Monday, October 30, 2006

Topanga Plaza


Canoga Park, California - 1960's

M
uch goodness to be enjoyed in this great shot of Topanga Plaza (commonly referred to as Topanga Mall) around the time it first opened. On the second level the May Co. store is visible, and just above that, a glimpse of the Terrace Restaurant, overlooking the court below, where you can see the bird cages, and a huge aquarium which sits off to the right under the gazeebo (hard to make out well in this photo). Postcard caption:
Unique and elaborate displays of tropical fish and exotic birds are maintained in the spacious north end of this big, multi-level all-enclosed and air-conditioned mall shopping center. Located at Vanowen and Topanga Canyon Blvd. in West San Fernando Valley, there are some 80 shops and three major department stores here - a regular shopping city.
Mall history: 1964 - present
Current website: here.
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3



15 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Hi there -- I'm writing an article for Retail Traffic magazine about bloggers who focus on dead malls and the history of malls. Your blog is widely admired, and as a result the article wouldn't be complete without an interview with you, Mr. Milford. I've e-mailed you a few times but have not heard from you yet, and my deadline is Thursday (Nov. 2), so an interview today or tomorrow would be most helpful. Please e-mail me at m_janssen (at) mac (dot) com -- thanks!

Mon Oct 30, 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger hushpuppy said...

In this photo, you can also see the Joseph Magnin specialty store to the left of the May Company. It carried some menswear, but was mostly known for ultra-trendy career-gal clothing

Mon Oct 30, 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

I love the unusual gazabo!

Mon Oct 30, 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Love the birdcages!! I also just noticed the Joseph Magnin's.. darn, I thought I was the first to discover it!!
This is a GREAT photo. Truly a classic mall.
Scott

Mon Oct 30, 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. I agree the bird cages and gazeebo are killer! I need to find some closeups of those.

And Mike...you've heard from me now. Sorry again. :)

Mon Oct 30, 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Its incredible how different this mall is today. The May Company was partially damaged in the 1994 Northridge quake and rebuilt. I dont know what happened to the restaurant.

Today the May Co is Macys

Mon Oct 30, 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous ValBoy said...

Cool picture. I work near by and go to that mall at least once a week. It just recently completed a $300 expansion that added over 100 new stores.

The Josphen Magin space is currenty occupied by a Shoe Pavilion and a vacant Lane Bryant (it moved to the new section).

Here are some photos I found of Topanga Plaza in the early 90s

http://shoplaca.blogspot.com/2006/09/walking-down-topanga-memory-lane.html

Tue Oct 31, 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

Actually there was an oil dripping from the mono-filament strings. It was sad when this feature disappeared to be replaced with kiosks to sell more product.

Mon Nov 06, 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Does Topanga Plaza still have the ice skating rink? In 1966 I worked at the food court which was called "Don Paul's Seven Kitchens". The ice rink was next to the food court and I use to enjoy watching Olympic Gold Medalist, Sonia Henie ice skate to stay in shape. She was 54 years old then and died in 1969 of leukemia.

Thu Feb 08, 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous mikeymike said...

I miss the old Topanga! Here's the only pic I could find of the skating rink: http://www.harlick.com/img/gal/ice/blackburn_2_480x370.jpg

Progress is what it is, but Topanga used to have such a home-like feel.. a bit colder now.

Tue Feb 05, 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous mikeymike said...

The rink was removed in the early eighties (I remember it when I was a really little kid, and I was born in 1976) and replaced with the food court. The link in the comments above shows a good shot of the food court in the 90s where the ice rink was..

Tue Feb 05, 03:50:00 PM  
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Fri Jul 09, 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger G Rodon said...

If those windows above Joseph Magnin could speak, I and my friend Mike would've been in a lot of trouble. We were 12 and 13, lived across the street and FORT TOPANGA was our domain. We knew every telephone number of every telephone panel, all the secret passageways, three ways to the roof and how to cut holes in ceiling tiles to watch 7 kitchens patrons 40 feet below. Mike, I'm surprised we're still alive. What a great memory of early Topanga Plaza, 1967.

Wed Feb 19, 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger G Rodon said...

Although long lost, I am saddened by the loss of my 1966 picture of Sandy Koufax shaking my hand during a meeting. This happened at about 9 PM at a PACKED event for charity. I think it was held by Debbie Reynolds and the public was invited. Topanga had those round kiosks and some were mobile. They set one up about 15 foot away from the Pickwick Book store and I watched as SANDY walked into one of the kiosks and started signing autographs. I got one and the picture. Both had been stolen when I left the Navy and the Navy van used to ship my goods home was stolen in Las Vegas.

Wed Feb 19, 12:51:00 AM  
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