Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Story of Southland Mall Hayward




Here's a scan of the May 1965 edition of Architectural Record magazine. It featured Southland mall and its new concept, an enclosed mall with open store fronts. Finally, no more opening doors!

The best examples of retro styling are the oversized multi-light chandeliers in the Penney’s court. Sunvalley Mall in Concord had them, too, but not this size. I can specifically recall the aviaries being there in the late Seventies, but not sure exactly when they disappeared. The mall had a major remodel in 1985, so perhaps that is when they removed most of these things. I do know the food court under Penney's was added at that point. If I recall correctly, it replaced an ice rink. I know many of us have fond memories of Southland, especially being one of the original East Bay malls. Enjoy the article!
Scott

Read my guide to Southland Mall

Visit the current Website.

See the aerial view.

45 comments:

dean said...

This is awesome. Thanks for posting it!! It's good to see some old pics of the place. I had forgot that Southland had brick floors! And that birdcage was pertty wild. It was fun to look at as a kid but those birds really make a racket. I can't remember how long it lasted - perhaps until the Liberty House extension??

Also cool are the enormous Sears and Penney's signs inside the mall. Below the Penney's sign is the fountain and pool that extended in front of some children's stores. You can see it on the floor plan.

They must have gotton rid of the Sunburst sculpture by the time I arrived on the scene because I remember a "Wonderfall" being in that location. It still had the same railing around it. To the left side of the Sunburst fountain pic you can see the corner of the Harvest House restaurant.

The downstairs area in front of Penney's was an unusual feature of Southland. It had the management offices down there and some services, but never the stores they thought it should have. They even had huge yellow "lolly pop" shaped signs pointing the way down the stairs. The space below Penney's was vacant for the longest time. About the only thing they hosted there was the Santa display at Christmas. It eventually turned into an arcade in the mid 70's that featured a racetrack. I wish I could remember the name of it.

The ice rink wasn't added until the Liberty House expansion. It was right next door to it. The space is now a stereo store. The expansion was cool since it brought some of the modern design of Eastridge into Southland. The transition between the two was apparent and abrupt.

The mall feels a lot narrower now since they allowed the stores to expand their presence beyond the bulkheads. This was an 80's concept to give shopping malls more of a village feel. Each store had to have their own unique facade. The carts and kiosks also now clutter the space.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great old mall. The Penneys storefront is really slick...and huge!

Georob said...

The downstairs was pretty much a glorified service corridor(wasn't it carpeted?). Had they made it accessible by escalator like it is now, it might have been different.

Besides restrooms, offices, and meeting rooms, I remember a barber shop, shoe repair, smoke shop, and maybe a florist. They also had downstairs entrances for stores like Grodins and Roos Atkins that had lower level selling space. However, the corridor was much narrower than the main mall and you have to wonder what they were thinking.

As for the space under Penneys, I never knew it existed until the arcade went in later. My guess is that it might have actually belonged to Penneys and earmarked for an expansion that never materialized.

The Southland Penneys was one of the first(if not THE first) full line mall stores in the Bay Area. SF and Oakland had large downtown stores dating back to the 30's and 40's, but all the others were small stores that sold just apparel and soft goods.

In fact, the old SF Penney building was renovated many years ago and still stands at the SW corner of 5th and Market. It was originally built for a store named Hale Bros. The Downtown Oakland store was at 13th and Washington and was demolished in the 70's for the City Center project.

dean said...

I'm thinking the arcade/racetrack might have been called LeMans Speedway. It had really cool rounded, tiled walls at the entrance.

The downstairs was indeed (gold?)carpeted and even had a direct-to-outdoor entrance to the east. I don't remember downstairs entrances to Grodins and such but that sounds pretty neat. As a kid I was intrigued by the downstairs level. It seemed like a pretty cool place because it was....well....downstairs! :D

BIGMallrat said...

Ah... the ice rink was next to Liberty House. The stereo store that was in it closed as of late. That explains the shape of the store.
I wonder if downstair was attractive to services, like barbers, etc. Well, or wasn't attractive. But, certainly one couldn't count on foot traffic. I remember the Cost Plus underneath Hillsdale Mall. Guess that was an example of basement usage.
It's funny how the food court took some of the area under Penney's. You have to wonder what went on there. Last I was in Penney's, it's tight. They could use some extra space.
I read in the Southland Tenat Criteria guide that they wanted to get away from the overscale look of the Sixties. I guess they were talking about that early mall look with tall roofs and giant department store facades. That's the part I like best about classic malls!
Scott
PS - Dean, I have another article about the 1977 remodel of Stanford I'll post soon.

