email: roadarch@outlook.com

Shopping Center Signs (page 1)

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The photos on this section were moved here from my Signs section to accompany an article about shopping centers signs which I'm working on for the Society for Commercial Archeology's Journal magazine. The vintage signs included in this section are for small strip centers, giant malls, and everything in between. If you know of any shopping center signs that I might have missed, I'd love to hear from you. The signs on the following pages are organized in alphabetical order by state.

Cherokee Plaza
Centre, AL
Grant-Stone Shopping Center [gone]
Tucson, AZ
El Con Mall
Tucson, AZ
I believe the Cherokee Plaza shopping center opened in 1972 and this sign appears to be from then. [map]

The Grant-Stone Shopping Center sign is from 1961. The sign was removed in 2014. It was too expensive for the owners to restore. It is now being restored at the Ignite Sign Art Museum (see below) and will probably be installed at another location eventually. For more, see this website.

El Con Mall sign was built in 1962. It was removed in 1999 and put in storage at the back of the mall. In 2012, the sign was restored and reinstalled. The sign is 45 feet tall including the conquistador's spear. [map]

Arkansas:
Freeman Center (Hot Springs)
Skyvue Shopping Center (Salem)

Encinal Shopping Center
Alameda, CA
This Van De Kamp's Bakery sign is installed next to the Encinal Shopping Center sign. These Van De Kamp's signs were mass-produced but are rare now. The windmill blades were motorized and spun around. There are other examples of these signs in the MONA (Museum of Neon Art) collection and in a private collection in Buellton, CA. The Encinal Shopping Center sign is probably from the 1950s. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Foothill Square
Oakland, CA
Ashlan Park Shopping Center
Fresno, CA
2008: 2014: 2013: 2018:
The Foothill Square shopping center was built in 1962. Sometime after 2012, the neon letters were removed and replaced with backlit plastic panels for the center's tenants. For more, see this website. [map]

The Ashlan Park Shopping Center was built from 1961-1965. I believe this sign was installed when the shopping center opened in 1961. Originally, the sign had a sputnik beneath the "Shopping Center" panel. When the strip mall was remodeled in the 1990s, that sputnik was removed. By 2015, the panels had been painted red. For more, see this website [map]

Paradise Center
Fresno, CA
Fremont Center
Stockton, CA
The Paradise Center sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. One of the yellow plastic balls disappeared sometime between the photos above taken in 2008 and 2013. By 2020, there were no balls left and their supporting poles were also gone. For more, see this website. [map]

The Fremont Center shopping center sign is probably from the 1950s. This photo is from 2014. In 2015, the sign was painted red. [map]

Orange Grove Shopping Center
Pasadena, CA
Lucky Center
San Gabriel, CA
Eden Center
San Leandro, CA
Pelton Plaza
San Leandro, CA
The Orange Grove Shopping Center sign was built in 1959. [map]

The Lucky Center shopping center was built in 1960. In 2012, it was renamed the San Gabriel Promenade. The "Lucky" supermarket part of the sign now reads "168 Market". [map]

The Eden Center shopping center sign is probably from the 1950s. This photo is from 2014. Around 2015, the neon was removed. The letters are all backlit plastic now and the accents are done with LED rope. [map]

The Pelton Plaza shopping center was built in 1948. This sign appears to be from then. For more, see this website. [map]

Coddingtown Mall
Santa Rosa, CA
Color Corner
Lakewood, CA
The Coddingtown Mall was built in 1962. I believe this sign was erected then. It was designed by John Nicolini at Electrical Products Corp. The sign's panels revolve. For more, this website. [map]

The top part of the gigantic Color Corner shopping center sign originally revolved. By 2022, that part of the sign was gone. For more, see this website. [map]

Manor Shopping
Center [gone]
San Leandro, CA
Palma Plaza
San Leandro, CA
The Manor Shopping Center was built in the early 1950s and this sign is from then. The neon was restored in 2013. This photo is from 2018. In 2021, the sign was toppled by winds and removed.

