Los Altos Center

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Los Altos Center is a regional shopping mall in the Los Altos area of northeastern Long Beach, California along Bellflower Boulevard, 4 miles south of Lakewood Center Mall and 5 miles east of Downtown Long Beach.

Some stores opened on site in 1953; the full mall opened in 1955, designed by the L.S. Whaley Co.; Welton Becket was the architect. Trees, floral plantings, benches and canopies lined an outdoor center court with piped-in music, while parking surrounded the mall. "Friendly… casual… convenient, Los Altos Shopping Center" was the motto.[1]

November 1955 through January 1956 debut tenants that opened were a Walker's department store,[2][3] which only the next year was sold to and rebranded as The Broadway. The Walker's had a "Palm Room" restaurant and coffee shop. The center also had a two-story-plus-basement, J.C. Penney, a 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2) Woolworth's with a 52-foot-long lunch counter, a 21,766-square-foot (2,022.1 m2) Sav-on Drug Store, Horace Greens hardware, a Kinney's Shoe Store, a Long Beach National Bank, a 4,035-square-foot (374.9 m2) John Norman Store for men, Alloway's Barber Shop, and a 13,110-square-foot (1,218 m2) Lerner's women's clothing store, at that time the 235th store in that chain. Additional tenants at launch were C.H. Baker Shoes, Children's Bootery, Dinels', Helen Grance Candies, Lonnie's Sporting Goods, Marie's' Kiddies Shop, The Music Box, Ramona Banking Co., J.C. Wehrman Jeweler, and Brownie's Toy Shop.[1][4]

The northern section north of Stearns St. opened in 1964 on 20.5 acres (8.3 ha) in two buildings with 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) of gross leasable area. New tenants at opening were Thrifty Drug Stores, Glendale Federal Savings & Loan, Leeds Shoe Store, Foreman & Clark, Zales Jewelry, the Singer Corporation, Household Finance, Dunn's Men's Wear, Quick 'n' Clean Laundry and Dry Cleaning, Alice King Beauty Salon, House of Fabrics and Winsted Bros. Camera, adding to the previous tenants Unimart discount store, Bank of America, Bob's Big Boy and Mobil gas station.[5]

In 1963, The Broadway added an additional floor.[6]

By 1990 the center was in decline.[7]

In 1995 or 1996, the Broadway building was sold to, and converted to a Sears.[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "More Los Altos Center Stores to Open". Long Beach Independent. 17 Nov 1955. p. 25. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  2. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30999180/walkers_los_altos_long_beach_opening/
  3. ^ "Another Milestone for Whaley". Independent Press-Telegram. 16 Oct 1955. p. 150.
  4. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/74093842
  5. ^ "Major Expansion for Los Altos Center". Independent (Long Beach, California). 28 April 1964. p. 25. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Broadway Store Will Add Floor". Independent Press-Telegram. Dec 29, 1963. p. 23.
  7. ^ "Renewal Zone May Be Key to Help Los Altos Rebuild". The Los Angeles Times. Dec 27, 1990. p. 342. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Broadway to Convert 40 in Store Chain to Macy's". The Los Angeles Times. Nov 18, 1995. p. 56. Retrieved 27 April 2019.