Georob said...

I know what you mean about that 1960's mall look. In fact, I'll predict that someone somewhere will eventually decide to to a "retro" design, with clean lines ,lots of rectangles, and maybe a little "Tomorrowland" thrown in. It would especially work with an older shopping center that looked like that to begin with.

But I'm not living in the past, either. Today's Spanish/Tuscan look (at least in California) is beautiful. Problem is, IT"S EVERYWHERE. I think the time may be right for a return of
the Victor Gruen style.

If that's too daring, developers could try a dark brick or colonial style which is quite common in the eastern and southern US. You hardly see that in California at all.

Differentiation is the key. But right now everyone wants to do "Piazza Del Blah Blah"

Anonymous said...

The ice skating rink had a large observation window inside the mall. It seemed fresh and modern when it first opened. The stereo store is (was?) called The Good Guys. I always liked the Pacific Stereo store over on Winton and Hesperian better.

The toy store by J.C. Penney used shelves built into the back side of the fountain to display large toys. There was a store opposite the toy store called Matsuri. I don’t know if it was a true head shop but it had plenty of posters, black lights, incense, and rolling papers so it could have been one.

Anonymous said...

J.C. Penney also had a small gas and service station affiliated with it. It was a small stand-alone building in the south parking lot behind Penney’s. It has been decades since I was in the area and don’t know if it is still there. Thank you for the postings and everyone’s comments.

isk8z said...

I was a skater at Southland's ice rink from around 1974, until it closed in 1982. Many stores and restaurants have come and gone over the years. A few I remember well are Farrells, Lord Byrons Pizza, 5-7-9, Beadazzled, Florsheim Shoes, Woolworth, Walgreens, Kinney Shoes, Danskin, Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies, and of course, Le Mans Speedway. Thank you for posting photos, and forgotten details! I still shop there, a few times a year.

Randy said...

The Southland ice rink was the place where Kristi Yamaguchi started her skating career. Was it called Ice Arena, the same business as the Sunvalley rink?

Anonymous said...

OMG - Thanks so much for posting this. I remember going to Le Mans Speedway (where the food court is now)

I used to also go skating at the Ice Arena. I also remember a restaurant called Bumbleberry which had some of the best pies.

Anyone remember the big crystal thing just outside of Liberty House near the rest area?

operamomto3 said...

I remember Bumbleberrys, the speedway, and the ice rink!! Thanks for the memories!!

robin said...

Wow. I've been looking for vintage pictures of the Southland Mall interior for a while. Thanks for posting these! I missed the pools and fountains after they removed them. When I was a child growing up in the 70's they made the mall seem like an amusement park.

Can anyone tell me the name of the music/organ/piano store that used to exist somewhere along the pictured corridor? In 1985 my grandfather (a classically trained pianist) gave an impromptu performance on one of the organs displayed there, attracting a small crowd. I'd very much like to get that name (and even a picture of the store) to include on granddad's blog/biography.

Anonymous said...

What a great find. Thank you for finding and posting this. I grew up in Hayward in the 1960's and 1970's and have a ton of happy memories of Southland Mall. I have the early memories of a child passing the candy-popcorn counters in front of the entrances to Sears and Penneys, the toy departments, Woolworths downstairs, Santa visits, and the addition added to the mall when that was done. I remember being impressed by Roos Atkins curved stairway to their downstairs area. It was a great time to be a kid and I then had the joy of working at the mall as a teenager making lots of new friends there (one I stayed with for 17 years). It was fun and such great memories. I live in the Easter USA and made a visit there awhile back and was sad so this is great. Doesn't someone have property photos of the interiors of the mall that can be shared? The City should, even peoples Kodak pictures they took would be great.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Organ Shop was called "Sherman Clay"

Randy Waage said...

Southland was great. When I was a kid we'd sometimes sit up in the circle windows & watch people ice skate.

I was also fascinated by the glass elevators that went up & down at Liberty House with mannequins in them.

And yes I remember the diamond sculpture by the seating area in Liberty House too. Thought it was way neat/Logan's Run looking. It's really a shame they got rid of the more interesting features from way back. At least that stuff gave the mall character.

