Monday, October 02, 2006

Eastgate Center Mall

Roseville, Michigan - circa 1950s

Wow. This masterpiece of a sign at the Eastgate Shopping Center in suburban Detroit, just may top them all! What do you think? It's certainly one of my own personal favorites, at any rate. Signage borne of the Nuclear Age, and it shows!

Mall history: 1950s - present
Architect: Charles N. Agree
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Blogger Scott Parsons said...

Now THAT is a fine example of Mid-Century Modern. I love 50's Space Age. Is the sign still there?

Mon Oct 02, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

Absolutely fabulous! Just imagine how cool it must have looked all lit up at night.

Mon Oct 02, 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's as GOOGIE as it got.....A splendid example of mid-cen-mod if I ever saw it!

North Georgia

Mon Oct 02, 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, hell. That's as space age as you're going to get! Brightens up any neihborhood (sic) like a good X-mas tree! I'm truly am a sucker for big letter's, too.


Mon Oct 02, 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How huge is that sign? It is casting us with its presence!

Mon Oct 02, 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if you look at the southwest corner of the property in the satellite view, there is some sort of signage there......and it appears to have 8 (count them, 8) squares on the top...similar to the picture! It may just be coincidence, though.

If only MSN had the bird's eye view available for this area...anybody from Detroit out there?

Mon Oct 02, 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger czeltic girl said...

Eastgate Center: It's THE FUTURE!

Tue Oct 03, 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

Truely a great sign. It is the best I have seen!!

Wed Oct 04, 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

Hey, what are those crazy things hanging from the light poles?

Wed Oct 04, 08:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to visit this place back when I was 11 years old (1962). It was the first Mall on the east side of Detroit but not in the city itself but in Roseville. It also had a bunch of public outdoor sculpture carved from granite. One sculpture was of a hippo and one was of a Lion with a small brass mouse, illustrating the Aesop fable about a mouse who pulled a splinter for the Lion's paw. The mouse was constantly being broken off and stolen. The sign is long is most of Detroit.

Thu Oct 05, 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow -- does that sign still exist? I go through the detroit area every few months (gotta visit the in-laws now and then), and I would definitely take a detour to visit this sign -- i had the wife stop so I could take a picture of the Telstar Motel in Clinton Township (after the Joe Meek song, of course), so random detours for cool signs are a given.

And, honestly, this is probably the coolest sign since The Landing (, and, since I'm from KC and never saw that sign, I'm going to assume it doesn't exist. Please don't tell me the Eastgate Center sign doesn't exist either!

Thu Oct 05, 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Sign is still there, but the rings was removed and the sign was repainted several years ago. the rings was removed sometime after Federal's burned down in 1978.

Sat Oct 07, 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger .Tom Kapanka said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Mon Nov 20, 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger .Tom Kapanka said...

November 20, 2006
I grew up a block from Eastgate in the 60's and 70's. I was there a few years ago and the big loops of the sigh were gone but the "X" they formed in the center of the words were still there. I'm working on a story-post set in part at Eastgate Shopping Center.

Mon Nov 20, 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also grew up in this town in the 50s and 60s. Elliptical rings used to have lights that flashed in sequence around the rings. Very cool. Those "crazy things" on light poles are strings of pennant-shaped banners. Before this was a shopping mall it was an airport. Restaurant across street was called Airport Grill, which is still in brickwork under aluminum siding. JFK stopped here when running for president and gave a speech.

Mon Jan 22, 09:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 2-5 years old, we lived right down the street from here. I remember the Federal's and Korvette Stores in this shopping center. I can't remember this sign at night, but what a blast from the past seeing this picture! I had long since forgotten this thing, as I am 45 years old now and haven't lived in Michigan in 18 years now. Thanks for posting!

Tue Jul 15, 03:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Korvette's was never in this shopping center. Korvette's was at 12 Mile and Gratiot.

Hey, does anyone know what department store was across the street (Frazho) from Eastgate Shopping Center? I remember there was a Farmer Jack's and Famous Italian Pizza Bakery. But what what the name of the department store in the back of this lot, that later became a nightclub at one point.


Tue Feb 03, 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at the "Famous Italian Bakery" as teenager, which was owned by Anthony Zerilli, alledged Detroit Mob Boss, The first department store I remember behind the bakery was the "Spartan/Atlantic" department store. But several differant businesses have gone thru that building since.

Mon Nov 02, 10:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the Federals department store had a drive-through window in the back for tubes. My dad would take the bad tube out of our TV set by looking for the burnt one(s) when it malfunctioned and then we got into the tube line at the drive though and they would match 'em up and give us new ones. lol!

