What do you remember about the Eastmont Mall? You're invited to contribute your photos, clippings, or written memories of your visits over the years, to an ongoing and evolving display, a community bulletin board at the Eastmont Branch of the Oakland Public Library. Send us your written memories or photos to our staff email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will add it to the collection. You can also answer this questionnaire that we hope will jog your memory!
With the interior spaces designed by architect William Pereira, it was only the second mall in Oakland. It opened in stages in 1966-71, and the grand opening was in 1970. Did you know the Eastmont Branch Library was established at the Eastmont Mall in 1997 in the space once occupied by Roos Atkins and a toy store!? (It merged two neighborhood libraries. Before opening in the grand two story space, it was a kiosk on the lower floor, not too much bigger than the typical sunglasses kiosk!
After the Mall was closed in the early 2000s, largely empty of stores, it was repurposed and reincarnated as the Eastmont Town Center in 2008 and hosts social service agencies, county health care clinics, a social security office, and an OPD substation (1992) as well as the recently refreshed Eastmont Library, still at Suite 211. We are getting close to our 25th anniversary!
Some neighbors will remember that before the Mall, GM's Chevrolet Assembly Plant occupied the site bounded by 73rd, Bancroft, Foothill, and Church (differently named in those days), originally established in 1916. After GM closed this plant in 1963, plans abounded for what to do with the site. OUSD considered a new high school but had no funds for it. Eventually the 33 acre site was developed into the Eastmont Regional Shopping Center by a SoCal firm. By 1971, there were 2 or 3 anchor stores, including JC Penneys, Mervyns, and a Safeway. The mall boasted a 4-plex movie theater, and several restaurants (the Orange Julius store comes up frequently in people's fondest memories) . How many of the 57 stores can you remember?