I must say LeMans Speedway was my favorite arcade EVER! Lots of classic games to be played in the late 70's/early 80's. Cool to know that the meeting rooms are still down there. I was quite amused to hear there's still an abandoned underground part of the mall near the food court. How cool would it be to have some photos of that.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember Tummy Treat?

jeff said...

yes, I believe Tummy Treat was across from Farrells, I ate there on my lunch hour. There were other places to eat before they destroyed the 60s-70s mall with the food court: Woolworths and Walgreens had restaurants, their was a diner type place on the side near the JC Penneys entrance by freeway, Lord Byrons Pizzia Parlor, Liberty House had a great place to eat on the 3rd Floor, I do believe there was a Bumbleberrys like Eastridge near the ice rink and of course if you were energetic and had little money you could get a donut at Worlds Fair or ice cream cone at Thriftys across the parking lot. This was the best of times for this mall.

Anonymous said...

Remember the 2 brick open stairways leading to the lower level which I believe had bird cages and toucan birds. I think there was a bar downstairs at one time.

If you were a kid and wanted goldfish, turtles, etc. you could go down the 2 stairways in woolworths to their pet area and get some or over to Sears garden catalog center across a roadway and get some fish there. Later on they added a nice pet shop across from Lord Byrons at the other end.

Anonymous said...

Someone must have some old kodak snapshots in a drawer somewhere of the Mall in the earlier years which would be great to see. Unfortunately mine are all gone of shots in the interiors of co-workers and friends. Does anyone remember the Easter Bunny walking around handing out plastic eggs in the 1960's?

Anonymous said...

I remember the long oblong windows that overlooked the ice rink and the round ones that people would sit in and watched from inside the mall as I practiced my routines, and yes Kristi Yamaguchi started there, i remember we had "ice time" together. When Kristi was in the Olympics I was proud to tell my daughters I skated with her, and then they wanted to see pictures from "back then", and then we bring out the photo albums. I will look for old photos of the ice rink, hopefully Im not in them lol thanks for the memories of the mall, I used to love walking around after I finished skating.

garbageman1084 said...

REMEMBER THE ORANGE JULIUS??????? BRENNINS T.V. WENT TO SCHOOL WITH THE OWNER'S SON'S BACK IN OAKLAND IN THE EARLY 70'S!!!!! HOW ABOUT THE OAKLAND SCAVENGER COMPANY!!!!! THE GREATEST GARBAGE CO. TO EVER TO SERVICE THE BAY AREA!!!!!! LONG LIVE THE 60'S & THE 70'S KENNY ''THE SNAKE'' STABLER, GEORGE BLANDA, DARYL ''THE MAD BOOMER'' LAMONICA AND ALL THE GREATE RAIDER TEAM'S OF THE 60'S AND 70'S. RICK BARRY AND THE 1975 N.B.A. CHAMPION GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS!!!!! THE 1972-73-74 CHAMPION OAKLAND A'S!!!! & YOUR CALIFORNIA GOLDEN SEALS N.H.L!!!!! OAKLAND CLIPPERS & OAKLAND STOMPERS NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE!!!! AND BILL'S DAY ON THE GREEN CONCERT'S AT THE COLISEUM!!!! I'M SORRY I THINK OF SOUTHLAND MALL AND ALL THESE OTHER MEMORIES JUST CAME INTO MIND!!!! IT WAS A GOOD TIME GROWING - UP IN THE BAY AREA BACK THEN!!!!!! LARRY THE GARBAGEMAN SAID THAT!!!!!! P.S. LONG LIVE SKYLINE HIGH!!!!! GRASVALLEY- STACEY ST. CHABOT GOLF COURSE IN OAKLAND!!!! AND HORN'S OF THE HUNTER LIQUOR'S THEY HAD ALL THOSE DEER HORN'S AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE STORE THAT'S WHERE THE 4 GIGI'S WOULD HAVE A COUPLE BEER'S & PEPEERONE BEEF STICKS AFTER PICKING UP GARBAGE ALL MOURNING!!!! STORE AT THE CORNER OF WINTON AV. AND HESPERIAN BL. NOW IT'S WALGREENS!!!!! THE VAGABOND HOTEL GOOD TIMES!!!!!! NOW IT'S TARGET. ONE MORE THING LONG LIVE THE OAKLAND SCAVENGER CO. THE YARD THAT HOUSED THE GARBAGE TRUCK'S THAT SERVICED THE HAYWARD-CASTRO VALLEY AREA IS AT THE FOOT OF WINTON AV. DOWN BY THE WATER THE BUILDING IS STILL THERE BUT NOW EAST BAY PARK DIST. OWN'S IT. A LOT OF MEMORIES!!!!! I'M GLAD I WAS AROUND!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a fun stroll down memory lane! My mom worked at JCP forever and remember when they sold records there and had a candy counter, too, or that may have been at Sears.

