Friday, April 27, 2007

Bullock's Store at Stonestown Shopping Center

San Francisco, California - early '60s

Exterior view of a Bullock's department store court entrance and escalator in the Stonestown Shopping Center (aka Stonestown Galleria). Some notes from Wikipedia (where you can read the rest of the story) on the early history of the Bullock's chain:
"Bullock's was founded in 1907 at Seventh & Broadway in downtown Los Angeles by John G. Bullock, with the support of The Broadway Department Store owner Arthur Letts. In 1923, Bullock and business partner P.G. Winnett bought out Letts' interest after his death and the companies became completely separated. In 1929 Bullock & Winnett opened a luxury branch on Wilshire Boulevard, named, appropriately enough Bullocks Wilshire.

In 1944 Bullock's acquired I. Magnin & Co., a venerable, San Francisco-based luxury chain. This was followed by the acquisition of the then public-owned Bullock's-I. Magnin organization in 1964 by Federated Department Stores, much to the dismay of surviving founder P.G. Winnett, who publicly lambasted the deal (which was initiated by his own son-in-law Bullock's President Walter W. Candy Jr.)."
Mall history: 1952 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Reference links: 1, 2
Previous entries: 1

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Blogger BIGMallrat said...

I just love the Bullock's script. Embarrassingly enough, I used to practice it to pass time in high school.
So, Stonestown aficionados, I don't remember Bullock's being attached to the mall. Where's Winston Drive?
Also, there has been some controversy regarding Nordstrom tearing down the building or just keeping it when they replaced Bullocks. The building pictured here does have some similarities to the Nordstrom as it is now.
I hope someone can fill us in.

Fri Apr 27, 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

That sassy script sure is lovely. As is the store logo on the left of the photo.

Fri Apr 27, 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I REALLY MISS BULLOCKS! And Bullocks Wilshire...But this picture is so great to me because I see Judy's and that great logo they used of the girl (presumably Judy?) The larger Judys stores had "Judy" in an array of fashion poses (I remember those at La Habra Fashion Square the most)any other photos of Judy's?

Fri Apr 27, 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Me again...I used to work for Bullocks Wilshire in the late 80's. I think by then Bullocks had closed their NoCal Bullocks stores but the NoCal customers got different credit cards, they were butter yellow with a brown Bullocks logo's whereas SoCal stores had various cards throughout the years and (mostly) said Bullocks/Bullocks Wilshire on them. My question being I wonder why they had different credit cards in Northern California if they were usuable in all of the Bullocks and Bullocks Wilshire stores chainwide?

Sat Apr 28, 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

When I attended SF State, I used to practice drawing the logo too!

Winston Drive used to cut right through Stonestown, separating the main part of the mall from the Butler Brothers (later City of Paris) section, which also had a supermarket and drug store. In order to get to those stores, you had to wait for the green light or dodge the traffic on Winston.

In the mid 1970's, after the City of Paris folded, Bullock's tore down that store and built a new, 184,000 square foot, 3-story building, opening in 1977. In order to provide easier access, the escalator (up only) and stairs shown in the photo were erected. Connecting the store with the rest of the mall was a 'cosmetics bridge' spanning Winston Drive.

Bullock's entry into Northern California was not a success, and Federated pulled the plug in 1983. Nordstrom purchased 4 Bullock's stores and opened quickly in Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, and Oakridge (San Jose). Stonestown sat idle until the completion of the all-enclosed Stonestown Galleria in 1988. Although Nordstrom made major alterations, including the removal of the cosmetics bridge and changing the escalators from perpendicular to scissors-style, it's the same building. The creation of the Galleria included creating a 'depressed' Winston Drive, which now dips under the mall, segregating vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

As for the credit cards, when Federated created the new 'Bullock's North' division in 1971, they set up an entirely separate set of management, buying, and distribution offices, including the establishment of a separate credit card. Although the Bullock’s North card was accepted by Bullock's in Southern California, and vice-versa, they had to be manually processed so charges didn’t show up until the following billing cycle. Once I figured that out, I immediately got a Bullock's South credit card and used in the Northern California stores, thereby getting an extra month to pay my bill.

I too miss Bullock’s. At their peak they were a great store.

Sat Apr 28, 01:45:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

That is a lovely building even in black and white.

Sounds like the family had some conflict after son-in-law po'ed father-in-law. Rightfully so.

Sat Apr 28, 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Paul, that is awesome! I love it... you've answered so many questions.

Tue May 01, 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two questions:

1) Why in the world would they have an escalator going only one direction?

2) When Stonestown was converted to indoor, were all the old single story mall buildings demolished, or did they just build on top of them?

Thu May 03, 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

I worked for Bullock's Southern California, and as I recall for legal reasons they had to keep one Bullock's North store opened to full fill a mall contract. I worked at I. Magnin when Macy's took over, and shortly after they started closing less producing I. Magnin stores and converting the 9 or so small specialty Bullocks Wilshire stores into I. Magnin stores before finally closing them all except the Bullock's full line department stores, which eventually became sadly Macy's. I too liked the old Bullock's Dept Store script logo. The Century City store used that same logo, as did South Coast Plaza on one side of the building, Carlsbad, Scottsdale AZ, Crisstown AZ, and I think the Las Vegas store had a small script logo over the door. The old logo made a comeback on shopping bags and the credit card in the 1980's. Macy's leaves a bad taste in my mouth, taking all the variety and choice away Robinson's, The Broadway, Bullock's, I. Magnin, BW, May Co, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Fields, Rich's, Foley's and the Bon Marche. Whats next? Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Dillard's, Saks?

Sat Dec 01, 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Steve Carras said...

I'm with Cora and bilmallrat! I have always loved drawing that script. Do you think Sandra Bullock is an heir to Bullock's?

Wed Dec 26, 04:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an episode from Season 1 of the Mary Tyler Moore show in 1970 in which Mary takes neighbor Phyllis' daughter shopping 'in Minneapolis.' There is an extended sequence of them shopping in an outdoor mall and playing hide-and-seek outside of a store named Judy's, with those awesome full-height fashion graphics. It was obviously filmed at Stonestown, because the store exterior and mall shots are identical to this photo. Also, a glance at the credits at the end of the episodes that season tells us "Miss Moore's wardrobe provided by Judy's" so this should be no suprise, I guess...but kind of cool to have figured out the details.

Wed Dec 09, 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I. Magnin was the store that Bullock's moved into not City of Paris. See Wikipedia for confirmation. City of Paris was located in Downtown San Francisco and went out business in the 60's.

Sat Nov 03, 10:27:00 AM  

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