The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

May 26, 2008

A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall

Filed under: Bellevue, Malls, shopping — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 12:28 am

Note:  This is the third in an ongoing series of posts profiling the shopping malls found in the Seattle area.  The previous posts in this series can be found below:

For those of you out there who have been wondering when I would get around to actually finishing up my profile of Crossroads in Bellevue, rest assured that I have actually been working on this for some time now.  The main reason that I have delayed this is that I have not been able to settle on an appropriate format for this.  Crossroads is a very different place from the two malls that I have previously profiled on the site, and just taking a few photos and putting them up with some comments (as I have done previously) would not do the place justice.  Because of this, I have decided that a better approach would be to split this up into four parts, since there is a lot of material to cover here.  Tentatively, this is how I plan to do this:

  • Part 1: The Mall (this post)
  • Part 2: The Stores and the Restaurants
  • Part 3: What’s the Secret?  (What is it that has allowed Crossroads to succeed where other malls have failed?)
  • Part 4:  A History of Crossroads (I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of info on this yet; any help that could be provided would be appreciated here.)

In many ways, the story of Crossroads Mall is similar to that of the Totem Lake and Factoria Malls.  All three are relatively small malls designed for a similar mix of stores (although Crossroads is about a decade older than Totem Lake and fifteen years older than Factoria,) and all have faced similar challenges.  There is one major difference that distinguishes Crossroads though:  Where other similar malls in the area have foundered and failed, Crossroads has thrived, witha low vacancy rate and a strong base of shoppers.  This has not always been the case though.  When the current ownership took over the Crossroads Mall in 1985, it was largely vacant and considered to be a failed shopping center.  Since that time, a unique approach to retail has evolved Crossroads into something that is less of a conventional shopping mall and more of a gathering place for the community that just happens to be located in a mall, with a unique mix of tenants you won’t find anywhere else.  If you’re looking for designer label fashions, high-end housewares and four-star cuisine, Crossroads isn’t the place to look.  On the other hand if you’re looking for unique yet affordable food, stuff to do and a place to spend a Friday evening without breaking the bank, Crossroads is the place to go on the Eastside.  In this series of posts we will take a look at Crossroads, and what has made it a success where other malls have failed.  After the jump, a tour of the Crossroads Mall property. 

(Please note that this post contains a lot of pictures, and it may take some time to load if you are on a slower Internet connection.)

Basic Facts:

  • Opened: October 1962? (I am still trying to confirm this)
  • Owner:  Metrovation(formerly Terranomics) since 1985 
  • Major Stores:  Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, Michaels Arts and Crafts, QFC, Barnes and Noble, The Sports Authority, Circuit City, Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Petco
  • Known Former Major Stores and features:  Lamonts (originally opened as Rhodes,) Ernst, Lucky Supermarkets (Big Bear), Bartell Drugs, Crossroads Twin (a 2-screen movie theater), Nordstrom Place Two, an ice skating rink
  • Other notable features: 8-screen cinema (formerly 10 screens before a recent remodel,) The Market Restaurants, The Crossroads Stage, a giant chessboard, murals and sculptures outside the mall, a small King County Library branch

(Click for an interactive map)

The mall (highlighted above) derives its name from the Crossroads neighborhood in which it is located, and the mall itself is located at the crossroads of Northeast 8th Street (the main East-West arterial through Bellevue) and 156th Avenue Northeast, although the name of the neighborhood more likely comes from the nearby intersection of NE 8th and 148th Avenue Northeast, which is the main North/South route through this part of Bellevue.  Downtown Bellevue (and Bellevue Square) can be found a couple of miles down West of here on Northeast 8th, and 156th passed through the middle of Microsoft’s sprawling corporate campus roughly a mile north of here. The neighborhood in which Crossroads is primarily residential, with the mall itself surrounded by a mix of apartment buildings and some smaller shopping centers.  Also bordering the mall to the East is the City of Bellevue’s Crossroads Neighborhood Park, which features a large community center and a small 9-hole par 3 golf course, among other amenities.  Unlike most of the malls in the area, Crossroads is located a considerable distance away from any of the major freeways.  I-405 is several miles away on Northeast 8th, and getting to 520 requires either going all the way thtough Microsoft to Northeast 40th or going over to 148th and heading north into the Overlake neighborhood.  Going straight down southbound 156th will eventually get you onto westbound I-90 toward Seattle, although this route goes mostly through residential neighborhoods on a 2-lane road.

