Thursday, November 09, 2006

1967 Del Monte Center Monterey Article

del monte center
del monte monterey
monterey ca mall
Here's a scan of an article that appeared in Architectural Record magazine, April 1968. It features the new Del Monte Center mall in Monterey.

I find it fascinating that this center has changed little since 1968, right down to the fountain. From what I can tell, the only changes are the 1987 expansion that brought Mervyn's and the adjoining building of inline stores, and the 2005 expansion which brought the cinema. I found most of the ancient trees pictured are gone, which often is the case when the root system of a tree is suddenly suffocated by asphalt or concrete.

By looking closely, I think I can see Joseph Magnin in the southwestern-most building from Macy's.

This is definitely one the few malls in Northern California that look as if time stood still. Yet, it still has a timeless charm that still works.


Read my Guide to Del Monte Center

Visit the current Website.

See the aerial view (pre-cinema expansion).


dean said...

I can't imagine Larry Halprin being insensitive to the trees on the site. It looks like landscape areas were maintained around their root systems. It's very possible the trees got old and had to be removed, though you are correct that major construction around them is hardly ever kind. It's good they have maintained the character of the mall since it is such a unique regional style. It's too bad that the Mervyn's building wasn't as successful as the original design.

I had the (mis)fortune to pitch-in on the theater project. Century hadn't decided exactly what they wanted to do at the time, and there was the huge issue of fitting in enough parking, (I hate doing parking plans). Traffic circulation is another huge issue at this center.

BTW, there's a pic of the Magnavox store in the article. This is the first place I remember seeing the Odyssey game console. Crazy to think they expected people to tape transparencies to the front of their TV. :)

hushpuppy said...

I don't remember a Joseph Magnin in Del Monte, but I do remember a Saks Fifth Avenue there from the early 1970's until about 1984.

Joseph Magnin was in Carmel, a few miles down the road. When JM folded, Saks moved from Del Monte into the old Joseph Magnin location in Carmel Plaza, which along with I. Magnin created a really classy shopping environment. Then, in 1986 when I Magnin closed, Saks took over their space as well, creating a Saks North and Saks South operation. But, sadly, Saks bailed out of Carmel in 2005.

Georob said...

Something in the article confused me. Was Del Monte originally a neighborhood center that was expanded, or ORIGINALLY PLANNED to be a neighborhood center until (presumably) Macys came on board?

I've said this before, but Del Monte is truly a step back in time. Imagine if Bay Fair, Valley Fair, and all the other old outdoor centers had remained in their original formats and were still going strong today with conventional "mall" tenants. That's what Del Monte is.

Sorry, but Stanford's in a different league now. As are places like Fremont Hub and Alameda that, while very nice; are geared toward service and discount retailers. But Del Monte has most of your mainstream tenants that range from mid level to upscale without being too extreme either way.

It's a model that today's "lifestyle" centers might well wish to emulate. The question is would it really work anywhere else but a place like Monterey? In my opinion, had there been a straight freeway connection to Santa Cruz, Salinas, or even San Jose back in '67, Del Monte might not have been even built.

I've only seen one other center like Del Monte and it's in Lihue, HI on the island of Kauai. But like Monterey, it's also a unique situation.

Robert Lamb said...

I'm looking for a photo of the old Mervyn's in the Del Monte Center. If I can't find that, I would like to see a mall map listing it's location.

If anyone has this, you can email me at robswindowcleaning at yahoo dot com THANKS!

Unknown said...

Does anyone have pics of Saks Fifth Avenue? The store opened in Del Monte Center in 1972 and closed about fifteen years later.