So-Cal's Von's chain acquired Shopping Bag markets in 1960. A combo logo was introduced, with stores continuing to operate under their original nameplates. A new Von's opened at WHITTIER QUAD in October 1961, which replaced an existing Shopping Bag. An antitrust action was filed against Von's, which was decided -against them- in 1966. This required that all Shopping Bag stores had to be sold.
Graphic from Von's Grocery Company

The new Von's appears in medium gray on this circa-'65 plan. A posh May Company department store is now a shadow anchor of the complex. Likewise, the Hinshaw's store has been enlarged. At this time, the parking capacity of the mall's surface lots is 1,200 autos.

A vintage advert announces the September 1978 grand opening of The Akron store at WHITTIER QUAD. The freestanding store was built, in the southwest parking area, along with an adjacent Thrifty Drug.
Advert from the Thrifty Corporation

By 1978, Hinshaw's has been enlarged again, with the store extending across the mallway and into the old Shopping Bag space. An adjacent parking garage has also been constructed, along with the duplex The Akron / Thrifty Drug (in medium gray). The original open-air mall is now fully-enclosed. With these improvements, The QUAD (including all outparcels) incorporates twenty-nine stores and services.


MAY COMPANY (with Beauty Salon, Terrace Room restaurant, Maymart bargain store and freestanding Tire Center) / HINSHAWS (with Brice Travel Service, Trolley Stop Restaurant and Vanity Fair Beauty Salon) / VONS supermarket (outparcel) / THIFTY DRUG (outparcel) / THE AKRON (outparcel) / Austin's men's wear / Bank of America / Barron's Pharmacy / Berean Book Store / C.H. Baker Shoes / Discount Fabrics / Edie Adams Cut & Curl Hair Stylist / Gene's ladies' wear / Hardy Shoes / Harris & Frank men's wear / Hartfield's / Hatch's Cards & Gifts / Heck's men's wear / Holland House Cafeteria / Hudson's Jewelers / Kusel's Delicatessen / Lady Miriam's ladies' wear / Leed's Qualicraft Shoes / Mother To Be Shop / Quad Association Advertising Agency / See's Candies / Whittier Quad Stationers / Raymond D. Winnen, Optometrist / Zales Jewelers 

In October 1987, the WHITTIER QUAD was damaged by the Whittier Narrows Earthquake. The recently-abandoned "May's Whittier" store was severely shaken, with its parking garage collapsing.
Photo from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

What remained of the post-temblor mall was knocked down. Hinshaw's, which had incurred minor damage, was left standing and was incorporated into THE QUAD AT WHITTIER, a new open-air power center. Structures in dark gray were complete by 1991. Those in medium gray were dedicated in 1992, with components indicated in light gray being finished in 1995.

In the year 2021, the physical layout of QUAD AT WHITTIER is identical to that of 1999, but there has been a bit of merchandising musical chairs. Michaels moved from the southwest store block to the northwest. Stores such as Bloom apparel, Anna's Linens, Old Navy and U-Save Furniture have come and gone. Replacement tenants include Marshalls and Five Below. 

The Ralph's supermarket at QUAD AT WHITTIER was rebranded by Vallarta Supermarkets in August 2015. 
Photo from

Whitter Boulevard and Painter Avenue
Whittier, California

Southern California's first mall-type shopping complex, LAKEWOOD CENTER, was completed in phases between 1951 and 1956. The region's second shopping mall was built on a 27-acre parcel, 19.3 miles southeast of center city Los Angeles, in suburban Whittier. 

WHITTIER QUAD was developed by the Clayton Foundation. Its first operational store, a (33,900  square foot) Shopping Bag supermarket, was dedicated on March 12, 1953. A 2-level (48,000 square foot) Hinshaw's department store held its grand opening on March 13th. On hand for the ribbon cutting were Ezra Hinshaw (store co-owner), Jack Powell (store manager) and Ralph Thynnes (of the Whittier Chamber of Commerce). 

A 2-level (30,000 square foot) F.C. Nash, became the final tenant to open at the original shopping hub on November 12, 1954. Other charter WHITTIER QUAD stores included Barker Brothers Furniture, Heck's Men's Shop, Owl Rexall Drugs, Crown City Mattress, Westbrook Yardage and a 2-level (29,600 square foot) W.T. Grant variety store.

Competing shopping hubs included WHITTWOOD CENTER (1956-2003) {2.1 miles southeast, in Whittier}, WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER (1955-1988) {2.3 miles northwest, in Santa Fe Springs} and STONEWOOD CENTER (1958) {5 miles southwest, in Downey}.

The Von's chain built a (30,500 square foot) "superstore" as a freestanding WHITTIER QUAD structure. The new grocery commenced operation on October 4, 1961. It replaced the 7-year-old Shopping Bag market in the mall proper. At this time, construction was underway on an expansion of Hinshaw's. The store's "Thrift Annex" added 33,000 square feet of selling space. A re-grand opening took place on May 3, 1962. Hinshaw's now encompassed 3 levels and approximately 91,000 square feet.