Had many fun times at Farrell's getting the clown sundae for my birthday and loved the pizza joint, too. Didn't get to skate much but, I too, remember sitting in the circle windows watching people skate. I wish they would not have closed that...who knew ice skating would eventually become popular again.

Also, those big bird cages in the mall were always fun to walk by on the way to Sears. I think they used to decorate them for holidays.

Anonymous said...

Anybody remember the Toy World toy store?

I remember how cool it was because you had to walk over a small bridge that went over a little mote that ran off of the fountain next to JCPenney.

I loved the downstairs area too.

I think there may have been a cigar store downstairs at one time too 'cuz I remember sometimes it would really stink like someone smoking a really cheep stogey.

I also remember a t-shirt shop was down there.

They also used to do the Santaland downstairs with all the cool animated elves and snowmen....That was cool.

Anyone remember "Mickey's Mods"? - The animated Disney figures that would be setup in front of a christmas tree down by the JCPenney end of the mall?

Cheers,

K

GrammaTink said...

I worked at Southland Ice Arena for a couple years before it closed and it was so fun. I do remember Kristi Yamaguchi skating there. She was such a skinny little thing. Also, Tai Babelonia and Randy Gardner skated in a Christmas show. I loved going downstairs below JCP to the Santaland and then when they put in the Lemans speedway, that was so fun. I loved the sunken seating area by Liberty House. I used to take my kids to the mall and they loved going to walgreens and picking out buttons. I miss Farrell's, they had great chicken noodle soup. I also met my husband while working at the ice arena and it will be 28 years next month. He actually grew up in the neighborhood behind the mall and his parents still live in that same house 50 years later. Great memories, thanks for the posting.

Anonymous said...

From my mid teens my friends and I lived at the Ice Rink. One of my friends worked there and we used to rent the ice for hockey after 11pm on the weekends. I also met my wife there. She was a figure skater for a long time. We remember Kristi Yamaguchi and her parents and Brian Botano would show up from time to time from Belmont. As a hockey skater my friends and I thought we owned that rink. It's so funny thinking about the things we did now. I actually broke one of those round windows once by throwing myself back first against the inside plexiglass. It flex so much it shattered the glass on the mall side. Someone mentioned the fountain between JC Penney and the toy world. That fountain was relocated to an historical house at the corner of Tennyson Road and Hesperian Blvd. It's out front. It's a man laying on a turtles shell with his leg straight up and a fish on his foot. And LeMan's speedway did have a bumper car track in the back.

Anonymous said...

The fountain that was outside of JCPenney (between penney's and the toy world store) truly has been moved to the historical house at tennyson and hesperian. It is in front of the House at Mt Eden Park. I apologize to the person who did the above post for having had any doubt. :)

It is visible from Hesperian. I just had to drive by it on my way to work this morning after reading the post above.

I almost had an accident taking a good look at it.

Sure enough, it's exactly as I remember it from my childhood - a person laying on their back on a turtle with leg up in the air with a fish on the foot up in the air.

As silly as this may sound, seeing that again was kind of magical. Like looking through a window into my childhood.

Nice to see some things don't completely go away.

Anonymous said...

I use to manage lemans in the 70s what a great place. There was a tshirt kiosk right in front of lemans. There was also a bar at the opposite end as well just down from smoke shop. Was other called the smoke shop? Guy named Bob owned it had a bead like Lincolns. Wow....i had forgotten all about ice rink.

Anonymous said...

Saw the post regarding the old man, turtle, and fish statue now being on Hesperian and went to check it out. Here's photos of it I took:

Old Southland Mall Statue

Anonymous said...

Before Southland Mall came into existence, Sears stood alone. Across Sears parking lot and through a field were Thrifty Drugs and World's Fare food court. I well remember Southland being built and becoming the "teen hangout" that replaced "The Wall" that separated the Capwell's Dept. Store parking lot on Foothill Blvd from the sidewalk. This was across from the old Hayward High that was demolished and replaced by that architectural monstrosity - the City Center. Oh so long ago, but I remember it all oh so well.

Anonymous said...

I remember the good ol days. Like someone said up top going to the mall was like going to an amusement park. I loved the arcade. Funny thing is my parents bought an organ at "Sherman Clay" and we still have it in our house collecting dust, lol.

