Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Mall at Valley Fair


Here's one for the Way Back Machine. Historic Valley Fair mall, pre-mega-mall upgrade in the late Eighties. This card is postmarked April 23, 1985, but none of the addresses have ZIP codes. So, I really don't know when it was taken.

The back of the card reads "The Mall at Valley Fair, San Jose, Calif. This regional shopping center is one of the outstanding shopping centers serving the greater suburban area. Over 60 specialty stores and a large department store are located here."

Of interest in the foreground is the base of the uniquely tiled smokestack. According to Mike Caroll Jr's History of Valley Fair Center Web site, "it served as an exhaust system for the center's underground shipping and receiving area. Colored with bright mosaic tiles, this structure was an excellent example of 1950's pop art." Of course, it was demolished when the center was redeveloped.

Read my Guide to Westfield Valley Fair mall
Visit the current Website.

4 comments:

dean said...

For some reason my family never shopped at Valley Fair though we did drive by it a lot on our way down Highway 17. It had a cool sign composed of individual poles in a line, similar to the original sign for Disneyland. Each pole had a letter of the name and was capped with globes of varying heights. It was very festive and 50's looking. I think Bay Fair had a similar sign on E 14th Street.

BIGMallrat said...

I've got a picture of the sign, somewhere. Haven't been able to find it yet. Glad you remember what it looked like!!
Scott

MaynardsDad said...

First, let me say this in one cool site! Lots of good memories of the good old days in the old home town! I remember the old Valley Fair fondly--my favorite things were the underground shopping area with the glass and steel entryway over the stairway in the middle of the mall (though why someone thought you needed to build underground out the 'burbs is beyond me,) and the Cable Car restaurant, with its real Cable Car built into the walls. These both disappeared when it was rebuilt in the 80's. Anybody know if the any part of the Cable Car was saved?

Renee said...

I worked at San Jose paint in that mall for 17years