May Company California located its 12th Los Angeles store at WHITTIER QUAD. "May's Whittier", built as a freestanding shadow anchor, opened on August 2, 1965. The 4-level (248,000 square foot) structure included a "Maymart" discount floor and freestanding May's Tire Center. There was also an adjacent, 3-level parking garage, with space for 1,400 autos.

The shopping concourse at WHITTIER QUAD was enclosed and climate-controlled in 1973-'74. Hinshaw's was expanded for a second time. The store incorporated part of the shopping concourse and also extended into the old Shopping Bag space. When construction dust settled, Hinshaw's covered approximately 136,200 square feet.

Soon after, new Thrifty Drug and The Akron ["ak-RON"] stores were built near Vons (now spelled sans-hyphen). The new department store and pharmacy each encompassed 33,000 square feet. They were officially dedicated on September 21, 1978.

In March 1987, work commenced on a 2 million dollar mall renovation. This project was abandoned when the Whittier Narrows Earthquake hit, on October 1st of the same year. Several WHITTIER QUAD buildings received major damage.

The May Company parking garage collapsed, with the store itself being nearly destroyed (it had been shuttered in 1984). After the quake, the store and garage were never repaired. They were eventually demolished, along with the bulk of the shopping center.

Hinshaw's -not severely shaken- stayed in business until January 1992. The building and its parking structure had been worked into a 467,500 square foot power center, known as THE QUAD AT WHITTIER. This complex was developed by Carlsbad, California's GMS Realty. It opened for business in November 1990.

Additional stores were dedicated in stages during the 1990s. These included Ross Dress For Less (25,700 square feet), Staples (17,200 square feet), T.J. Maxx (25,000 square feet) and Burlington Coat Factory (2-levels and 87,400 square feet). 

GMS Realty morphed into an entity known as Terramar Retail Centers in May 2007. The official name of the concern eventually morphed into TRC Retail, with the corporate offices moving to Newport Beach, California.


The Los Angeles Times
The La Habra Star
The Whittier News
The Whittier Historical Society
Los Angeles County, California tax assessor website
Whittier City Directories 1961, 1963, 1970, 1973 and 1976
Comments posted by Steve Carras, Jeff Arellano and "Tokyo Magic / Terramar Retail Centers
Los Angeles' Whittier Downs Center

An aerial view of the WHITTIER DOWNS mall, dated February 1956. The KING COLE SQUARE strip center, which predated the adjacent retail center by nearly 3 years, in seen in the bottom of the image.
Photo from Kelly-Holiday Aerial Photo Collection / University of California /

The King Cole Market, which anchored KING COLE SQUARE, opened for business in June 1951. The high-end Mid-Century Modern grocery -and its adjacent strip center- were eventually considered to be an outparcel of WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER. 
Photo from

The interior of the King Cole Market. It encompassed 25,000 square feet.
Photo from

A promotion, published in The Whittier Times, beckons one and all to attend the grand opening of the WHITTIER DOWNS J.C. Penney. The store was officially dedicated in August 1955. We have included this piece of retail ephemera because it describes precisely what merchandise a 1950s, "dry-goods" Penney's store would have carried. 
Advert from the J.C. Penney Company

A circa-1956 site plan shows the sibling shopping centers. KING COLE SQUARE (1952) housed around 60,000 leasable square feet and twelve tenants. WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER (1955) encompassed 200,000, with a tenant list of twenty-one. The WHITTIER DOWNS parking area had spaces for 800 autos.


J.C. PENNEY / F.W. WOOLWORTH 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / THRIFTY DRUG (with luncheonette) / FOOD GIANT supermarket (with delicatessen, snack bar, liquor department and Van de Camp Bakery) / Adrienne's Camera, Luggage & Jewelry / C & M Shoe Service / Dave's Sportswear / Donald G. Weiner and Fred W. Winnen, Optometrists / Follin's Shoes / Gallenkamp Shoes / Hairstyles by Jeri / Huddle Whittier Restaurant / Irish Cleaners / Jaxson's ladies' wear / Joy Togs ladies' wear / M & E Stationers / Mode O' Day Frock Shop / Sievers Television & Appliance / Uncle Dom's Toy Shop / Youth Town children's clothing / Whittier Downs Barber Sho


KING COLE supermarket / Busy Bee Shoe Shop / B & W Cleaners / Charley's Barber Shop / Cy's Paint, Hardware & Custom Draperies / Family Outlet Shoe Store / Jinny & Bobby Beauty Salon / King Cole Square Laundromatic / Owl Rexall Drug (with luncheonette) / Petterson's Do-Nuts / US Post Office / Vilott's Variety Store 

Typically, a mall-type retail complex of the 1950s would have been promoted as either a Center, Plaza, Shopping City or Square. Apparently, the owners of WHITTIER DOWNS were quite forward-thinking, for they erected this sign in front of the facility in August 1955. In spite of this, the shopping hub was still promoted as WHITTIER DOWNS (SHOPPING) CENTER in print advertisements of the time.
Photo from Sante Fe Springs Progress Report 1958-1959

By 1976, a 9,000 square foot addition (in dark gray) has been built on the mall's northeast corner. This was the only expansion ever done to the mall. Moreover, various stores have been rebannered. Even more have closed up and moved on. The complex is in a downward spiral, with half of its leasable space sitting vacant.


