Monday, March 12, 2007

Cupertino Square Fights Back

With the hubbub about the Vallco Fashion Park renovation, I thought I'd pay it a little visit.

I was surprised to find the mall busier than in the past; especially with the unseasonably warm weather. Only a scant number of shops are still open, partly due to the renovation that has closed off access to where stores would be. The parquet flooring is gone! In its place are warm white tiles, still being installed in places. Upscale tan granite tiles are being installed around planters and columns. A new parking garage is nearly complete near JC Penney.

The most exciting addition is a cinema, which is nearly finished. Its hulking structure is shown on the second picture and the indoor ticket booth is shown on the fourth picture.

An "international" food court is under construction over Wolfe Road near Penney's. I'm assuming they will be cannibalizing part of the Vallco Ice Center. An atrium is planned, but I'm not sure where. Seems likely near the food court.

Also unknown is the fate of the first floor. There are no signs of the walls coming down.

The exterior of the mall will look similar to Santana Row, earning this mall the nickname 'Santana-Row Lite." The artist's rendering of the exterior from Vallco Parkway and Wolfe Rd. looked more like a European village than suburban shopping center. (which begs the question, in Europe, do they build things that look like an "American village?") The second photo shows a partially constructed facade, which will favor modernistic styling, also butting the street.

The fifth photo shows the backside of the center, which resembles a college. Taking any exterior photographs of this mall is near impossible with the thick trees. I love the trees, but it hides the mall. Not to mention, it DOES look like a school (complete with windows that are sealed or store junk).

Well, what do you think about the Vallco, eer, Cupertino Square renovation? Will it work? Can the area support another major mall?


Read my guide to Vallco Fashion Park

See the aerial view.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Vintage 1915 Emporium Advertisement

This scanned from the San Francisco Examiner, dated December 15, 1915. The headlines on the paper spoke of the closing of the great 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition, which celebrated the 1914 opening of the Panama Canal. Inside, though, I found this ad to be of interest.

The unique script used for "The Emporium" precedes the giant "E" that I remember at Stonestown or San Jose's Almaden Plaza. The great detail put into the penmanship is an art on its own; certainly not something you see or appreciate any more.

And who can resist the enticing offers of the Edison Phonograps?


Friday, March 02, 2007

Vintage Postcards: Aerial Sunvalley Mall in Concord

The postcard series continues... A recently acquired gem that also gives you an idea what the area was like in 1974. I-680 was two lanes each side, there is no Willows Shopping Center, just open spaces of non-native grasses and field mustard.

The back of the postcard reads "Sunvalley Shopping Center. An aerial of the newest and most modern shopping centers [sic] in the U.S.A. It is completely enclosed and air conditioned." The card was postmarked February 24, 1975. Back when it cost 8 cents to mail a postcard!

Near Penney's, a wooden fence surrounds an area that allows you to see underground. I'm interested in this "hole." Does anyone know anymore about it?

I think Macy's still has the blue awnings. Timeless, they might say.

Enjoy the card!


Read my guide to Sunvalley Mall

Visit the current Website.

See the aerial view.