Saturday, July 09, 2005

Aurora Village

Seattle, Washington. Early '60s

The gleaming oasis beckons with its siren call. If you build it, they will come...


Blogger Chris said...

Here's proof the sun actually can shine in Seattle. The future's so bright, I bet the woman in the pic is wearing shades.

Sat Jul 09, 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Heh, I'm sure you're right, Chris. And she's almost there...the Promised Land is in sight!

Hey I see you started a blog there. Cool! Looking good so far, man.

Did you dig seeing your Halloween pic on my OLD HAUNTS blog? :)

Sun Jul 10, 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jon Konrath said...

Isn't this the mall just south of NE 205th St and west of I-5? I don't remember much being there other than a big strip of stores and other sprawl, with a Costco/Staples/Home Depot cluster just north.

Seattle's got some good malls, although they might not for long. I keep hearing rumors that Northgate will be de-malled soon, which will be a sad day for those who enjoy indoor shopping.

Mon Jul 11, 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Tyler said...

I remember this place, My aunt and uncle used to litterally live next door to the mall, there was a staircase leading from the neighborhood to the parkinglot of Frederick and Nelson. By the time they moved there in 1991, the mall's days were numbered. Frederick's was going, and Nordstrom was the last major tenant. A KB toys and Big 5 continued to stay when the rest of the mall was disserted. I remember the Nordstrom's as being characteristic of late 60's early 70s design, it was a cross between futuristic and almost like an operah house with bright red carpets, maizzenine balconies and twisting low staircaseses.
It's gone now, of course, replaced by Costco and a number of strip mall only vendors/retailers sitting right next to the King/Snohomish County line.

Thu Jul 14, 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I agree about the Northgate, Jon. Really sad whenever we lose another from the good old days.

Tyler: Thanks for sharing the great memories and details! Fun stuff.

Thu Jul 14, 11:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I was wondering where this was and then took a peek into the comments. I was just at that Costco a couple weeks ago.

Sun Aug 07, 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this woman stood there today most people would mistake her for hooker.

Sun Aug 14, 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, aurora is scandalous nowadays. They even roam during the daytime!

Mon Apr 10, 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up near this mall. It was on the SE corner of 205th and Hwy 99. I was just looking for something else and stumbled across KarmelKorn which used to be one of my favorite hangout at the mall along with Space Port the video game place. I got to rememebering the mall. I then googled Aurora Village and found this. This picture is looking NE from Aurora Ave. The car on the ramp would be right in the middle of what is now Costco's parking lot. I don't think Nordstom or the 2 story parking lot was built when this was taken. Frederick and Nelson closing was the beginning of the end for this mall. It took a few more years to die. Penneys pulled out, then most of the smaller places. A lot of the stores don't exist anymore. Lucky, Pay n Pak, Ernst. Ahhhhh memories of a simpler time.
Thank you!

Sat Jan 13, 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can remember Aurora Village being there when I was a kid in the early 1960s. The Frederick & Nelson store was 3 stories. The escalators were off to the far side of the store like those downtown and later at South Center. I suppose Aurora Village was Frederick & Nelson's answer to Northgate. Bellevue Square, in the eastern suburbs of Seattle, was similar to Aurora Village for several years. Both malls sat on 4 x 4 block sites (approximately 40 acres to the centerlines of the surrounding streets, and had full line Frederick & Nelson, junior J C Penney, and Nordstrom stores. When South Center opened in the southern suburbs of Seattle in 1968, it was the first shopping center to include both The Bon Marche and Frederick & Nelson.

Northgate and South Center were both originally developed by Allied Stores, parent company to The Bon Marche. Allied owned a site approximately half way between downtown Bellevue and downtown Redmond that was intended for a mall to be called Evergreen East. The Boeing Bust of 1970 came along and Allied graded the site but did not build the mall. By the late 1970s, mall development had become the business specialty of mall developers. Allied sold two mall sites, Evergreen East plus a site in Lynnwood to developer Edward J. DeBartolo. The Lynnwood mall opened in 1979 as Alderwood Mall. DeBartolo also intended to develop Evergreen East but ran into opposition from both Bellevue and Redmond. In the meantime, Bellevue Square was expanded upward from a one level cluster style regional shopping center with surface parking to a two level enclosed mall super regional shopping center with parking garages. The Bon Marche ended up opening a store at Bellevue Square in 1984. The Evergreen East site became the location of MicroSoft's corporate campus.

