Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Macy's Valley Fair Shopping Center

San Jose, California - circa 1956

Here's another snazzy vintage photo of Macy's Valley Fair shopping center, this time including the mall's entrance sign in the lower-right corner, which is really sweet! This shot dates back to when Valley Fair had just opened in 1956, so it was still brand new here.

I thought it would also be fun to take a closer look at that great signage there, so I blew it up considerably and am including it at left, if you'd like to study it in more detail. She looks nice, don't she? Me thinks so. :)

And from the looks of those fancy globes at the top of the posts, it appears the sign probably lit up real nicely in the evening, I'm guessing. Now that's something I'd love to see a color photograph of now! I'll start looking around...

Mall history: 1956 - 1986
Developer: R. H. May & Co. Inc.
Current website: here (redeveloped)
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Resource links: 1, 2, 3
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4


Blogger Cora said...

What a cool sign! Love it.

Wed Mar 07, 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous dean said...

That's awesome! Thanks for the pic! I could have sworn that the globes alternated at different heights, but I guess this offers definite proof otherwise.

And just think, across the street from this was one of the coolest googie coffee shops on Stevens Creek Blvd.

Wed Mar 07, 09:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sign was later re-position 90 degrees so that it could be seen driving east and west along Steven's Creek Road (now Blvd.)

At that time, the sign was changed to the poles alternating with one higher or lower. The background of the letters were blue and the globes on the top were blue and white stripes.

At the back of the entrance, there was a smaller version of the sign as well. Both came down in 1986.

Thu Mar 08, 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Georob said...

Bayfair in San Leandro had a similar sign with the globes a red/orange color if I recall

Thu Mar 08, 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting picture! This was probably taken from DelCarlo Photography, as Mr. DelCarlo took a lot pictures for VF from his Cessna.

The roof-top carvival is not there yet, as suspected. But if you look close, you can see foundation structures under the future location of the Ferris Wheel and Merry-go-round. Also, the wire layed out to power the rides is visable. The Fair's opening must of lagged several months from the Center's 1956 summer opening.

-Mike Carroll

Fri Mar 09, 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Is that last post spam???

God, this sign is so heartbreaking to see knowing that it came down twenty years ago! Nooooooo!!!! Not what a girl like me who worships these signs wants to hear.

Sat Mar 10, 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was spam, but it's gone now.

Sat Mar 10, 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nowhere near as fun today, but this mall lives on today as Westfield Shopping Towne - Valley Fair and IMHO is one of the better malls in the Bay Area.

The area provides the best of several worlds - the enclosed-style Valley Fair, the open air Santana Row across the Stevens Creek Blvd and across Winchester Blvd the sign of the old Winchester Shopping Center reminds one of the good old days (like when the sign still worked. :-( )

Sun Mar 11, 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A virtual real-time walk through is available, simular to a video game -- Valley Fair, circa 1957. Check it out.

Thu Mar 15, 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys!

Keith here (can't log in under my usual name at the moment). The past few days I've been moving this blog (and all my others) over to the new Blogger (since they finally forced me to now). Most stuff works OK so far it looks like, but there have been a few minor hiccups here and there that I'm attending to (one is some weird log-in problems I'm having).

Anyway, I should have it all sorted out later today, and should be able to finally do some new posts again then (woohoo!). Just so you all know what's going on--and in case you notice any temporary glitches and weirdness here over the next day or so. :)



Sat Mar 17, 05:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother lives right near this mall, I wish it still had this sign. Why do they have to make every mall look exactly the same.
Anyway, moving north they just took the conversation pits out of Stoneridge in Pleasanton, CA. What the hell, that mall is not that old, I remember when it was built, and now I feel old. thanks a lot Stoneridge.

Mon Apr 02, 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Home movies were taken of a fashion show on the roofdeck of Macy's in 1957 (top left side corner of above picture)In the Youtube video, take a look at how popular that rooftop carnival was.

-Mike Carroll

Fri May 11, 09:56:00 AM  

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