Anonymous said...

The name of the bar which was located at the bottom of one of the staircases was named the Courtyard. I used to work at Diablo Systems, which was located in the industrial area, and this was one of our after work hang outs.

Anonymous said...

This is bringing back memories. I was 5 or 6 and remember the toy department that dominated most of Sears downstairs. Sears also had a small cafe down there with a dozen or so tables. That was before the expansion when the mall went only from Sears to Penny’s. I remember that atrium and water fountain near Sears. The area downstairs near Penny’s was called the "Lower Mall" but there wasn't much down there. When they put in the eating court down there, the broke open the top so you could see in from the main mall.

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Carl Street said...

I've got one interior shot of Southland Mall from 1969, but it's only a family shot taken in front of the fountain statue between Penneys and the toy store - wish I had more!:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65009677@N05/9452642185/

Anonymous said...

Have reminisced more than a few times over the last 40+ years. Magical mall was had travelling there on my banana seat bike with basket in front and streamers flying from handlebars alongside my mom on her lady Schwinn. Woolworth's for knitting yarn and Barbie clothes. LeMans for bumper cars. Nut House for pistaschios. Stride Rite for school shoes. Santa's lap for photo and free take away wrapped gift! Pet store to buy fishband feel sad about glass enclosed puppies. Wicks N Sticks for candles shaped like food. Olga's kitchen for Greek salad. Farrell's for Sundaes and smiles. JCP for shirt with Sean Cassidy's face on it...had to have a friend get it! Giant bird cage to the ceiling with birds usually seen outside in trees...plenty of water bowls scattered around floor area. World's Fare with Hof Brau always the winner over all other cuisine choices. Large plastic trays with silverware and plastic cups. @ 15 bucks for mom, dad and me to eat periodically in the evening under quite dim lighting. Skating rink..loved it but not as much as Valley Vista roller rink on Mission...wood floors, church friends and Foreigner's Waiting 4 A Girl Like You. Oh...hair salon near LeMans was First Lady Beauty Salon where my mom got perms now and then..cute.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember if this mall had water features - specifically water running under the floor in places with little bridges? I was so young that I barely remember, but I swear this mall had something like that.

BIGMallrat said...

There was a water feature just as you described against the JC Penney store. It was regrettably removed. I believe an ATM sits in its former location.

Anonymous said...

The bar downstairs was named The Courtyard. My dad was best friends with the owner Jimmy Gallagher. We used to go there on Saturdays and have a sandwich 'cooked' from a tabletop oven :-). Great memories. I was an aspiring 12yr old musician and always gravitated to the 'sound stage' where the jazz band was set up. Bought a Fender Deluxe amp and DuoSonic for $100 from an old jazz guy...wish I still had it! Met big Ben Davidson there one Saturday as well. They were HUGE Raider fans!

Anonymous said...

Actually the food court did not replace the Ice rink the Ice rink was down at the other end across from where Catherines clothing is and it was removed to build Macy's and all the stores to the right of Macy's as you go into Macy's

Pamela J said...

The arcade was called Lamaze Speedway. I'm not sure how it was spelled. My dad moonlighted there working security. It was named after the bumper cars in the back of the arcade. I was an elf at Santa Land one year and helped take pictures of the kids. I still keep in touch with one of the Santa's I met way back in 1976. On break I would walk up the stairs and get a slice of cheese pizza at Woolworths. I can't explain to my kids how wonderful that mall was...

Russell Leavitt said...

The former gas station building is now a Firestone store/repai shop. The gas pumps are gone, but the raised islands on which they sat are still there. The bumper car racetrack downstairs with the arcade was LeMans Speedway. My two younger brothers worked as skate guards and played hockey at the Ice Arena.

Anonymous said...

Don't really have much to say but did work at Penney's in I think 1965. Worked in the candle and luggage dept. Actually still have a picture of me standing in front of all the colorful candles. have carried it in my wallet all these years. Just reading some of the comments takes me way back.I remember later in years when I worked at Mervyns we use go to Lord Byrons and get their awesome Pizza Burgers. wish I could find one of those again !! Anyway thanks for all the memories !!!

Haywardite said...

Thanks for the memories ! I had a lot of good times there.

Anonymous said...

The ice rink had three round observation windows in the mall. I have a newspaper clip of me a two other girls looking through them at the rink. I wasn't aware of the shot until my Mom noticed my distinct coat in the photo. It was fun to take a break from shopping and watch what was going on with the skaters.