 

The actual enclosed mall portion of Crossroads is not really all that large, and a significant portion of the retail space is found in a number of buildings separate from the main enclosed mall in the center. This can serve to give the place the appearance of a more conventional strip mall.  The fact that most of the large stores in the main mall have exterior as well as interior entrances serves to reinforce that perception to some degree.

 

A number of the mall’s anchor stores are found outside of the enclosed mall as well.  The Sports Authority, Circuit City, Michaels and the cinema are each located in their own separate building.

You may have noticed the prominent checkerboard tile patterns on a number of the buildings that have been shown so far.  These patterns are all over the place on the exterior of the mall and the surrounding buildings, and appear to be an offshoot of an earlier branding of the mall that has now been mostly replaced, although the checkerboard patterns remain.

This sign, located at the intersection of Northeast 8th and 156th Avenue NE, shows the mall’s old logo, which also sports the checkerboard pattern.   Although the majority of the signage around the mall has been replaced by the current logo, this old logo can still be found in a number of places.

Above the exterior entrance to the QFC store you can find the old Crossroads logo in neon sign form.

This one is found near the entrance between the main mall and the QFC store, just above the giant chessboard (more on that later.)  The hands on this are actually animated, and point in their respective directions.

 

Throughout the mall grounds, other artistic touches can be found, with a number of sculptures and murals scattered throughout the property.  The photos you see here provide just a sampling of some of the artwork found at Crossroads.  It should be noted that since the above picture was taken, the cow crossing sign seems to have disappeared, but a “voicebox” has been added that actually makes the cow moo at people and cars as they pass by.  This seems to have been a very recent addition, since I only noticed this a couple of days before this was written.  In the background of this picture is Applegreen Furniture, a 30-year resident of Crossroads that is currently in the process of closing down as its owners prepare to go into retirement. 

To some extent, the artwork and sculpture scattered around serves to mask what would otherwise be a relatively unremarkable structure housing the mall which has become old and shopworn over the years.  While the place is by no means falling apart, you don’t have to look too hard to find signs of the building’s age. Even in its current vacant state, in some ways even the Totem Lake Mall appears to be in better physical shape overall.  Then again, that mall is also a decade newer than Crossroads. 

Moving inside the mall, we can see that in general, the interior design of the mall is  a relatively unremarkable example of 60s commercial design. For the most part, the mall itself doesn’t try to do much besides provide space for the businesses that exist inside, although there are a few interesting features, which will be discussed below.

In a day when vast expanses of granite and marble tile are the norm for flooring in most malls, the floors at Crossroads (which appear to be original to the mall’s 1960s genesis) are in a style that has now fallen well out of favor, and doesn’t look likely to come back anytime soon.  You can also see by the appearance of cracks and other signs of wear that these floors have definitely seen better days, especially in some of the high-traffic areas.

The mall’s other furnishings are similarly modest.  These benches were located in a courtroom down in Kent in a previous life, and were acquired by Crossroads a number of years ago when the courthouse was being remodeled.  The only reason I know this is because of a flyer that was posted in the mall around the time these showed up.

In the food court area (also known as the Market Restaurants) the style is drastically different from the relatively spartan white hallways found elsewhere in the mall, although the furnishings are similarly modest, with mostly plain tables and cheap plastic chairs providing a place to sit and eat, and not much else.  Although a number of the tables have been replaced with newer ones recently (as you can see here,) a lot of the older tables are still around, and the plastic chairs remain. The Market Restaurants will be covered in much more detail in the next post.