J.C. PENNEY / SPROUSE-REITZ 5 & 10 / THRIFTY DRUG / McCOYS MARKET / Dave's Sportswear / Donald G. Weiner, Optometrist / H  & S Shoe Repair / Sievers Television & Appliance / Youth Town children's clothing / Wallace Meats / Whittier Downs Barber Shop


KING COLE supermarket / Busy Bee Shoe Shop / Chief Auto Supply / Cy's Paint & Hardware / Davis Harry Jewelers / The Donut Shop / Owl Rexall Drug / Petterson's Do-Nuts / The Shoe Store / US Post Office 

In the late 1980s, WHITTIER DOWNS was on its last legs. A redevelopment was announced in November 1987, which got underway in early 1988. The mall was bulldozed. A portion of KING COLE SQUARE (in black) was left standing and was incorporated into the new SANTA FE SPRINGS MARKETPLACE. Sections in dark gray were built in 1988 and 1989, while those shown in lighter gray were completed in 1991.

In 2015, the strip center is essentially the same...only some nameplates have changed. Thrifty Drug was acquired by the Rite Aid chain in late 1996.  

The original Ralphs supermarket at SANTE FE SPRINGS MARKETPLACE was rebranded as a Food4Less as part of the two company's July 1995 merger.
Photo from / Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services

Signage promoting the 2020s version of SANTE FE SPRINGS MARKETPLACE. The "Your Name Here" slot used to be occupied by a Rite Aid sign. 
Photo from / Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services

Norwalk and Washington Boulevards
Los Angeles County (Santa Fe Springs), California

Plans for this eastern Los Angeles County shopping hub were announced in January 1954. Designed by renowned Southern California architects William Pereira and Charles Luckman, WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER was developed on a 13.7-acre site, situated 10 miles southeast of the center city. 

A King Cole Market, built on a 5.6-acre portion of the site, had opened for business on January 7, 1951. This (25,000 square foot) grocery store, designed by Archibald Quincy Jones, anchored KING COLE SQUARE, a 60,000 square foot strip center dedicated in November 1952.

Two years later, construction was underway on a 200,000 square foot mini-mall; this built northwest of KING COLE SQUARE. The 3 million dollar WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER was developed to serve the adjoining Whittier Downs subdivision. The open-air complex featured an underground freight delivery tunnel. Four shopping concourses converged on a center mall, landscaped patio, which included a children's play area. Free parking was provided for 800 autos.

Three major tenants became the mall's first operational stores on August 11, 1955. These were a 2-level (35,000 square foot) J.C. Penney, 2-level (23,500 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and (11,300 square foot) Thifty Drug.   

A 2-level (21,000 square foot) Food Giant grocery -and a Gallenkamp Shoes store- welcomed their first customers on August 16th. By September 1955, there were fourteen stores and services. These included Jaxson's ladies' wear, Dave's Sportswear, Follin's Shoes, Adrienne's Camera, Luggage & Jewelry and Uncle Dom's Toy Shop. 

When fully-leased, WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER contained twenty-four tenant spaces. The mall, originally in unincorporated Los Angeles County, was annexed into the City of Santa Fe Springs in 1959.

Shopping hubs in the vicinity included WHITTIER QUAD (1953-1990) {2.3 miles southeast, in Whittier}, WHITTWOOD CENTER (1956-2004) {4.6 miles southeast, also in Whittier} and -eventually- SANTA FE SPRINGS MALL (1985-2001) {2.5 miles southeast, in Santa Fe Springs}.

Competition began to put the hurt on WHITTIER DOWNS. By the mid-1970s, it was in a downward spiral, with eleven vacant storefronts out of a total of twenty-four. The completion of SANTA FE SPRINGS MALL was the final nail in the proverbial coffin of WHITTIER DOWNS. In late 1987, only one store -Thrifty Drug- remained in business. The rest of the shopping center had been fenced off.

A redevelopment plan was put in motion by the Irvine-based Hopkins Development Company. Government approval to join the WHITTIER DOWNS and KING COLE SQUARE parcels into one was granted in November 1988. By this time, the mall had been demolished, with construction of a new shopping center already underway. A portion of KING COLE SQUARE was left standing.

The new, open-air power center would be known as SANTA FE SPRINGS MARKETPLACE. It was built in two stages. The first, which included a (45,000 square foot) Ralph's supermarket, was officially dedicated on December 15, 1988. By mid-1990, the 175,300 square foot retail center was complete. Tenants included a (17,800 square foot) Thrifty Drug and (18,000 square foot) Kragen Auto Parts.