The Palma Plaza shopping center opened in the late 1950s. The buildings were destroyed by fires in 2000 and 2001. This sign was spared. According to one source, the sign was mistakenly torn down and had to be rebuilt. For more, see this website. [map]

Cambrian Park Plaza
San Jose, CA
The Cambrian Park Plaza revolving, carousel sign was installed in 1953 when the shopping center was built. It originally had all neon text. At some point, that was replaced with plastic panels and a message board. In 2022, plans were announced to redevelop the shopping center and move the sign to a nearby location. [map]

Winchester
Shopping Center
San Jose, CA
Food Bowl
San Jose, CA
J. Marengo Center
Stockton, CA
Oakridge Center
Stockton, CA
The Winchester Shopping Center opened in 1952. This sign appears to be from then. The sign has not been lit for many years. [map]

The Food Bowl was the main tenant of the Anne Darling Shopping Center. This sign was built in 1959. The "Food Bowl" panel revolved originally. This photo is from 2014. In 2018, the neon letters on the "Food Bowl" panel were removed and replaced with plastic letters for Lucky Supermercado. [map]

The J. Marengo Center shopping center opened in 1950. This sign is probably from then. [map]

The Oakridge Center shopping center sign is probably from the late 1950s or early 1960s. [map]

Lincoln Center
Stockton, CA
2014: 2017:
The Lincoln Center shopping center opened in 1951. The 100-foot-tall sign tower came from Turlock. It was moved here and the sign was installed in 1953. The sign panels were built by EPCO (Electrical Products Corp.). The panels with the eight-foot-tall "L" revolve. The panels were lit with neon on one side and bulbs on the other. In 2016, the panels were removed for "restoration." The incandescent bulbs and neon tubing were replaced with LED bulbs. The message board was replaced with a digital display. For more, see this website. [map]

La Habra Circle
Shopping Center
La Habra, CA
Pleasant Plaza
Pleasanton, CA
May Way
Shopping Center
Watsonville, CA
Eastland Center
West Covina, CA
Twin Palms Village
Whittier, CA
There are two of these La Habra Circle Shopping Center pole signs at this small shopping strip which was built in 1960. Around 2021, the neon was removed from both signs. For more, see this website. [map]

The Pleasant Plaza strip mall was built in 1961. The starburst and slanted poles are original. The original text panel had been replaced. When the mall was remodeled in 2004, a new text panel was created in the style of the original. The new was designed by Charlie Stroud of the Arrow Sign Co. For more, see this website. [map]

The May Way Shopping Center was built around 1951. This sign is probably from then. [map]

Eastland Center was built in 1957 as the Eastland Shopping Center, an outdoor mall. This towering sign is not the same style as the neon original. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Twin Palms Village is a small shopping center with two identical signs. They are probably from the 1950s or 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

Moraga Center
Moraga, CA
Plaza Center
Lafayette, CA
Travis Shopping Center
Fairfield, CA
Norwalk Square Shopping Center
Norwalk, CA
The Moraga Center shopping center was built in 1968 and this sign appears to be from then. [map]

The Plaza Center was completed in 1964. This sign appears to be from then. For more, see this website. [map]

The Travis Shopping Center was built in 1961 and this sign appears to be from then. The shopping center is named after the nearby Travis Air Force Base. [map]

The Norwalk Square Shopping Center was designed by Stiles O. Clements and built from 1951-1954. The sign was updated in the 1980s with the addition of the hoops on the top and the word "Town." For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

More California:
Esquire Center (Fresno)
L&L Shopping Center (Martinez) [gone]
Riverside Plaza (Riverside) [vintage; gone]
Westbridge Village [gone]

Shopping Center Signs
(page 2)
Shopping Center Signs
(page 3)
Shopping Center Signs
(page 4)
Shopping Center Signs
(page 5)
Main SCA Article
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Main Signs Page