Monday, September 25, 2006

Mall Memories - NewPark Mall

Here's an early shot of NewPark Mall after it first opened. It's actually a scan of their promotional brochure that mall management sent to me in the mid to late Eighties. Notice the excessive use of brown tile? Very fitting for the era, but like most trends, they pass. I believe the original intent of brown was to make it look like a Eucalyptus forest. Probably because that’s what they demolished to make the mall. A fragment still remains outside the mall and is a popular Monarch Butterfly area.
If I remember correctly, the last major remodel saw the replacement of the brown tiles on the second level floor with white tiles. In addition, the railing was replaced with a clear glass one. A few minor things were also updated, but the lasting update is the Miami Vice glass elevator.
Last year, General Growth Properties (GGP), the mall’s owner and manager, promised an extensive remodel and expansion of a cinema. This year, though, they retracted their announcement. Mervyn's sold GGP their building, so that gives the mall some new options (and maybe some preferable ones) for an expansion. I'm sure we'll see a fresh remodeling soon, but nothing has been announced yet. I'm just wondering if Mervyn's will be closing?

Read my guide to NewPark Mall

Visit the current Website.

See the aerial view..


dean said...

Ahhhhh. Early NewPark. -sigh- My mother worked for the developer (in the mall itself) so I stopped by there often in the early days. Anyway, it was just across the freeway. Lots of brown and tan tile, flashy new Macy's store, cool Video Concepts store with projection TV, Laserdisk and sectional sofas. Countless stores have come and gone and a huge remodel on the scale of the San Francisco Airport has brightened up the place but it still has a comfortable feeling to it.

An unfortunate casualty is the Fremont Hub not only 2 miles away. Fremont Hub was the cool place to be, but NewPark was newer and cooler. Fremont Hub then tried to look like Stanford but it didn't help. It has tried to look like a trendy new lifestyle center but the center of the mall is still barren. Fremont Hub is still a nice place to shop, and is improving, but does not have quite the vitality it had in the 70's.

mrbluelight said...

I worked for Emporium at the NewPark Mall when it opened in 1987 and I remember the dark brown and tan tile! The mall originally opened with Macy's and Sears in 1980 in the middle of cow pastures! I too remember the Video Concept store when VCR cost $1000's !! When they added J.C. Penney and Mervyn's they extended the Mall. When they first opened I remember the food court was small and strangely located a 'Shirtique' t-shirt store in the middle! Back in the 80's when the rage was customized t-shirt decals! Orange Julius, London Fish & Chips, Hof-Brau, Chinese Food, The Hot Dog Experience, Paddy's Pizza, Tater Junction, Swensons Ice Cream, and Donut World.

Brenda Coats said...

That was a long long time ago - Frederick's of Hollywood was still going on...