Santa Monica-based Watt Commercial Properties (a.k.a. Watt Companies) acquired SANTA FE SPRINGS MARKETPLACE in October 2003. By this time, a few of the center's thirty-three stores had changed nameplates. Ralphs morphed into a Food 4 Less as a result of a January 1995 merger. Thifty Drug was rebranded -by Rite Aid Drug- in November 1996. 


The Los Angeles Times
The East Review (Whittier, California)
Whittier City Directories 1957 and 1976
Los Angeles County property tax assessor website (Website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine)


The photograph from the Kelly-Holiday Aerial Photo Collection / University of California helps illustrate a key moment in the shopping center's history that is described in the article. The image is not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the image does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute it in any way. The image is being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and its use is not believed to detract from the original image in any way.
Los Angeles' Pomona Valley Center 

The third mall-type complex in Greater Los Angeles straddled the cities of Montclair and Pomona. The original POMONA VALLEY CENTER, or PVC, housed twenty-seven stores and services beneath its canopies.
Graphic from the John S. Griffith Company

A modernistic sketch of the prospective San Gabriel Valley shopping hub. Stores in The PVC opened between November 1954 and April 1956.
Drawing from the John S. Griffith Company

Sears was the first store built for the PVC mall. The retailer opened for business in November 1954. By the process of elimination, we have established that this was Sears' first full-line, shopping mall-connected store.
Photo from Sears, Roebuck & Company

Bank of America's PVC branch welcomed its first depositors in January 1956.
Drawing from the John S. Griffith Company

Promoted as "The Big City Under One Roof", the 20 million dollar PVC mall encompassed four store block structures and included a freestanding Sears Auto Center. Parking was provided for 4,000 autos.


SEARS (with Peggy Kellogg Snackette, Garden Center and freestanding Auto Center) / J.J. NEWBERRY (with snack bar) / MARKET BASKET supermarket / Bank of America / Berland's Shoes / Betsy Ross Fountain Restaurant / Comar's Children's Shoes / David Platte Company Record & Appliance / Doctor Martin Robin, Optometrist / Dorothe' Maternity Shop / Empire Silk Stores / Ewart's Men's Shop / F.C. Nash / Henry's Fashion Lane / Juliette Candies / Lawson's Jewelers / Lee's Children's Shop / Longs Drugs (with luncheonette) / Maron's Drapery Service / Melody Dress Shop / Sally Shops ladies' wear / Thom McAn Shoes / Thornton Shoe Store 

The mall was expanded westward in the late '60s, with a second anchor store added. A subsequent renovation was announced in March 1973. The aging complex would be redecorated in a "rustic, warm & quaint" motif. When the construction dust settled in November 1974, a revitalized -and re-named- INDIAN HILL VILLAGE mall emerged.
Graphic from Pomona Valley Shopping Center Association

In a circa-'74 layout, the West Wing addition is shown in light gray. A Zody's discount mart completed the basic footprint of the mall. As part of the 1974 renovation, the open-air shopping concourse was going to be enclosed and climate-controlled. This project would be delayed for several years. 

The INDIAN HILL complex lost both of its anchor stores in the mid-1980s. Sears did its "anchor away" in late 1985, after 30 years of commerce. The Zody's chain shut down for good in early 1986. The PVC-INDIAN HILL store had been in business for 17 years.
Graphic 1 from Sears, Roebuck & Company 
Graphic 2 from the Hartfield-Zody's Corporation

Meanwhile, the mall had been roofed-in in 1982 (in light gray). The mallway was reconfigured, with new entrances created. A Food Court was also installed. By 1990, the name of the mall has been changed to INDIAN HILL MARKETPLACE. An 8-screen multiplex has just opened for business. With these improvements, the complex spans approximately 584,900 leasable square feet. There are now parking provisions for 3,000 autos.  


INDOOR SWAP MEET/ THE GIANT supermarket / NEWBERRY'S 5 & 10 /  SAV-ON DRUG / Allways Travel / Bed 'N Furniture / Bijangles Jewelery / Carlene Research / Classic Tuxedo / Cleo's Castle ladies' wear / Doctor Max Way, MD / Fisher Chiropractic / Footlocker / Frame 'N Lens Optical / Fred Allas Jewelers / Indian Hill Health Club / J.W. Jewelers / Kinney Shoes / Milky Way Video Arcade / Needlecraft Place / Placement Center for Older Work / Pomona Cosmetology Center / Radio Shack / Robert's / Skykun children's wear / Super Saver 8 Cinemas / Susie's Casuals ladies' wear / Sears Portrait Studio / Top Hour Photo / Volume Shoe Corporation / Waldenbooks Too

Best Chinese Food / Country Kitchen / Dib's Ice Cream / New Peking Restaurant / Olympic Flame Restaurant / Picnic Pizza / Steak & Hamburger 

