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Old 08-10-2010, 05:42 PM
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,040,304 times
Reputation: 2725


Originally Posted by SoCal35 View Post
Like some earlier posters, I agree this is just a mall to me. I also generally like Frank Gehry's work. However, the old SM Place Mall was a FORTRESS...totally closed off from the surrounding urban neighborhood.

It may NOT have been described as a fortess when it opened in 1980 simply because enclosed malls were the norm of the day. The so called "de-malling" revolution (underway for a good 10 to 15 years now) has replaced windowless shopping centers with centers that have a better connection to the surrounding streets.

The updated center is open to the neighbohrood on all sides and the public areas remain accessible at all hours. The old center broke up the natural flow of pedestrian traffic. It was a behemoth that was out of sync with Santa Monica's outdoor, walking culture.

Granted...it is still JUST a mall without a roof on it but at least it connects to its surroundings in a much nicer fashion.

If you owned a house or apt in that location would you just seal it off from the ocean and not take advantage of that fantasitic location? I know I'd want to take advantage of ocean views.
You could say that a walmart is a fortress. Or a Target. Or the Sears behind Santa Monica Place (which I admit is looking quite dated, EXTREMELY, haha).

If it was a mall from the 50's or 60's, I could understand it. I use to go to the promenade as a kid in the late 80's when it was completely dead. With the old 50's JC Pennys on wilshire, across from where the barnes and noble is now. The Pennys looked like something out of Laverne and Shirley's time.

The odd thing about SM Place, it was only built in 1980. I bet they didn't envision that "only" 25 or 28 years later, it becomes outdated and is demolished. It seems like in another area, it would have had a longer lifespan of another 5 or 8 years maybe.

It seems like they could do more with 2nd street in that area. Don't turn it into a full promenade. And it wouldn't be ocean ave, but maybe a blend of the 2. Seems somewhat underutilized, given how busy the surrounding streets are. But maybe they dont want every street busy.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:36 PM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
787 posts, read 1,623,490 times
Reputation: 372
I hear you John. I wasn't endorsing the repositioning as the greatest thing around. I just think it was an improvement over what was there.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:59 AM
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,323,936 times
Reputation: 1633
I checked out SM Place last night. It was alright ... nothing spectacular.
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