Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Plaza Pasadena Mall

Pasadena, California - circa 1981

I give early thanks today to, Scott, the big mallrat behind BIGMallrat's Blog, the great site devoted to the shopping malls of Northern California (he also maintains, for submitting this sweet interior shot of the Plaza Pasadena. :) He included these notes:
"I found some pics in my collection of the since demolished Plaza Pasadena in Pasadena California. It was replaced by Paseo Colorado in the late Nineties. Nevertheless, the mall's architect was Charles Kober Associates and original owner Ernest W. Hahn, Inc. It was 750,000 [sq ft] and anchors were The Broadway, May Company, and JC Penney. It opened in 1980 or 1981 (I'm not exactly sure).

Since my blog only covers northern California, I thought it would be cool to send the photos to you for the Malls of America blog."
Indeed it's very cool, Scott, thanks again! I especially love the beautiful ceiling/wall mural paintings in this photo. Certainly gives this mall an open, airy feel. As always, the resource links below tell the complete tale.

Mall history: 1980 - 1999 (dead/redeveloped)
Architect: Charles Kober Associates
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view (redeveloped Paseo Colorado)
Info from Wikipedia
Resource links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Jeff said...

Plaza Pasadena was a downtown mall to rehabilitate the area.
In brief: May Company closed not long after opening the mall, it was later subdivided into mall stores. This wasnt a major blow.

In the late 80's, early 90's, Old Pasadena a few blocks west, the area the mall affected, became a new area for nightlife with restaurants, theatres, and high end stores. This caused the mall to suffer. In 1996, Federated made the Broadway an outlet/clearance center for Macy's. It was like this until about 2000 when Macy's moved in as a full line store. JCPenney closed around this time. The mall was "torn down" and redeveloped into an outdoor mall.

(The mall's upper level was torn down, but the lower level just gutted and redeveloped. The parking structure below the mall is original)

The mall is still open today, as Paseo Colorado, an outdoor mall. The lower level of the mall was gutted and still the same. Macy's for some unknown reason, still maintains the original 1980 exterior.

Wed Nov 22, 09:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

PS, what you are looking at is what originally was the Garfield Promenade.

If you look at the PDF mall, May Co would be where 313-117 is now, Oshmans where 236-233 are now. This view is looking east from JCPenney towards The Broadway. JCPenney would have been were the Loehmann's and Gelsons are now.

Also, this mall was never really dead. It was torn down when it was starting to die, but never was fully dead. Many stores were still in the mall till the end.

Wed Nov 22, 09:56:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

I love the dark, moody, late 70's early 80s feel.

Wed Nov 22, 10:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

The interior of this mall was never remodeled. It looked like this all the way until it was knocked down. Even the department stores inside were dark. That mural was there as well till the end. I actually miss this mall a lot.

Thu Nov 23, 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

That mural is truly a thing of beauty and quite unique for a mall decoration. Too bad it was destroyed in the remodelling.

Thu Nov 23, 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Wow! I was never a fan of this mall (Nor Paseo Colorado, although it is pretty) Pasadena always had great shops that are now gone. Bullocks became dreary Macys and lost alot of its interior charm like the cool New Orleans type fountain on the first floor and the Tea Room with the daily lunchtime modeling upstairs. Then there was the very cool Robinsons on Colorado turned into Target. Love you Target but they ruined that interior. I. Magnin became Borders books. It just doesnt fit in my opinion.

Thu Nov 23, 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

I wonder why May Co isn't its own structure? Instead, its a bunch of inline stores with their walls knocked out.
This could one of the very few malls in America that was mostly torn down with a new mall built in its place. What were they thinking?? Those murals alone are worth saving. It's like tearing down the Sistene Chapel.

Sun Nov 26, 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

The May Co store was small in size, less than 100,000 sf. There was a flagship store in Arcadia about 5 miles away, and a smaller Eagle Rock store 5 miles in the opposite direction.

Sun Nov 26, 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger KTG said...

What a great shot- taken from in front of Mrs. Field's Cookies, I'll bet! I worked in the May Co. one Christmas break when I was home from college. I also had a wardrobe almost exclusively purchased at Units, directly below and to the right of this picture. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

Mon Nov 27, 11:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Macy's building (old Broadway) is the only srtucture left besides the Green street parking structure and the underground parking structure, that were original to Plaza Pasadena when it opened in 1980. Macy's still has some of the original floor tile from The Broadway, and it's Executive Offices still have The Broadway "80's look". Up on the third level, components of the California Cafe are still intact, although it is now stockroom space for Macy's Home Store dept. Kinda cool.

Thu Oct 30, 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger The Foxster said...

God, as a teenager in the mid 80's, I used to come here a lot with my friends. I remembered entering The Broadway (or Macy's now) from Colorado Blvd and there was this nice waterfall in front of you. For some reason, this mall always had that mellow/shady feel to it, it wasn't lively but yet cool and mellow. I just miss it so much.

Fri Dec 19, 03:23:00 AM  
Blogger marcie said...

I loved the Plaza I spent a ton of time there as a teen! and I really do miss it! happy memories!

Sun Mar 08, 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Smith said...

I used to love that mall, I visited there from 1991 to 1996 and will always have fond memories of it. I think the remodeling of it and also of a similar mall in Santa Monica are a sad commentary on big business not caring about losing our past history.

Thu Sep 09, 09:17:00 AM  

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