Mon Nov 30, 05:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone talking about the sculptures is mixing up the Eastland Mall with Eastgate shopping Center. The sign has been "modernized", JFK once did a campaign stop here, Korvettes was not here and Spartans was the department store way in the back across the street that turned into a disco and then became a Kmart. It is not there anyore

Sat May 21, 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work at a store called 'Kids Stuff'. It opened at Christmas and later became Ace Hardware. It was here I met my future spouse. He worked at the Cunnningham drug store. I have very fond memories of this mall.

Sat Dec 08, 06:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sign was sold sometime ago. : (

Fri May 30, 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the record shop next to Cunningham Drugs ? What was it's name ? please E-Mail the name to Thank you....And The Airport Grill turned into a Pizzaria/Restaurant in the60's. Then an aquarium and fish store after that.

Fri Jun 13, 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the record shop next to Cunningham Drugs ? What was it's name ? please E-Mail the name to Thank you....And The Airport Grill turned into a Pizzaria/Restaurant in the60's. Then an aquarium and fish store after that.

Fri Jun 13, 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i grew up here and these pics make me pine for these times to the point of queasiness. i'm gonna throw up.

i lived on glendale and was forbidden to go up to eastgate during my gradeschool years... but i rode my schwinn stingray up there anyway. i took 5 bucks out of my mom's purse once to go to the annual carnival that set up shop in the eastgate parking lot. i still remember riding that ride that spins you in a drum and then the floor falls away. with my stolen money i played that game where you place dimes on colored squares, the guy throws a wiffle ball into a grid, and you win if your dime is on the same color. i hit the jackpot and won an entire box of slowpokes. the perfect crime.

if you grew up in roseville and really want to ache for the old days, look up the gratiot drive-in site. i passed out.

kirk rudolph
(former rosevillian, now live in charleston, sc)

Tue Dec 23, 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Delia Jean Streefkerk said...

I remember this shopping center well, too. My dad said he remembered the airport, and that there was a commemorative plaque for it near that space age sign.

My brother had a job for awhile with Teen Man around 1975 and with his discount bought a forest green leisure suit!

I remember the Cunningham Drugstore, which is now a Chinese buffet, Ace Hardware (with an ace playing card for its sign), and a store with a neon woman in a full 1950s skirt that flashed on and off. The store was called Sidders or Sibley?

The record store next to Cunnigham once had an appearance by Karen Savelly of WRIF. She was kind of snooty but still autographed something for me. I still remember it had genre signs all over, including "Disco"! And I also remember the businessnear the back, which had a discotheque called Rare Cherry.

Fri Mar 27, 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger denny w said...

Do you remember any of the'history' of the"Kidstuff" store. I too worked there.

Fri Aug 21, 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger The fat polish kid said...

Yes! It's still there.

Sat Aug 22, 03:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Long gone as is the SS Kressge store with the counter and soda fountain. Remember Federal's burning down in 78?

Sat Oct 22, 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I visiting a friend near there now and grew up in Roseville. Sadly that sign has been gone since the late 60s...

Sat Oct 22, 05:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Korvettes was at 12 and Gratiot and I remember it well. I still feel so guilty as I stole a little toy from there as a 9 year old. Karma lasts

Sat Oct 22, 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What nightclub was it? Was it Gabes?

Sat Oct 22, 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our family moved to the corner of Koontz and Frazho when Eastgate was still under construction in October 1953. Frazho was just a dirt road at the time. I too saw JFK there. i was 14 and was able to get all the way up to the platform he was speaking on. A memory I will never forget. i got my first job as a packer at Savon Foods which changed to Farmer Jack in 1964. The store was located across the street on Frazho. I did my banking at Detroit Bank and Trust which was located across from Cunninghams. Rember the glass annex at Federals? My neighbors son road his bike thru the glass and cut himself up a little. They put strips of tape on the glass to warn future riders. I would ride my Schwinn bike that I won on Sagebrush Shorty to Eastgate all the time. I could go on and on with the memories. Had a happy childhood and Eastgate was a part of it.

Fri Aug 17, 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was only 12 not 14 when I saw JFK. Just wanted to make that correction. Oh yeah I bought a Beatle's suit at the clothing store located at Eastgate too.

Fri Aug 17, 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I grew up 4 blocks from ESC, the record store you're inquiring about was called Record Outlet. It was unique for the round window at the front.

Sun Nov 11, 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Tamami Chocolates said...

depressing but interesting. My grandparents lived near Eastgate.....on Bringard street. I remember going to Hudson's and the "visit Santa" at Christmas...wonderful plus I remember an Italian butcher shop in the center...hams, etc hanging from the was wonderful. Great memories. Good place to be from but still wonderful memories....I'm 64 now. W B

Sun Sep 15, 02:37:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Record Outlet.

Fri Dec 20, 06:31:00 AM  

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