Graham was setting the standard here -- this was arguably the first suburban branch department store ever built. (Frederick & Nelson had a store at Bellevue Square when it opened in 1946, but it was more of a bargain basement operation during those early years. F&N felt that it would undermine its downtown Seattle store to have a full-line operation there.)

From this picture, Northgate's store had a much more "accessible" feel to its architecture compared with the almost intimidating scale of the Tacoma and Southcenter stores. They are huge, four-floor cathedrals of shopping. It's a good illustration of how much mall design changed in 15 years.

Here's a more recent shot of the Northgate Bon: http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/hwysofwastate/BonNorthgate.html -- I'm not familiar with Northgate, so I don't know if we're looking at the same side of the building or not. By the way, that site has photos of all most all the Bon Marché and Meier & Frank stores shortly before they became Macy's.

Fri Jul 21, 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

The glassed and lit up front in the old shot is much nicer than the enclosed brick of the newer shot.

Was Bon Marche a local Northwestern chain? Cause I've never heard of them, at least in an US context.

Fri Jul 21, 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

Simply wonderful! I wish I could go shopping there now!

Sat Jul 22, 12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous tkaye said...

Yes, Cora, The Bon Marché was a regional chain owned by Allied Stores (now Federated Department Stores) based in Seattle. Locations were mostly in Washington and Idaho, but also some in Oregon, Montana and Wyoming. It got the Macy's treatment a couple years ago.

It was the mid-line of Seattle's three traditional department store chains: Frederick & Nelson, The Bon, and Rhodes (later Lamonts).

Sat Jul 22, 03:01:00 AM  
Blogger todd said...

IMPRESSIVE.... there was a lot of glass in those days! Such an inviting "come hither" look to it, like peeking inside a treasure box. Retailing was definitely at it's peak.

Sun Jul 23, 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision makers of 40+ years ago were just wrong to get rid of the glass front. This look was inviting and stunning.

Sat Jul 29, 09:49:00 AM  
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