Saturday, September 5, 2009

Eastridge Boys

When I moved last month I found a stash of old marketing brochures I had saved when I was a young whippersnapper in San Jose. It's a half-decent set of amusement park maps, park highlights, and chamber of commerce rehash. Amazing the things that avoid the landfills...

These are photos taken from a Eastridge Mall pamphlet from the early '80s. That place has seen its ups and downs as shopping tastes have changed through the years, but in those days Eastridge was a sparkling, regional retail destination.

And it was a playground to kids like me. The intoxicating scent of popcorn filled Sears, and in this pre-VHS era we could watch cartoons for a quarter in a filthy plastic booth. I remember getting in trouble with my cousin Marcos, who had brilliant ideas like sliding down the dividers between escalators and wading in the fountains to filch the coins. You've heard of mall rats...we were more like mall rugrats.

Looking at these pictures, I love the geometric patterns, the elongated bubble canopy over the information booth, and the sculpture (since relocated to downtown San Jose), which I liken to a metallic peacock.

4 comments:

BIGMallrat said...

Good thing you didn't throw this stuff away! You'll have people chomping at the bit for a piece of this. Love the great pictures. Looks like they used some of them for postcards, too.
Scott

John said...

WOW! These pictures bring back so many memories of Eastridge Mall. I grew up in East San Jose and my brother and I used to take the 22 bus from Alum Rock Ave and King Rd to Eastridge Mall ALL THE TIME!

Thanks for preserving these memories!!!

Dean said...

These pictures show what a stylish place Eastridge was originally designed to be. They capture everything that was cool about the place: the central court seating and fountains, the sculptures, the cool geometric design, the chrome column lights... It was really first-class.

I'm glad you have an image of the Mefford sculpture. Those black columns with their blinking neon bands made the court in front of the Penney's store very futuristic.

Other than some awkward traffic flow at the third level area, there really was no reason why they had to butcher the design. Stoneridge looks almost the same and is still going strong. The post-modern 80's and 90's ruined many modern malls!

Marie said...

AMAZING! So glad that you came across this box of treasures...hope you dont mind...i'm reposting this to i heart sj...