Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kaiser Center Mall

This vintage newspaper clipping is from August 3, 1966. This little piece of history not only has an article about Grodins opening a new location in the Kaiser Center Mall in Oakland, but there also is an advertisement for Dorothy's also opening in Kaiser Center, too.
According to the article, Grodins will be the first major store to open in downtown Oakland since 1960.
I'm fairly certain this shopping center is no more. The building is still there, but there is no trace of a shopping center.
This is one mall that I have absolutely no memories. I hope someone out there in blog-land can shed some light or share their memories!

Oakland Tribune (1966, August 3). Grodins to Open in Kaiser Center Mall. Retrieved November 1, 2007, from http://www.genealogybank.com/


Jeff said...

It looks like the center is still there, but de-malled. The Grodins store is prominent still. Looks like its a Longs Drug store today, with the mall portion a 24 hour fitness.

Didi said...

That is a great ad!

chutti said...

I VIVIDLY remember this place from when I was a kid. In the sixties it was called "MacArthur Broadway Center" with a large rotating blue and gold sign on the corner with the initials MB. It later became MB Center.

The anchor was Woolworths, which opened directly across from Kaiser Hospital as well as to the Mall.
When I was 4, my best friend and I got locked in there 'accidentally on purpose'. We had plans to play with all the birds, make ice cream sundaes, try on all the makeup, and color one page in each coloring book. Too bad they found us after 5 minutes!

The fitness center was once a really cool woman-owned feminist gym that did lots of community work while it lasted.
Other stores gradually declined to neighborhood mom and pop sneaker shops, hairdressers, etc before it closed in the late 90's to become Kaiser space.

The food court was memorable. The decor was sort of Lawrence Welk Show in winter: twisty dead branches were painted white, stuck in big pots, and then strung with white christmas lights to reflect the royal blue wall and ceilings.

The escalator to the rooftop parking became more and more hinky over time. At one point there was a busy shoeshine stand there.
My deep memory of the weird purplish tar they used on the roof was that it had a unique sweet smell that was very compelling for me.

I lived a few blocks from here (behind Mosswood Park) from 1988-1992. It was sad for me to see it gradually fall apart.

Thanks for the memories!

doug said...

The Kaiser center really wasn't a mall, just some shops. My mom used to cut hair there in the 70's at the beauty salon. I do remember Joseph Magnin and that funky shoe department they had..very mod looking. Great memories!!!