The completion of Alderwood Mall probably had more to do with the ending of Aurora Village's viability as a regional shopping center than any other factor. When Alderwood opened, Aurora Village's open air mall was enclosed as a competitive measure. This did not stop many of the chain specialty shops from closing, however, especially if they also had branches at Northgate and Alderwood. Perhaps if the Frederick & Nelson chain had survived, it too would have built a store at Alderwood Mall to replace its Aurora Village store.

Sat Jan 20, 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was sad to see this mall dissappear. I used to work at the cinema which was next door to SPACE PORT, the video arcade place, which was amazing. During Halloween they would have kids walk up and down the mall trick or treating. The place was thriving in the 80s and then died severely around the 90s. It had character. Now it's a COSTCO!

Tue Feb 27, 02:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aurora Village was a hangout of mine in the 60's. I went to Hillwood Elementary not far from there.

There was a shooting game in the Woolworths and if you used a hex shaped Canadian nickel that was in circulation at the time, you could play for free.

We used to go to the doughnut shop and on the last day of school we'd go & get stuffed there.

I remember there was a Fredrick & Nelson at one end, and before they built the Nordstrom there was a Tradewell and a drugstore at the other end.

Tradewell, "When you buy and we sell, we both trade well" was their jingle.

There used to be a Sambo's restauraunt across the street. There's a Denneys there now.

Sat Feb 02, 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This picture is so sentimental for me! I lived within walking distance of Aurora Village from the time I was born in 1964. It was one of the few places I was allowed to go on my own as a kid because all the salespeople knew me and my parents figured they would keep an eye out. I remember I was there the day they started tearing down the main mall. Standing at the checkout of the grocery store across the parking lot from Frederick and Nelson. The grocery checker, my mom, and I all teared up watching the bulldozers start in.
I can remember walking into Fredericks and having the shoe salespeople greet me by name and ask how school was going. They even remembered what grade I was in and my sibling's names. It is sad that Seattle has had to become a big city. :(


Fri May 30, 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhh just read the "Sambo's" comment. I remember that place too. They had the best breakfast. Not so politically correct anymore though lol

Tue Jun 03, 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this like it was just yesterday. So sad to see Aurora Village gone. I was born in 1963 and lived in Mountlake Terrace for the first 10 years of my life and this is where we always went to go shopping.
I remember all of the stores, Pay n Save, Penneys, Nordstroms, Pirate's Plunder, Frederick & Nelson, Buster Brown shoes. Karmel Korn was the BEST. We used to beg my mom to buy that before we left!
I remember getting fitted for shoes at Nordstroms and always getting a "Nordy" balloon.
Awwww the memories!

Tue Jun 03, 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This brings back so many memories! My brother who still lives in our childhood home near the Kings Christian school sent me the link to this site. I used to work at the cinemas in the very early 80's and can remember getting the Nordy balloon after getting new shoes at Nordstrom from the 70's. I live in Duluth Minnesota now and so this little bit of home really made my day! It's really sad not to see this big part of my teenage years go by the wayside. The last time I was home I travelled up to ALderwood Mall as well and got lost immediately!!! lol! Anyone remember Herfy's and the pet store on the end? I can still think back to seeing Dirty Dancing at the theater one night with friends and dancing in the parking lot afterward.

Fri Sep 05, 12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard there was a candy store named Bucky Squirrel in the mall. Is this true?

Sat Sep 13, 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I used to work at that KayBee toys when the mall was going out of business. My friend and I would play hackysack in the empty mall. It was the summer of the super-soaker, so all these moms were still coming there to buy their kids the last remaining ones in the Seattle area.

It was a cute little mall, but Home Depot and Costco together are more useful.

Wed Feb 04, 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow I did not know that Lucky (which is next to the woolworths if my eyesight is correct) was was far up in the Pac. NW

Sat Apr 04, 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my ears pierced there when I turned 13.....The Snooty Cow was the name of the store....My mom use to also take me out of school occasionally on Wednesday's during lunch and we would eat at Frederick and Nelson's...they always served Canadian Cheese soup on that day. Then after lunch as we extied the Tea Room I would round the corner and get a glaze donut from the

Wed Jul 15, 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Nobody mentioned the perpetual amusement park near the National Bank of Commerce. We used to ride the merry-go-round, the little roller coaster - great times. And KarmelKorn was the best.