By the mid-1990s, the shopping hub -a victim of the over-malling of Greater Los Angeles-  had outlived its purpose as a retail center. It was reconfigured as an educational, office and tech center. In the 21st century, the facility is known as THE VILLAGE @ INDIAN HILL.
Graphic from

Above are two snapshots of the old Sears store at THE VILLAGE @ INDIAN HILL. Since Sears' demise in 1985, the building has housed the Indian Hill Indoor Swap Meet.
Photos from Jeff Arellano

East Holt Avenue and Indian Hill Boulevard
Pomona and Montclair, California

Three open-air malls were dedicated in Los Angeles County during 1955; LOS ALTOS CENTER {in Long Beach}, WHITTIER DOWNS CENTER {in Santa Fe Springs} and POMONA VALLEY CENTER {predominantly in Pomona}.

POMONA VALLEY CENTER (a.k.a. THE PVC) was built on 50 acres straddling the Los Angeles and San Bernardino county line. It was located 33.8 miles east of center city Los Angeles. The bulk of the 20 million dollar complex was within the city limits of Pomona, with half of its Sears anchor store lying within the city of Montclair.

The complex was developed by a joint venture of John S. Griffith, William A. Johnson, John D. Gregg and William Pempel. Its design was envisaged by Sterling Leach and the Barondon Corporation of Los Angeles.

Construction commenced on the PVC Sears in March 1954. The 2-level (139,000 square foot) store opened for business November 10, 1954. A (38,000 square foot) Market Basket supermarket opened its doors September 22, 1955, with a 2-level (30,000 square foot) J.J. Newberry 5 & 10 making its debut on November 3rd of the same year. One of the final new stores was a 2-level (43,000 square foot) F.C. Nash department store, which was dedicated April 6, 1956.

THE PVC mall consisted of a main retail level and basement. The below ground portion of the complex housed lower levels for tenants, such as Sears, Newberry's and Nash's, as well as a shopping arcade, which included a cafe and US Post Office.

An expansion was built on the mall's west end in 1967, which included a new stores for Longs Drugs and Market Basket. This addition was followed by the construction of a 1-level (100,800 square foot), Los Angeles-based Zodys discount mart. It opened, as the chain's fifteenth location, on June 8, 1969. POMONA VALLEY CENTER now contained spaces for seventy-five stores and services.

Major commercial competitors for THE PVC were POMONA MALL (1962) {1.6 miles southwest, in downtown Pomona} and MONTCLAIR PLAZA (1968) {2 miles northeast, in Montclair}.

The PVC Nash's was shuttered in 1970 and re-opened as a Los Angeles-based Roberts department store. Tenants in operation at this time included Harris & Frank, Moran's Drapery, Sally Shops of California, Melody Dress Shop, David Platt Music & Appliance and Empire Silk Stores.

A renovation and retenanting commenced in the early '70s. Consisting of  a mall-wide face lift, the remodeling also installed The Village (a mall within a mall) in existing space. Its boutiques included House of 1001 Wigs, Morning Star Jewelry, Reed Family Candies, the Plantasia plant & terrarium boutique and Joshua T. ladies' boutique. This facility was dedicated in November 1974, with the name of the entire shopping venue being changed to INDIAN HILL VILLAGE.

A 15 million dollar renovation was done in the early 1980s, with a newly-enclosed complex holding a grand opening on September 26, 1982. Unfortunately, the proliferation of bigger and better shopping malls in the trade area caused the revitalized INDIAN HILL VILLAGE to enter a downward spiral.

This was exacerbated by an expansion of MONTCLAIR PLAZA, dedicated in October 1985, that saw the 30-year-old Sears at INDIAN HILL VILLAGE move to MONTCLAIR. In 1986, the INDIAN HILL Zody's closed. This was followed by the shuttering of Roberts.

Over the next 5 years, the old Zodys store evolved into a The Giant supermarket and then Ralph's supermarket. The Super Saver Cinemas 8 opened, in the East Wing of the mall, on February 1, 1990. This venue was shuttered in 2005. 

The mall had been renamed INDIAN HILL MARKETPLACE in the late 1980s, PLAZA AZTECA in 1993 and THE VILLAGE @ INDIAN HILL around the year 2000. In 1995, the West Wing of the mall had been purchased by the Pomona Unified School District, who renovated the space for educational purposes. Eventually, the shopping hub morphed into an educational institution and office complex.

Today, VILLAGE @ INDIAN HILL houses a campus of the Pomona Unified School District, a Conference & Technical Center and retail tenants such as the Indian Hill Indoor Swap Meet (in the old Sears), Cal Western Visuals, Ikon Incorporated and Crittenton.


