STONESTOWN CENTER
20th Avenue and Winston Drive
San Francisco, California

The first shopping mall in the city of San Francisco was officially dedicated November 6, 1952. STONESTOWN CENTER was situated on a 65 acre parcel, 6 miles southwest of Union Square, in the Lake Merced district of "The City". The site was formerly a cabbage patch.

The original open-air mall consisted of a main retail level and a service basement level which included a small concourse of stores. There was a total of 777,000 leasable square feet in the shopping complex.

Designed by Angus McSweeney and Welton Becket & Associates, STONESTOWN was developed by San Francisco's Stoneson Brothers. Promoted as "a city within a city", the complex was anchored by a 3-level (258,000 square foot) Bay Area-based Emporium, which had held its grand opening July 15, 1952. This store occupied the north end of the mall.

A 3-level (95,000 square foot) Butler Brothers variety store was situated at the southwest corner, across Winston Drive from the mall proper. There were also an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10, Walgreen Drug, Stonestown Market, Gallenkamp Shoes, Chandler's Shoes, Singer Sewing Center, Red Chimney Restaurant and Bank Of America. A 2-level (23,800 square foot) Joseph Magnin opened in March 1953.

Later on, STONESTOWN housed a Portals Of Music record store and subterranean Golden Venus Health Club. In 1960, the Butler Brothers location was shuttered. It became a branch of the San Francisco-based City Of Paris department store chain. The Stonestown grocery was, by then, a QFI Market.

More changes took place during the 1970s. A single-screen theater, the United Artists Stonestown Cinema, was built as a northwestern outparcel. It showed its first feature in November 1970 and was twinned 2 years later, assuming the name United Artists Stonestown Twin. At around the same time, a 2-level (36,000 square foot) I. Magnin was built on the north end of the mall's Emporium store.

The City of Paris closed, along with the chain, in 1972. The STONESTOWN store re-opened as City of Paris by Liberty House in 1973, but closed in 1974. It was torn down in 1975. A 3-level (184,000 square foot), Bullock's North (a Northern California branch of the Los Angeles-based retailer) opened October 29, 1977. It was connected to the main mall via an elevated, glass-enclosed walkway over Winston Drive.

West Bay shopping centers in the vicinity of STONESTOWN included WESTLAKE TOWN & COUNTRY CENTER (1951) {1.7 miles southwest, in Daly City}, SERRAMONTE CENTER (1969) {3.6 miles southeast, also in Daly City} and TANFORAN PARK CENTER (1971) {6.8 miles southeast, in San Bruno}.

By the 1980s, the STONESTOWN mall -still open-air- was beginning to show its age. A major renovation, designed by architect John Field, was started in 1986. The existing shopping center was enclosed and a second concourse built on top of the first.

The basement became a subterranean parking deck. Winston Drive, which divided the mall into two sections, was depressed into a small tunnel structure that now took it beneath the ground level of the shopping complex.

A refurbished mall, now known as  STONESTOWN GALLERIA, held its grand re-opening October 28, 1987. The old Bullock's, vacant since 1983, had been remodeled. It opened as a Nordstrom April 15, 1988.

I. Magnin's STONESTOWN store was shuttered and divided into two retail spaces. The first floor opened, as a The Good Guys! electronics outlet, in August of 1988. The second floor was devoted to Tower Records, which began business in November of the same year. The Good Guys! was rebranded by CompUSA in 2003, with the combo electronics and record store being shuttered in 2005. The building was renovated into a Fitness USA health club.

STONESTOWN GALLERIA encompasses 862,000 leasable square feet and features over one hundred and thirty stores and services. It is anchored by Macy's, which rebranded The Emporium location on February 22, 1996. Other present-day tenants include Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and Ann Taylor.

The shopping center is owned and operated by Chicago-based General Growth Properties, who acquired a one hundred percent interest in the venue in August 2004.

Borders Books, a tenant in the south of Winston store block, was joined by a Trader Joe's specialty grocer on December 10, 2008. The (35,700 square foot) Borders store was shuttered September 9, 2011 and was replaced by ODE Books, occupying 7,000 square feet, in October. This store closed March 12, 2011. Sports Authority renovated the entire Borders space and opened a store August 17, 2012.

Sources:

http://www.outsidelands.org / Stonestown Memories /Contributors: Virginia Southas, "Michele", "Lambone In Auburn", "Paul" and "BJ"
preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
Scott / "BigMallRat"
"Bullock's" article on Wikipedia
"Nordstrom" article on Wikipedia
http://www.shopstonestown.com