Tue Aug 25, 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW Aurora Village. My girlfriends and I would walk there from Mountlake Terrace and(window)shop all day. We were 13 & 14. I got my Go-Go Boots there at Leeds and clothes at Jay Jacobs. That was in the late 60's.

Fri Feb 19, 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my! Aurora Village. I was just thinking of younger days visiting my grandmother who worked at the hole in one donut shop and later at launi kai dress shop sort of opposite of the donut shop. She worked many years for Lillian Bell who owned the donut shop. I would say my grandmother, Oleta worked from late 60's to the early 80s. If anybody remembers them, please post so. Thank you.

Wed Jun 09, 04:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to hang out here when I was a kind in the 70s and 80s it used to be such a fun place. I remember the Theater, Herfy's, Pizza Pete and Frederick and Nelson. The last time I was there the place looked deserted. Sad what has happened.

Sun Jun 13, 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous davey blackmer said...

I use to walk from King's School 6-9 grade with friends to AV. Radio Shack, Pizza Hut, Burger King, SPACE PORT, Herfys, Nordstrom, F&N (always nice during Christmas), Kb Toys, Theater, Seafirst (now B of A), Big 5, Donut Shop, Woolworth (where they still served food at the counter), mini JC Penny, and that huge pk lot where you would practice driving. Once i could dri e i still went there. I do remember how bare it was just before closi.g it one there but a few patrons Nd the employees. I remember looking at the merchandise or what was left of it at F&N when they closed their doors. I once gave a $20 to the old lady at the donut shop and she wasnt goimg to take it cause of some notie about fake bills. 20 minutes later she finally convienced herself a 16 year old kid wasnt printing $20 in his room. Herfys had the best food....all be it remember how dark it was in there with the dark brown tile and all. Ahhhh the fond memories of A/V.

Tue Jul 20, 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Photo of Golf Mill Center Old Mill reproduction fish pond was great! Are there any photo's of the waterfall and stream that are in the background of this photo either in the day or night time?

Sat Jul 31, 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Julie Newkirk said...

The candy store you remember was called "Buddy Nut & Squirrel" or something like that. It was on the west end of the mall adjacent to Nordstrom, next door to Pirate's Plunder.

Tue Oct 12, 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember walking to the mall when I was a kid in the late 80's. It was my getaway from my parents. I also heard that alot of people died where the Home Depot now stands, and that there is some paranormal experiences.

Sat Oct 23, 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous J.C. said...

I grew up going shopping with my folks at Aurora Village, My first job was at Sambos across the street and later moved over to the Aurors Village Exxon. My dad knew the guy that had the little train ride where Bank of America is.A.V. hat a restraunt called Jolly Jester and it later became the Stockyard, great teriyaki steak and the door moooo'ed at you when you walked in.What a great place to grow up!!

Fri Jan 14, 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was my favorite mall! Sad that it's gone now.

Wed Jun 08, 02:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

To David and J.C. and any others who remember the amusement show at Aurora Village.

My parents owned the amusement show and I worked there as a kid. Dad was a third-generation showman who had previously owned American-United Shows that traveled throughout the West when it wasn't winter quartered at 180th and Fremont Ave. North.

Dad had two different engines for the train ride: a coal-burning Steam Engine with steam whistle and a propane-fueled "Streamliner". There may have been another engine as well. The ticket booths came from the Seattle Worlds fair.

Dad had three carousels, the largest was based full-time at Aurora Village and the other two (medium and "kiddie" sized) along with the train and miniature Ferris Wheel, were taken out to do local promotions with J.P. Patches, Brakeman Bill, Captain Puget and Stan Boreson. He would also take rides out to the State institution at Fircrest so they residents could have some fun.

For all three carousels the trim, woodwork, horses and chariots were entirely hand-carved. He took great pride in keeping them in first-class shape and painting them whenever needed. They had glass eyes and bevel-cut "jewels" on the saddles. Leather and metal straps and stirrups were oiled and shined (guess who got to do that job).

There was also a boat ride, "Mars Cars" ride and a car ride. I don't recall a roller coaster ride.

Anybody remember the Strawberry Village Ice Cream and Sandwich Shoppe? Malmo's Nursery? Tony's Pizza across Aurora?