The Los Angeles Times
Pomona Progress Bulletin
The Daily Bulliten
Information and photos from Jeff Arellano
Los Angeles County, California tax assessor website
Long Beach's Los Altos Center

In the mid-1950s, this emblem was used to promote a gleaming new Southern California shopping hub. As a matter of note, the Spanish-to-English translation of "Los Altos" is "The Tall Ones".
Graphic from the L.S. Whaley Company

The Walker's chain, originally based in Los Angeles, established a Long Beach division in the late 1920s. A branch anchored the original LOS ALTOS CENTER. The store, which encompassed 100,000 square feet, opened its doors in October 1955.

The building sported the Walker's nameplate for only 1 year. It was acquired by Broadway-Hale Stores in late 1956 and Broadway-branded soon after.

In 1957, the "huge" LOS ALTOS CENTER encompassed 500,000 leasable square feet and housed fifty stores and services, including those in an adjacent, North Bellflower Boulevard store strip. This section (in black) predated the mall-type center (in light gray).


THE BROADWAY (with The Palm Room restaurant) / J.C. PENNEY / F.W. WOOLWORTH (with luncheonette) / Alloway Barber Shop / Brownie's Toy Store / C.H. Baker Shoes / Cleveland's Service Station (outparcel) / Dinel's Feminine Apparel / Donnan's Sewing Machines / G.R. Kinney Family Shoes / Gladys Fowler ladies' wear / Goodyear Tire & Appliance / Helen Grace Candies / Hof's Hut / Horace Green Hardware / J.C. Wehrman Jewelers / John Norman Store For Men / Lee & Billy Togs / Lerner Shops / Long Beach National Bank / Lonnie's Sporting Goods / Los Altos 3-Minute Car Wash (outparcel) / Los Altos Community Cleaners / Los Altos Liquors / Los Altos Pharmacy / Los Altos Realty / Los Altos TV Sales & Service / Marie's Kiddie Shop / Pfeiffer's Linen Shop / Romona Cakes & Pastries / Ryan's Barber Shop / Sam's Los Altos Shoe Repair / Sav-on Drug (with luncheonette) / Sears Catalog & Appliance 

The city block north of LOS ALTOS CENTER was developed, as an additional open-air shopping hub, in the mid-1960s. The new north section was anchored by a Unimart membership discount store and included Thrifty Drug and Barker Brothers Furniture locations.


THE BROADWAY (with Beauty Salon, Chafing Dish restaurant and freestanding Tire Center) / J.C. PENNEY / F.W. WOOLWORTH (with luncheonette) / Aetna Savings & Loan / Alice King's Hair Stylists / Alloway's Barber Shop / Bank Of America / Beryl-Ann Florist / C.H. Baker Shoes / Children's Bootery, Incorporated / Community Cleaners / Fred Rose Realty / G.R. Kinney Family Shoes / Gladys Fowler ladies' wear / Goodyear Tire & Appliance / Helen Grace Candies / Horace Green & Sons Hardware / Hof's Hut / J.C. Wehrman Jewelers / John's Men's Shop / Kruger's Union Oil Station (outparcel) / Leonard's Junior Ready-to-Wear / Lerner Shops / Lonnie's Sporting Goods / Los Altos 3-Minute Car Wash (outparcel) / Los Altos Beauty Salon / Los Altos Liquors / Los Altos Pastry Shop / Los Altos Pharmacy / Los Altos Stationers / Marie's Tots & Teens / Musical Jewel Box / Pfeiffer's Fabrics / Ryan's Barber Shop / Sam's Orthopedia Shoe Repair / Sav-on Drug (with luncheonette) / See's Candies / Stanley C. Marrish, Optometrist / Steffano Shoe Repair / Tammy's Dress Shop / The Village Squire / United States National Bank / US Post Office / William Suhm Stationers / Zales Jewelers 


UNIMART (with Garden Center, Pharmacy, Supermarket and freestanding Auto Center) / BARKER BROTHERS FURNITURE / Brookdale Ice Cream / Brownie's Toys / Cathy's Maternity Shop / Chianis Shoe Repair / Dunn's Men's Wear / Foreman & Clark / Gallenkamp Shoes / Glendale Federal Savings & Loan / House of Fabrics / Household Finance Corporation / Joe Warren Realty / Leed's Qualicraft Shoes / Marcia Lynn Ready-to-Wear / Quick-and-Clean Laundry & Dry Cleaners / Singer Sewing Center / Smit's Gifts of Long Beach (new location) / Thrifty Drug (with luncheonette) / Winstead's Camera Shop (new location) 

The proliferation of larger -and more trendy- shopping venues in the LOS ALTOS CENTER trade area had taken its toll by the late 20th century. By the early 1990s, the complex was virtually vacant and rapidly deteriorating.
Photo from the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency

This early '90s view includes Lynn's Hallmark, which was among the last operational LOS ALTOS stores. A massive redevelopment got underway soon after this photo was taken.
Photo from the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency

LOS ALTOS MARKET CENTER, as it was situated in early 1997. Structures built as part of the recent 45 million dollar demalling are indicated in light gray. The redeveloped power plaza occupied the parcel south of East Stearns Street, with the complex north of Stearns now being promoted as NORTH LOS ALTOS CENTER.

