Thursday, September 28, 2006

Westfield San Francisco Centre Now Open

The much anticipated expansion of Westfield San Francisco Centre opened this morning, complete with pomp and circumstance. The newly expanded mall features 1.5 million square feet of shopping on five floors. The second-largest Bloomingdale's makes its debut in San Francisco, joining the second-largest Nordstrom. In addition, many new retailers to the Bay Area will open in the mall, including Forth & Towne, Aldo Accessories, and The Art of Shaving.

I personally look forward to seeing the architecture of the interior, including the restoration of the dome. I also understand the original Art Deco escalators used by The Emporium will be meticulously restored and used on the lower level.

My visit last weekend showed the facade of the Market Street entrance looks new again; still retaining its original character. That Mission Street entrance is an ultra-modern swank glass wall with a giant Bloomingdale's sign. Look forward to pictures when I return with a camera!

The newspapers have reported absolutely no parking available anywhere near the new mall. Least until the crowds die down. For now, BART or MUNI is the way to go.

I'll get myself down there as soon as possible for photos to share with everyone.


hushpuppy said...

I, too, am anxious to see the new Emporium store. I loved those old Art Deco escalators! They were so quiet. Unlike today's escalators which make a shhhhhhhhhh noise, the old Emporium's escaltors were practically silent. I wonder if they were forced to retrofit them with those ugly brushes all escalators today seem to have.

The 'no parking' rumor is not entirely true. San Francisco has several large parking garages, once right across Mission Street from Bloomingdale's. There was no NEW parking built for this development, although they do offer valet parking so Madame won't have to schlep her parcels to the car or, heaven forbid, home on the streetcar.

A preliminary review from my sister says Bloomingdale's is very large, very cold, and very sterile. But then, she's now 'of a certain age' and always felt more at home at I Magnin and Saks Fifth Avenue

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see what this mall (and the old Emporium) looks like now.

dean said...

I had a similar opinion of the Bloomingdales that replaced the Emporium at Stanford Shopping center. Perhaps they were trying to create soomething "cutting-edge" but it came off looking cold and sterile. I'll reserve judgement for this one until I visit it.

I'm also eager to see the new development. The Emporium building was one of my favorites in San Francisco. The old escalators were cool but the dome was incredible. It will be interesting to see it in this new context.

Fortunately, this renovation is going to reestablish the pathway through the block again and provide more ways to get through to Mission Street. It should make the narrow sidewalks of 4th and 5th streets a bit less congested.