Mon Jul 25, 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger DoriD said...

Great photo! I remember when the mall opened. I was in jr high. Mom always shopped at Lucky and also Fredericks. I later took my own kids to see Santa at the Aurora Village Fredericks. It was always the same "santa". Those were the "good" years. :-)

Sat Jul 30, 07:22:00 PM  
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Wed Sep 21, 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Glen N. said...

I grew up near Lake Ballinger.I remember before the mall was built. There was woods there. There was an old log cabin there. My friends an I would go and play in the old cabin.As long as we are in the neighborhood,I can remember when the ground was broken to build Mt. Lake Terrace.
Class of 1952, Edmonds High School

Mon Mar 19, 05:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Aurora Village! My parents shopped at Pay 'N Pak dad bought strings of classic red and green glass bulb christmas lights there and hung them on the house every year for two decades afterwards. My mom would take us to Penneys for school clothes shopping and Nordy's for high end school shoes. We ate KarmelKorn, shopped at Maurices or Mariposa (can't remember what it was called) and in our younger days get our pics taken on Santa's lap at F&N. The last two movies I saw there were "Moonstruck" and "Pulp Fiction". I remember coveting the Sears WishBook catalog every year and my sister and I would make wish lists from it that my mom would take to the AV Sears to buy gifts. Then, when the Alderwood Mall came about in 1979 my mom loved Lamonts and Montgomery Ward, but we still got most of our clothes from Penneys.

Wed May 23, 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason this mall has stuck in my head since the first and only time I visited in the summer of 1993. F&N had gone bust as a chain by then (I think), Nordstrom's was gone and I seem to remember that the only places still functioning at the time were the toy store, theatre and a hair/nail place. We bought drinks at the drug store on the south side of the very empty parking lot and I just stared at the whole mall. I was fascinated that it was still there but 95% empty. I looked in all the windows and even tried to get the security guard to take me on a tour but he wouldn't. I blame this place on my urban exploration exploits later in life.

Wed Jun 20, 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Fred said...

I spent a lot of quarters at SpacePort in the late 70's/early 80's! What I'd give to see more photos of the old Nordstrom, inside or out, and the WinWin(?) and Buddy Squirrels and the others... I'd lie to see old shots of Ernst and the other buildings on the south side of the lot!
So many memories... The photos reawaken them... More please! Thank you!

Sun Jul 22, 03:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking for the name of the record store located at Aurora Village in the 70's. Can anyone remember the name?

Mon Apr 21, 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was really fun to read through although I cant see the photos that some are referring to??? HERFY'S is a huge memory...the tiles that looked like pennies on the counters...brown & orange...and
aHHH, Nordie bars at nordstrom and
...I seem to remember a SATURDAYS? and does anyone remember the decked out Christmas decor they'd put out during the season? There were lots of mechanical scenes with fake people and fake snow etc...I found it absolutely fascinating as a child. GREAT memories of this mall. I miss it! Anyone remember WIGWAM down the hwy a bit?

Mon Jun 16, 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aurora Village was probably the first mall I ever set foot into as a child in the 1970's. We still have the F&N Santa pictures taken at A/V. I continued to shop there on and off through its closing. The last movie I saw there was Rocky V (Fall 1990). I also remember eating at Shakey's Pizza up the road. It just isn't the same. Northgate holds the same fond memories and I continue to shop there today.

Sun Jun 21, 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Denny S said...

