Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mayfield Mall '80s Conversion

Mountain View, California - mid '80s

Portions of the once fully carpeted and very groovy Mayfield Mall interior are bulldozed not long after the mall had closed in 1983, to make way for partial use by the Hewlett-Packard Co. as an office facility (they vacated the property in 2003, and it now awaits impending total redevelopment). Here's a descriptive quote (via the San Antonio District Guide) from a 1972 Mountain View Chamber of Commerce brochure:
"Mayfield Mall--Northern California's first fully enclosed, air conditioned, carpeted shopping mall--has more than 50 stores, and parking for several thousand cars. Such well-known firms as J.C. Penney, Joseph Magnin, Woolworth's, and Wells Fargo Bank are tenants of this unique complex on the west side of the city."
Thanks very much to MOA reader, Matt, for the nifty shot in this post!

Mall history: 1966 - 1983 (dead)
Previous entries: 1

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Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

What a sad sight, particularly considering that this is the same bit of mall seen in the other photo.

Sat May 12, 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Northern California's first enclosed shopping center and they bulldozed it long ago? Sad. May as well have sat abandoned for decades.

Sun May 13, 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This wasn't Northern California's first enclosed mall, that would be Southland in Hayward, opened in 1964. Mayfield was the first fully-carpeted, indoor mall.

And I'm not sure I would agree with the Mountain View Voice article that commented that Mayfield was 'the Peninsula's premier shopping destination'. During its existence, Mayfield had only Penney's. Stanford had The Emporium, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, I.Magnin, Joseph Magnin, and (in 1972) Bullock's. Hillsdale had Macy's, The Emporium, and Sears. Even lowly San Antonio Center up the street had Sears, Rhodes (later Liberty House), and Mervyn's.

IMHO, Mayfield was a nice, little, off-the-beaten-track mall that wouldn't have survived much longer, even if HP hadn't taken it over. It's always sad to lose a pioneering mall, but I think Mayfield was too small to ever have been considered a major player.

Tue May 15, 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Scott Parsons said...

I love this picture! It's great! There's the Parklane Hosery seen in an earlier photo of the mall during its heyday.

Wed May 16, 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I grew up right behind the Mayfield Mall. I have dreams about Time Zone, Woolworths, Cost Plus, Mandarin Shop, and the candy kiosk that sold gummy bears. My brothers and sisters and I were always hanging out at this mall. I sure miss those times.

Thu Jun 21, 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that was quite a mall for it's time. Fully carpeted (wall-to-wall) and air conditioned, it was the only one of it's kind on the West Coast. Originally, the developers (who were from Minnesota) wanted to built it large enough to create a "2-box" mall (e.g. 2 big stores, like a Macy's or an Emporium, to go along with the J.C. Penny's that already existed). At that time the land was available to do so, but the developers couldn't make it happen. So, they did the best job they could with the land they had to work with. Some local historians claim that had that happened, the mall would still be in business as a 2-box mall instead of it currently sitting as an empty corporate center, courtesy of HP. And you are right- Mayfield Mall's heyday was the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. But once other larger, more spectacular malls started to pop up all over Northern California during the 1970s (e.g. Eastridge) the Mayfield (with J.C. Penny's and a host of smaller boutique-type shops) simply could not compete. By the late 1970s the mall was barely hanging on, and in 1980 J.C. Pennys did not renew it's lease. That was more or less the end. By 1983 it shut down. HP entered the picture. They purchased the entire property in 1984, spent all of 1984 and most of 1985 remodeling / refurbishing the facility and by the beginning of 1986 it re-opened as HPs corporate / training center. HP would themselves move out sometime in 2003. It has been sitting empty ever since. [NOTE: The Toll Brothers (a Philadelphia, PA-based developer who supposedly purchased this mall and 80 acres of land surrounding it) were to have broke ground on development this summer. Their plans included constructing mid- to high-density housing in the area. But the local homeowners association in Mountain View (named MONTE LOMA) have been fighting it tooth and nail. So far nothing has happened. Stay tuned.]

Wed Sep 03, 05:51:00 AM  

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