Over the years, tenants have come and gone at both LOS ALTOS properties. A Bristol Farms gourmet grocer, opened in late 1996, gave way to a Lazy Acres Market in late 2012.
Photo from (Lennar Commercial)

A more contemporary site plan. Since the late '90s, there have been no structural alterations, but several stores came and went. The most recent shutterings involve Rite Aid, in NORTH LOS ALTOS CENTER, which went dark in 2018. Sears, in the MARKETCENTER, pulled up stakes in 2021.     

North Bellflower Boulevard and East Stearns Street
Long Beach, California

Los Angeles County's fourth shopping mall was built as a commercial center for the Los Altos planned community in Long Beach. The original LOS ALTOS CENTER was developed on a 20.5-acre tract, located 25 miles southeast of center city Los Angeles.

The 6 million dollar shopping venue was envisaged by Lloyd S. Whaley and built on the site of what had been "Shus", a Shoshone tribal village. Its anchor, the first -and only- suburban branch of Walker's of Long Beach, occupied a 3-level (100,000 square foot) store on the south end of the complex. This location opened for business on October 5, 1955.

An open-air mall of approximately 572,000 leasable square feet extended north from Walker's. It had lush tropical and evergreen plantings and included a 2-level (14,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10, 2-level (28,000 square foot) J.C. Penney and (21,700 square foot) Sav-on Drug. The grand opening of these stores was held November 17, 1955.

By mid-1956, LOS ALTOS CENTER contained fifty stores and services. Most of these were along the "shopping mall", extending north from Walker's. There were also four freestanding businesses, as well as an additional strip of stores along the west side of Bellflower Boulevard (this section of stores predating the mall). Los Angeles-based The Broadway acquired the Walker's Los Altos store. It re-opened, as The Broadway, on October 22, 1956.

A major addition to the existing center got underway in the early 1960s. This expansion developed a 20.5-acre plot across East Stearns Street and north of the original structures. The first tenant to open, a 1-level (97,200 square foot), Los-Angeles-based Unimart membership discount store, welcomed its first shoppers on June 6, 1963.

The LOS ALTOS CENTER second phase consisted of twenty-four stores. Among these were a 2-level (40,000 square foot) Barker Brothers Furniture, (18,000 square foot) Thrifty Drug and Foreman & Clark apparel. These tenants commenced operation on November 6, 1964.

Also during this time frame, The Broadway in the first phase complex added a fourth level. This increased its size to 149,000 square feet. The store interior was completely refurbished and a freestanding Tire Center also constructed. J.C. Penney doubled the size of its store with a new upper level, as well.

Shopping hubs in the LOS ALTOS trade area included LAKEWOOD CENTER {3.6 miles northwest, in Lakewood}, WESTMINSTER MALL (1974) {7 miles southeast, in Orange County} and LONG BEACH PLAZA (1982-2000) {4 miles southwest, in downtown Long Beach}.

By 1980, the northern section of LOS ALTOS CENTER was being promoted as NORTH LOS ALTOS CENTER. Its Unimart had become a Disco Fair discount mart in mid-1969, a Two Guys in late 1973 and FedMart in mid-1977. The store was one of nineteen FedMart stores rebranded by the Target chain on April 17, 1983.

After nearly 30 years in business, the original mall at LOS ALTOS CENTER was no longer the cutting edge shopping center it once was. The owner, BCE Development, requested financial assistance from the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, but was turned down because their shopping center was not within the city's urban renewal zone.

A new owner came on the scene in 1989. The city's urban renewal zone was expanded to take in LOS ALTOS CENTER in 1991. Planning began for a renovation and expansion, but the project fell through in February 1994, causing the LBRA to take control of the endeavor.

A joint venture was formed between the LBRA, Atlanta's Cousins Properties and Irvine-based Hopkins Development Company. The "geriatric and anemic" south sector mall was demolished in early 1996. The Broadway building (now vacant) was left standing. Sears bought the structure and gave it an 8 million dollar remodeling. 

The new, 45 million dollar power plaza, dubbed LOS ALTOS MARKET CENTER, covered 283,000 leasable square feet. Tenants of the old mall -Sav-On Drug, Wells Fargo Bank and Lynn's Hallmark- relocated into the MARKET CENTER. New stores included a (34,500 square foot) Circuit City, (25,600 square foot) CompUSA, (28,200 square foot) Bristol Farms gourmet grocer and (30,000 square foot) Borders Books.

Sears, Circuit City and CompUSA became the first operational tenants, on November 2, 1996. Borders and Bristol Farms opened later in the year. With their completion, LOS ALTOS MARKET CENTER contained nineteen tenant spaces. A joint venture of Cousins Properties and the Prudential Insurance Company of America established full ownership of the MARKET CENTER (sans Sears) in November 1998.

