Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Shopping Mall Sign: San Antonio Center

Mountain View, California

Finishing a couple more posts from earlier this morning, when my internet connection suddenly conked out on me because it hates me.

So this is the distinctive entrance sign at the San Antonio Shopping Center, in Mountain View, CA. Photo was taken in July of 2005 (courtesy of Marcel Marchon). I'm not sure how far back this particular signage design goes at this mall, so I don't know exactly how "vintage" it is (does anyone else?), but either way it's an interesting looking sign, isn't it?

More San Antonio Shopping Center

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Blogger Kangoon said...

Wow, I just don't know what is going on with that sign. It sure isn't in the swank category. Could it be that it is a temporary sign?

Tue May 08, 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

It reminds me of one of those viewing platforms you find in National Parks and the like.

Wed May 09, 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger arfnotz said...

it looks like it's made of cast concrete with the marks from the rough sawn lumber framing emphasized. The style was popular in the late 70's and early 80's. Architects thought it "more honest".
i find it ugly. the orlando Public library is all like that. Ugly as sin, but able to withstand a hurricane.

Wed May 09, 05:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That mall is the actual birthplace of Silicon Valley. Shockley labs was the first place to use Silicon in transistors. The founders eventually left to start Fairchild Semiconductor.

Check it out...

Wed May 09, 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

from :http://members.aol.com/MVNick/malls.htm

Theres a whole bunch of information on the previous mall there that is now demolished and replaced by a new shopping center.

In this case, the sign is a leftover from the old mall that doesn't exist anymore.

late 70s to 80s would be the accurate time period of this sign,it catches your eye but it isn't a really interesting deign, it's just eh,okay.

Fri May 11, 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

We did have the concrete with lumber imprints style as well, though in Germany the peak of its popularity was in the early to mid 1970s.

Almost every educational establishment I ever attended was built in that style. And it wasn't pretty.

Fri May 11, 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the sign has been there as long as I have been alive, which makes it at least 30 years old.

In response to the comment about the original mall at the San Antonio Center location: there was another mall called the Mayfield, which is now an HP facility(vacant) but that location is about a quarter of a mile down the road past the original Sear's building at the San Antonio Site. They did however tear down most of the original San Antonio center to put up that damned Walmart. Both of the fountain features, as well as the Menu Tree, and the old Aladdin's Castle arcade were lost in the "upgrade" as well as the original location of the San Antonio Hobby Shop. Which moved across the site to a newer building. The Hobby shop is also now closed.

There you go a little clarification on the San Antonio Center.

Mon Mar 17, 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch, it's really painful to hear that so much of San Antonio Shopping Center is gone - thanks to Walmart. It was seriously one of my favorite places as a kid: The Hobby Shop, Starbase Central, Mervyn's (had a great toy department), the arcade, a big, dirty Sears, even my first bank account - just about everything good I remember from my childhood was in there. Nearly every Lego, Star Wars action figure, D&D module/book/map, plastic model kit, or remote controlled car that I owned came from somewhere in that mall.

As for the sign, my family moved to Mountain View in 1974 when I was 4, and the sign was there in my earliest memories of the place - that and the Sears in the backdrop is pretty much exactly what that corner of the mall has looked like for better than 30 years.

Tue Jul 22, 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous MrEricSir said...

The Aladin's Castle actually existed during the upgrade. The original building was bulldozed, but a bank that continued to exist during the decade-long construction went out of business and Aladin's Castle moved there.

One of the first tenants of the "new" mall (which was essentially an old building with new paint an exterior decorations) was Norny's, a local chain of stationary stores. That one was the last of them, with the one at Stanford Shopping Center closing earlier in the 90's.

The strangest aspect of the 90's renovation wasn't so much the re-purposed buildings used for the deli, Norny's, and the Hobby Shop, but rather the altered elevations of the parking lot. They made the entire mall one level by filling the parking areas with dirt and paving over them.

The reason so many aspects of the mall area are parking is because the Hetch-Hetchy water main runs under the mall. My understanding is that the San Francisco Water Dept. has an easement on certain parts of the area.

Fri Mar 18, 04:10:00 AM  

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