Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Burbank's Golden Mall

Burbank, California - circa 1970s

Field trip time outside! Here's the famous Golden Mall, an outdoor pedestrian shopping mall district that was located in downtown Burbank, and looking ever the place to be, here in this nifty early '70s vintage postcard I just couldn't resist posting. That's the Bur-Cal clothing store you see on the end with the cool script logo above the entrance.

Alas, the beautiful mall was completely removed and the area reopened to traffic in 1989 (the mall having originally opened in 1967). But if you're interested in learning more about The Golden Mall and would dig seeing lots more great pictures of it, be sure and visit the nice photo essay at Burbankia, by Wes Clark, of the fabulous Avocado Memories website (which I've loved for years), and Mike McDaniel. Tell 'em Malls of America sent ya! ;)

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Blogger Scott Parsons said...

"Beautiful Downtown Burbank"? Perhaps where Laugh-In got it??

Wed Apr 04, 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

Odd that Californians did not take to pedestrian shopping precincts.

At least in Northwestern Europe, pedestrian shopping precincts continue to be very popular.

The lamps and hexgonal planters in the Burbank pictures remind me of the pedestrian shopping precinct in my hometown. Except that we don't have any palms.

Wed Apr 04, 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very pretty place.

Wed Apr 04, 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Parsons said...

The only two pedestrian malls left in California that I know of are K Street in Sacramento and Fulton Mall in Fresno. Both are really sad places. Both are considering opening up to traffic again. There were a number of people who complained about being faced with the decay of civilization every time they visited (aka, the homeless population). The funny thing about the new lifestyle centers, they often close their streets for weekend shopping to great success. The big difference? It's private property and they throw the homesless out.

Thu Apr 05, 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

Here in Europe, people love pedestrian shopping precincts. Store rents are usually higher in pedestrian precincts. And at least once a year, you get the call to turn this or that street into a pedestrian area and retailers generally support this. And certain towns, who have closed their entire downtown to traffic, draw lots of shoppers from out of town.

Of course, we do get homeless people, too, (and occasional attempts to make them go away to where consumers can't see them) but so far they don't seem to deter anybody from shopping.

Of course, Europe generally has better public transport, while the US is very car-centric, which may be the reason why Americans don't like pedestrian shopping precincts.

Thu Apr 05, 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Vienna over the summer and I was so amazed at how awesome and reliable the public transit was and how easy it was to go from place to place to shop and browse in a matter of no time.

I live in Chicago and our transit system is no where near as complex and good.

Sat Apr 07, 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the Burbankia Web site you’ve cited has some great photos and info of this pedestrian mall. In fact, some of the landscaping elements of it look similar to those at the still existing pedestrian mall in downtown Riverside (about 50 miles east of Burbank). The one in Riverside, designed by architect Herman O. Ruhnau, opened in 1966 (one year prior to the one in Burbank), which likely explains the similarities.

Though it has had its ups and downs, the Riverside mall is currently experiencing a rebirth of sorts as folks are beginning to rediscover its unique qualities in what is otherwise auto-centric Southern California. As such, new restaurants have opened and cultural facilities are beginning to take shape. Plans also include new mixed-use developments nearby that will include multi-story residential buildings.

Sun Apr 08, 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Pokey said...

Hey, Gedward, you big dummy!*

The Riverside Mall link doesn't show.

(I used to read a 1968 Sunset Magazine book on said mall and
it had beautiful (Black and white!!) pics of it.

*Just kidding about Big Dummy. "Sanford and Son" quote.:)

Mon Dec 10, 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, here's a more recent link regarding Riverside's pedestrian mall:

Pedestrian mall renovation begins

Sun Apr 20, 09:31:00 PM  

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