Linda Vista Shopping Center

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The Linda Vista Shopping Center was the first shopping center in San Diego and one of the first in the United States, built in 1943 and dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt.[1] Pasadena architects Karl F. Giberson and Whitney P. Smith designed the center. It is located in the neighborhood of Linda Vista, an area whose population soared in 1941, when 3000 homes were constructed in less than a year to house aircraft workers and their families. Linda Vista was America's largest defense housing project during World War II, and the world's largest low-cost modern housing development, according to the San Diego Historical Society.[2]

The design followed garden city principles, with parking around the edges and a landscaped "main street" or "town green" interior with a lawn, trees, and an arc-shaped, bench-lined covered promenade.

The center won a Creditable Mention Award from the Southern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in January 1947.[3]

Anchors included at various times a Walker Scott department store and The Linda cinema.

Much (but not all) of the complex was demolished and replaced in 1972. It still thrives with many shops now having an Asian-centric offering, reflecting the evolving population in the area.

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