Not everything in the mall is quite this utilitarian though.  For younger children, a number of kiddie rides have been provided, such as the roadster you see above.  Many of these rides were originally manufactured in the 1950s, and have been restored to like-new condition in recent years.  It is rare to find this ride not being in use when you walk through this area, especially during the day on a Saturday.

 

The most prominent of the kiddie rides is this small merry-go-round, which is even rarer to find without kids on it than any of the other rides.  I can’t be certain of how old this is, but I would have to guess that it is even older than the other rides.  In spite of its age, it is in very good condition, and is decorated very elaborately.

Among the merry-go-round’s decorations are a number of tableaus painted at the top, one of which is shown above.  This shows what the sign at the front entrance to the mall (pictured at the top of the post) looked like before the recent rebranding of Crossroads took place.  The name “Eastside Public Market” seems to be intended to invoke the much more famous Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle.  For a number of years, Crossroads even had its own fish market, found near the Market Restaurants.  The Eastside Public Market branding of Crossroads has disappeared completely under the current branding.

Crossroads also provides entertainment options for grown-ups as well.  Another of the mall’s prominent features is this giant chessboard, located near the entrance to the QFC store.  In addition to the games which are almost always being played on the giant chessboard (if you want to play on the giant board, you will generally have to wait behind several other people) you will often find many people playing chess or other games (collectible card games seem to be quite popular here these days) on the nearby tables.

 Near the center of the mall is found the Crossroads Stage, on which live music is played for the enjoyment of the mall’s guests at least three times a week.  This will be covered in more detail later as well.  To the right of the stage you can see the entrance to the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store, which occupies the former location of the mall’s Lamonts/Gottschalks store.

For a mall of this type (or any mall, for that matter) the physical condition of the building is a far less important indicator of its overall health than its occupancy rate, and this is where Crossroads begins to distinguish itself from the other malls that have been profiled previously on this site.  Unlike Totem Lake (which has only a few tenants left in the lower mall) and Factoria (which has seen a number of recent closures as the pending redevelopment of the property approaches,) the occupancy rate at Crossroads remains high, and vacancies are few and far between.  In the next post in this series, I will discuss the businesses that make their home at Crossroads, and some of the things that set Crossroads apart and have allowed it to thrive in its chosen retail niche in spite of the odds.

About these ads

37 Comments »

  1. Really great post Brian! Crossroads rocks!

    I’m actually surprised that you didn’t even mention the famous Firenze http://www.firenzerestaurant.com or Salvatore Lembo’s other Crossroads restaurant – Pizzeria Guido http://pizzeriaguido.com.

    Comment by Hair Farmer Joe — May 26, 2008 @ 3:18 am

  2. I miss Raven’s World! Hopefully you have pictures from that storefront (it was just south of Hallmark IIRC.)
    I’ll see if I do, if you don’t. Kinda a new age shop but it had fun stuff like books/stickers/posters that kids liked etc.

    For a while (2 years maybe?), a high end costume shop would use that space at Halloween

    Comment by RWoods — May 30, 2008 @ 8:13 am

  3. I used to go there as a teenager to shop at Golden Oldies, and I loved it when they switched Crossroads over to the Public Market concept. I have a store in a mall in Portland, OR now, and I wish they would do something like that down here. (This mall could use some creative leasing ideas too.)

    Comment by Renee — May 30, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  4. Totally Awesome explorations! I always remember going to Woodbury’s stamp & coin shop on the corner next to Lamonts which became that very sparse japanese candy store and then a guest services office. Reminds me also of the candy store that used to be right across the hall that had the train running along the ceiling. That was cool.
    You probably already knew that Circuit City was Ernst and Michael’s was the other grocery store.

    Comment by Cham — May 30, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  5. How could you forget to mention the Daily Planet News which provides probably the most comprehensive inventory of current magazines on the Eastside?

    Half Price Books, near the Daily Planet News, also has a vast inventory of books (some new and most pre-read) for adults and children. The prices for their books are the store’s name.

    These two printed matter stores are staffed by knowledgable, friendly people who seem to possess an intuitive,true concern for helping you find other items (books & ‘zines) in your vein of interest.

