Friday, October 30, 2009
Capwell's El Cerrito Plaza Grand Opening 1958
July 9, 1958 marked the grand opening of both Capwell's department store and adjoining El Cerrito Plaza. This advertisement from the Oakland Tribune invites the public to come shop the largest store in Contra Costa County.
The 2-level store cost $6,000,000 and was 232,000 square feet of spacious aisles and modernistic fixtures ("5,000 Flock to See New Capwell Store", 1958). The exterior of the store was equally modern with its blue and brown tile. At the time, Capwell's El Cerrito was the fourth store in the chain, with other locations in Oakland (downtown), Walnut Creek (Broadway Plaza), and Hayward (downtown).
Capwell's El Cerrito lasted until 1996 when the chain was acquired by Macy's and ultimately closed. El Cerrito Plaza fell in to disrepair until it was de-malled and revitalized in 2002.
5,000 Flock to See New Capwell Store. (1958, June 10, 1958). Oakland Tribune, p. E-15.