Two LOS ALTOS tenant spaces were vacated early in the 21st century. CompUSA went dark in the spring of 2007, with Circuit City pulling its proverbial plug in the spring of 2009. Sav-On Drug morphed into a CVS in 2007. The vacant CompUSA became a T.J. Maxx in late 2010. Circuit City was renovated into an LA Fitness, dedicated in early 2011. Lastly, an abandoned Borders Books re-opened, as a Memorial Care Medical Group clinic, in early 2013.

Stores at NORTH LOS ALTOS CENTER now included the (128,000 square foot) Target, plus an (18,600 square foot) Big Lots and (12,000 square foot) Trader Joe's. Rite Aid, a late 1990s rebranding of the Thrifty-PayLess store, was shuttered in January 2018. The Sears at LOS ALTOS MARKETCENTER closed for good in the spring of 2021.


The Independent Press-Telegram
The Los Angeles Times
The Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California) Branch Store.doc / Cousins Properties (Website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
Independent Study of Redevelopment in Long Beach, The Long Beach Redevelopment Agency / May 31, 2005
Los Angeles County, California tax assessor website
West Covina's Eastland Center

The original EASTLAND CENTER logo. In 1957, the San Gabriel Valley shopping hub contained fifty-five stores and services. 
Graphic from May Centers

"May's Eastland" was described as the "newest, most beautiful, big suburban store in the West". The "exciting, ultra-modern" structure, which was May Company California's sixth branch, anchored the east end of EASTLAND.

In the late '50s version of EASTLAND, a tall tower stood at the center of the west court area, which was referred to as "Tower Lane". On the east side of the complex was "May Terrace". The first floor, which opened on a Lower Level parking area, was called the Lower Esplanade. In total, the split-level parking area had spaces for 6,000 autos. The May's Tire Center (in medium gray) would be added to the mall in the early '60s.


Clifton's Cafeteria / Beal's / Biscotti's / L.W. Brown Company / Conn-Chamber's Music / Karl's Shoes / The Paint Mart / Security First National Bank / Slenderella Figure Salon / Carl Smith Cameras / Sutton's Linen's / U.S. Stationers / W.T. Grant (with luncheonette)

Dr. Sidney Gordon

Bond Clothes / Longs Drugs (with luncheonette) / Moran's Drapery / W. T. Grant (with luncheonette)

MAY COMPANY (with Garden Tea Room and Fountain snack bar) / See's Candies

Albert's Hosiery / C.H. Baker Shoes / Chic Accessories / Comar's Children's Shoes / Country Club Fashions ladies' wear / Diane's Gift Shop / Franklin's apparel / Harris & Frank men's wear / Hartfield's apparel / Innes / Judy's ladies' wear / Kay Jewelers / Leed's Qualicraft Shoes / LeRoy Jewelers / Thom McAn Shoes / Norm Meager's / Moss Company / Snow White Shop / F.W. WOOLWORTH (with luncheonette) / Zukor's ladies' wear

HIRAM'S  MARKET / Arlotti's Shoe Repair / Boulevard Cleaners / San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune / Eastland Barber Shop / Eastland Laundromat / Five Lanterns Chinese restaurant / Jacque & Victor's beauty salon / Joslin's Pastry Shop / Stat's Charbroiler / Van Horn Liquors

Eastland Car Wash / Huddle Restaurant

An aerial view of the original EASTLAND. This was taken in 1957, soon after the official grand opening of the facility.
Photo from the Los Angeles Public Library / "Eastland Center- West Covina- 1957-1970s" 

A vintage view of the Lower Esplanade at EASTLAND CENTER.
Photo from

Moving our vantage point a tad west, we see the Lower Esplanade entrance of the mall's W.T. Grant variety store. The famed Eastland Tower, a local landmark visible for several miles, extends skyward.
Photo from

A smartly-dressed shopper strolls down the Upper Level concourse. This open mallway was flanked by inline stores such as Harris & Frank, Zukor's, Comar's Shoes and F.W. Woolworth.
Photo from / "Eastland Center- West Covina- 1957-1970s

Huddle Restaurant, a southwest parking area outparcel, opened for business in 1958. The building was constructed in high-end "Googie" style.
Photo from (Gorden Ayres Photography)

"Weather or Not, Come To Eastland". A fully-enclosed upper mall was dedicated in November 1979. Mervyn's, in a newly-built store, had opened in August. The 10 million dollar roofing renovation added several new inline stores. These included Roberts, Foot Locker and Kinney Shoes. The 8-tenant Mini Mall (in dark gray) had been installed -in existing store space- in 1972.

By 1999, the mall isn't a mall anymore. A 1997 demalling gutted and reconfigured the Upper Level with four big box stores. An abandoned May Company was bulldozed and replaced by Target and Burlington Coat Factory. A new owner has also bequeathed a new name; WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN EASTLAND. The power center spans 783,000 leasable square feet and contains thirty-six stores.