    A Starbucks is located between these stores so it is very convenient to buy something to read and enjoy your favorite Starbucks beverage with it. There’s also a beautiful courtyard just outside these places for relaxation and maybe some sunshine on good weather days.

    Sometimes that’s all you may need to have a better day.

    Comment by Pittsburgh Bob — June 4, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  6. For this part of the profile, I focused primarily on the mall itself. I will go into more detail about the stores at the mall when I write the next part.

    Comment by Brian Lutz — June 4, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

  7. I just found your blog while randomly reading about defunct shopping malls on Wikipedia, after reading a post on Boing Boing about a dead mall in China.

    I’m really looking forward to the continuation of your Crossroads “tour”- I live in Lacey, but when my family goes up to Madison Valley to visit friends we usually end up across the bridge in Bellevue at the mall. But with gas prices so absurd, we haven’t been to Crossroads in ages. Food-obsessed as I am, I’ve been wondering what’s going on in the food court.

    More than that, though, I’m glad that it wasn’t just my imagination, and Crossroads DOES seem old and a little bit falling-apart, even with all its art and entertainment for all ages. It’s one of my favorite malls, and it’s awesome to see someone talk about it.

    Comment by anna — June 17, 2008 @ 12:57 am

    • The mall used to end at the Crossroads sign with the animated hands. The was a real dive of a place called the Porthole tavern [yes, it had simulated portholes for windows] down at that end. The end of the mall where the QFC is was built in the 90′s at the same time as the stores over in the south-west corner of the mall property, as well as the Barnes and Noble and the other stores that connect to it.

      The resturaunts that were torn down to build the Sports Authority and the other stores to the west of it were a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a mexican place, the Gullivers Hamburgers and the chinese place that you mentioned.

      Bellevue also used to have it’s 4th of July fireworks show in the large vacant area where the cinema now stands in the northeast corner of the mall.

      Comment by Chris Bowers — December 24, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  8. I live near Crossroads, and have been living in Bellevue (off and on) since 1973.
    (Like Anna, I also found your post via Deadmalls.com, to which I was directed after seeing the “South China Mall” story on Boing-Boing.) This was a very interesting/entertaining post, as were your pieces on Factoria and Totem Lake.

    A couple of minor nits/addenda. Regarding the origin of the name: 156th Avenue used to be the main North/South artery in East Bellevue. (The divided 148th Ave was designed to be the major connector of I-90 and SR 520, wasn’t started until the 60′s, and in fact was only completed about 1980.) Consequently, the intersection of 156th NE 8th St was the most important “crossroads” in the area at the time that the Mall was developed (early 1960′s). By the mid 70′s when we moved here, Crossroads was already developing symptoms of “dying mall disease.”

    When the “Eastside Public Market thing happened about 1990, I was one of the mocker/nay-sayers, expecting it to be plastic and ridiculous. It is somewhat plastic, but has proved to be far from ridiculous, and has evolved into a remarkable, very interesting public space. This is largely owing to the influx of multi-ethnic immigrants in the surrounding neighborhood (the area of Bellevue with the most relatively affordable apartment housing).

    One other interesting bit- Almost all the stores in the mall closed early in the evening, and after the Crossroads parking lot emptied of regular customers, it used to be a notorious “cruising spot”, attracting lots of somewhat anti-social teenaged types after hours. (Present company included. . .) Vandalism, drug-dealing, and occasional violence were chronic problems.

    When the new management took over in the mid-80′s, the first thing they did (even before redeveloping the mall itself) was to put curbs and planters in the parking lot to divide it up into single non-traversable rows of parking spaces. Although this cut down the number of available parking spaces, it made the lot “uncruisable” and transformed the area almost overnight. Thus, when they went ahead with the “evening-business” concept a couple of years later, the mall had become much more inviting to young families and the sort of people who would spend money there while spending time. . . Hats off to them.

