Monday, July 23, 2007

Broadway Plaza Shopping Center

Walnut Creek, California - circa 1950s

Vintage postcard depicting the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center (and its very distinctive sign!) in Walnut Creek, California, which is currently anchored by Macy's & Nordstrom's. Other retailers comprising this venerable upscale open-air regional shopping center include: David M. Brian, The Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Victoria's Secret and Build-A-Bear Workshop. The above photos are from early on in the Broadway Plaza's retail life.

Mall history: 1951 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: none

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Blogger Paul said...

I remember that sign! I think it lasted at least into the 70's. I believe it was erected with the 1951 opening and the small 'Capwells' sign was added when Capwell's opened in 1954.

While still an outdoor center with an unplanned, this-is-how-it-grew-over-the-years feel to it, it's been taken over by chains and has almost no more home-grown stores.

I remember Capwell's (and Gene Compton's cafeteria) now Macy's, I. Magnin and Roos/Atkins (now combined into Macy's Mens), Bullock's (now Nordstrom), Joseph Magnin (now Crate & Barrel), and Penney's (now the unique David M Brian home store)

Mon Jul 23, 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Didi said...

That Broadway sign is so droolworthy! It is a shame that it is no longer around.

Mon Jul 23, 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

Lovely sign. But why are the current tennants considered upscale, when they're the same chains that are active in any other mall? Plus, those chains I know are not what I would consider upscale.

Mon Jul 23, 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Victor Stapf said...

I love that sign!

Mon Jul 23, 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's definitely an upscale shopping center. We go there and look around but can't afford to buy much. Most of the folks you see at Broadway Plaza (who are actually carrying bags and buying things) clearly have money to burn. A large percentage anyway.

If you live there, it's been known in the area for years as a rather hoity-toity mall.

Mon Jul 23, 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Broadways shopper base is from an affluent region. Lots of disposable income within 10 miles. Plus, Nordstrom. There you go.
The word "upscale" is terribly overused. Everyone wants "upscale" but doesn't want to pay upscale prices. Even the slums wants new developments to be labeled upscale.
With two-thirds of Americans in debt, success is measured by the amount of money you spend.

Tue Jul 24, 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember right I think the present day Nordstroms was Liberty House out of Hawaaii. I don't remember Bullocks-anyone else? Katie

Tue Jul 24, 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nordstrom was Bullock's, the second store of their unsuccessful Northern California division (after Stanford S.C. in Palo Alto) from 1973 to 1984. Ironcially, both Bullock's and Liberty House would eventually be "Macy-ated" in their Southern California and Hawaii markets respectively.

Tue Jul 24, 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Liberty House was in Park N Shop in Concord, where Levitz is now.

Wed Jul 25, 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous J-Man said...

And that Liberty House in Concord began as Rhodes.

Sat Jul 28, 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

And before it was Rhodes, it was Khans. Opened in 1957, it was the only branch of Oakland's Khans department store. In 1960, Western Department Stores, the parent company of Rhodes, Khans, and Olds & King changed the name of all their stores to 'Rhodes'. In 1969, Rhodes was sold to Hawaii-based Amfac, who rebranded all their stores 'Liberty House' in the mid 1970's. The Concord store was closed in the early 1980's

Sun Jul 29, 01:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Here is a timeline of the Kahn's space at Park N Shop-
1975-Liberty House
1983-Ross Dress for Less
199?-shared by Burlington Coat Factory and Jo Ann's Fabrics

Mon Jul 30, 08:42:00 PM  

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