Well I'm not sure if anyone is following this anymore,but I've just got to put in my 2 cents worth. I currently live on first hill in in Seattle and was born in 1959. Born at Northwest hospital, I grew up in Lynnwood. I remember the AV mall well. I remember all the store people have mentioned.
My mother worked at Penneys in the 60's. I remember they had clothing racks that were about chest high to an adult. As small kids we would place hide and seek by hiding between the clothes on the racks. In the 60's and early 70's, from Lynnwood AV was the place to shop aside from a major venture to Northgate. As kids we got all our shoes from Nordstrom Best (back when commoners could afford to shop there :)). I remember the shoe salesman would put on our shoes and the we would walk over this little bridge where he would make sure they had a proper fit.
The pet store mentioned next to the Herfy's is where I got my first aquarium. Every time I went to Herfy's I'd get another fish. The Malmo was the place to get your gardening needs aside from Sky's down the street. The arcade, the train rides, theater (aside from the Lynn that became the Lynn?Twin) Wigwam (Wigwam, the Wigwam store, you always get more at the Wigwam store) Sunday breakfast at Sambo's, Ahh what memories.
I actually worked as a Busboy at the Denny's when it opened in 75. The story as I understand it is, That the state's original plans to expand the interchange going into Edmonds for the ferry was to utilize the property where Sambo's stood. Sambo's moved down the street where the only access to it was by southbound traffic. The state ended up revising it's plans and a Denny's was built there along with an Arby's. I understand Sambo's sued,but don't know what ever came of it.
To the person who felt lost around the Alderwood Mall, I can relate. I graduated from LHS in 1977. The mall was just a huge brush field where we would race our cars and take girls to look at the stars.Got out of the Navy in 81" and here was this big monstrosity across the street from our once isolated HS. Last year I went up to get some contacts and couldn't find my way off I-5. Today the AM and it's little side plazas are 5 times the size they were. Lynnwood High's been been demolished (was sinking into the ground).
As this conversation is about the old AV mall and its being replaced by a COSTCO, the irony is that as I write this a COSTCO is preparing to open on the old LHS site.
How sad all youthful memories bieng replaced by COSTCO.

Denny S

Tue Sep 29, 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I grew up in the '80s and LOVED AV at Christmastime! I remember the mechanical scenes you mentioned, including large wind-up "music boxes." The spiral staircase at Nordstrom's was always lined with beautiful red poinsettias. Whenever my folks took the elevator, I loved racing up the stairs to meet them at the top. :-)

Sat Nov 21, 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I grew up in the '80s and LOVED AV at Christmastime! I remember the mechanical scenes you mentioned, including large wind-up "music boxes." The spiral staircase at Nordstrom's was always lined with beautiful red poinsettias. Whenever my folks took the elevator, I loved racing up the stairs to meet them at the top. :-)

Sat Nov 21, 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That's the first I've heard about Northgate going away. Where did you get this news from?

Wed Dec 30, 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

♡ these memories! I only have a few good memories of my childhood but these are the best. My father decorated the middle of Aurora Village at Christmas with a full size miniature village complete with trains and working scenes. (He also won a Seattle Times best dressed Christmas home window contest..the old tin foil tree with color wheel trick!) I was fascinated with the miniature village and Barbies. I still wear my mom's faded paisley slip from Learner's even though it is "hot pants" length. Remember those matching bell bottom pants & tube tops? What a riot! Kids are missing the community we shared growing up here. Sambo's almost orange-yellow pancakes ROCKED and I loved grazing their shelves of stuff you could take home! Big Boy, Ice Skating Rink and A&P. I had just watched JP Patches and was arriving at Sunset Elementary when the big earthquake it, had to sit down on the grass the upper field was rolling like waves.

Now I fondly work at Costco because that location will always feel like HOME. I was in 10th grade at Lynnwood High which is, yes oddly another Costco, but it's a solid, good company. I wish I had some photos of my father's Christmas displays and the many sights everyone has fondly shared. Thank you for having this little corner of the Internet to cross over that Nordstrom shoe bridge again!!

Thu Jul 14, 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Jody Lancaster said...

I was born in 1956 in Seattle and remember Aurora Village well.
There was a store there called "Bottoms" that only sold pants.
In 1976 it was the place to go to buy really cool bell bottoms.

Thu Oct 27, 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think it was music land

Wed Jul 05, 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think it was music land

Wed Jul 05, 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Carla said...…. Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant on the Northeast corner? It was more of a bar than a restaurant. It was still operating in 1973. That was my favorite Nordstrom store. So sad when it closed!
Carla Klosterman

Thu Apr 18, 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i grew up in Edmonds and on many a Saturday, my friends and I would walk to the Aurora Village Mall and spend the day being silly teenage girls. Hanging out at Woolworth's, buying lipstick and lunching on french-fries and root beers at the lunch bar in the store. Looking for record albums, trying on clothes at Fredericks, and eating KarmelKorn. I loved this place. It was my destination as a teen, and it shaped my young-self. I guess it was largely materialistically that it influenced me, but it was also a social experience to go there with friends and spend the day being kids. I loved Aurora Village.

Mon Nov 23, 09:30:00 PM  

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