    A few other bits. I think that the former supermarket in the back used to be a “Mayfair Market” until the mid-1970′s, when the chain was taken over by California-based Lucky Stores. (They had a huge magazine rack near the door; I can remember going there to buy “Mad” Magazine in the summers of ’74 and ’75. . .) The QFC in the front used to be the location of the original Crossroads Cinemas (three screens), but I’m not sure if it’s the original building or if that was demolished and rebuilt sometime in the late 80′s/early 90′s. Except for Circuit City (formerly Ernst), the Satellite buildings there now are all much later additions; in the area where police building is now, there used to be a row of 3-4 free standing but virtually identical restaurant buildings, housing various not terribly successful places at different times. . . (Gullivers’ hamburgers and the “Yangtze” chinese restaurant are the only ones I can remember. . .)

    Comment by Evin — June 18, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  9. I live near Crossroads, and have been living in Bellevue (off and on) since 1973.
    (Like Anna, I also found your post via Deadmalls.com, to which I was directed after seeing the “South China Mall” story on Boing-Boing.) This was a very interesting/entertaining post, as were your pieces on Factoria and Totem Lake.

    A couple of minor nits/addenda. Regarding the origin of the name: 156th Avenue used to be the main North/South artery in East Bellevue. (The divided 148th Ave was designed to be the major connector of I-90 and SR 520, wasn’t started until the 60′s, and in fact was only completed about 1980.) Consequently, the intersection of 156th NE 8th St was the most important “crossroads” in the area at the time that the Mall was developed (early 1960′s). By the mid 70′s when we moved here, Crossroads was already developing symptoms of “dying mall disease.”

    When the “Eastside Public Market thing happened about 1990, I was one of the mocker/nay-sayers, expecting it to be plastic and ridiculous. It is somewhat plastic, but has proved to be far from ridiculous, and has evolved into a remarkable, very interesting public space. This is largely owing to the influx of multi-ethnic immigrants in the surrounding neighborhood (the area of Bellevue with the most relatively affordable apartment housing).

    One other interesting bit- Almost all the stores in the mall closed early in the evening, and after the Crossroads parking lot emptied of regular customers, it used to be a notorious “cruising spot”, attracting lots of somewhat anti-social teenaged types after hours. (Present company included. . .) Vandalism, drug-dealing, and occasional violence were chronic problems.

    When the new management took over in the mid-80′s, the first thing they did (even before redeveloping the mall itself) was to put curbs and planters in the parking lot to divide it up into single non-traversable rows of parking spaces. Although this cut down the number of available parking spaces, it made the lot “uncruisable” and transformed the area almost overnight. Thus, when they went ahead with the “evening-business” concept a couple of years later, the mall had become much more inviting to young families and the sort of people who would spend money there while spending time. . . Hats off to them.

    A few other bits. I think that the former supermarket in the back used to be a “Mayfair Market” until the mid-1970′s, when the chain was taken over by California-based Lucky Stores. (They had a huge magazine rack near the door; I can remember going there to buy “Mad” Magazine in the summers of ’74 and ’75. . .) The QFC in the front used to be the location of the original Crossroads Cinemas (three screens), but I’m not sure if it’s the original building or if that was demolished and rebuilt sometime in the late 80′s/early 90′s. Except for Circuit City (formerly Ernst), the Satellite buildings there now are all much later additions; in the area where police building is now, there used to be a row of 3-4 free standing but virtually identical restaurant buildings, housing various not terribly successful places at different times. . . (Gullivers’ hamburgers and the “Yangtze” chinese restaurant are the only ones I can remember. . .)

    Great post!

    Comment by Evin — June 18, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

  10. We moved to Bellevue in 63 and every Friday night would drive out to the Crossroads Mall from Clyde Hill. My Dad took me and my friend Mary out there because they had a huge variety store called Marketime. It was the anchor store located where Bartells is now. It had everything including a record department where I purchased my first Beatle album. My Dad would give us a dime for the bubble gum machines and we would get little charms and gum. There was also an ice skating rink where we could skate on Friday night. I was 8 or 9.

    In the later 60′s the Crossroads Cinema opened and I went to the grand opening. My fave band the City Zu played out front. It was later torn down sometime in the late 80′s and replaced with the theatre that is there now but was relocated to the back of the property. There was also a boutique called the Purple Balloon, and a Herfy’s, which was the scene of cruising and carrying on.

    Comment by Trisha — July 3, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  11. [...] Crossroads Bellevue (Part 1 0f 4) [...]

    Pingback by Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall « The Sledgehammer - Version 2.0 — July 20, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  12. I used to go there lots of times. It had such character, I loved that place. I wish I could go now, but I live on the other side of the country now. I’m looking forward to the next installments :-) Please don’t forget all the awesome food that can be found there, and definitely Half-Price Books & the Newstand.

    BTW- I remember the fish market. It was an offshoot of the original Pike Place Fish Market, and was owned and operated by one of the owners of that place. I talked to him once and found that out. I also once saw Dale Chihuly (fantastic glass artist) at that mall, watching the chess games.

    Comment by Caya — August 7, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  13. Great photos! Living in Monroe, I don’t make it out to Bellevue much anymore. I used to go to Crossroads frequently from the early to mid 90′s. I remember seeing alot of old movies at the original movie theater in the 80′s as well. After seeing the photo of Toreros, I really need to make a special trip to Crossroads. I totally LOVE Toreros!

    Comment by Terri Klemmer — October 9, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

  14. And don’t forget to mention that the frist Saturday night of every month is Swing Band Night! This always draws hundreds of people.

    Comment by Bill — November 15, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  15. Bill:

    Yes, the concerts at Crossroads can really bring in a crowd. I was just there this Friday evening when Cream Tangerine (a Beatles tribute band) was playing, and the place was just packed. I had to wait a good 10-15 minutes just to find a table to eat dinner at.

    Comment by Brian Lutz — November 16, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  16. Great info-I grew up in the crossroads area. The movie theatre used to be in the location of the qfc. The highlight of crossroads mall was Showbiz pizza-think chuck e cheese.

    Comment by Lynette — January 27, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  17. If you want to fill in a couple of missing links, there’s a small history collage about the mall showing some of the news clips on this site.

    Between the Pzazz place and the old Bartell’s spot, go in the door marked: “Community room”.

    Comment by Colin — March 30, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

  18. Who remembers going to the old Skating rink to see J P Patches with there kids?

    Comment by Ann — July 22, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  19. Re , the last post. It was the Ice Rink not the Skating rink. We had both facilities at Crossroads. The Skating Rink lasted much longer than the Ice Rink. The Ice Rink was demolished when the Mall started to take shape if I remember correctly. Lots of memories from long ago, gets confusing to put them all in place.

    Comment by Ann — July 22, 2009 @ 10:48 am

  20. I live near Crossroads and know the owner of the mall. I was the first person to pay for a garden plot in the new community p-patch they added this year at the north end between Sports Authority and the movie theater (Ron Sher has a garden too) and I’ve learned a lot about the mall through that connection.

    I also have a friend that is about to lease a place in the mall. I am helping her develop her business plan but she will actually be opening for business there before Christmas, using the kitchen in her current Lake Hills store to make her products to sell at Crossroads. Lake Hills… now THERE’s a dying mall! They are redeveloping it with a new King County Library branch as an anchor tenant, but the management is so clueless that I think it will bomb. They are trying to RAISE rents at a time when the foot traffic has dropped to near zero because of the terrible inconveniences of construction. What a bummer… that’s less than a mile from our house and I miss the original Stamos restaurant.

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the coming installments on Crossroads Mall.

    Comment by JuliaZ — October 11, 2009 @ 2:43 am

  21. Brian,
    I read this with great interest. I am a commercial real estate researcher in Oklahoma. I was disappointed to see you had not completed the other installments to this series as you had planned. Tell me, is Crossroads still thriving or has it experienced the same attrition as most malls around the country?

    Comment by Hattie Mullaly — November 19, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    • Actually, Crossroads hasn’t really been hit all that hard by the recession. There’s naturally been some attrition (Circuit City is obviously gone now, Chili’s got shut down about a year and a half ago along with all but one in the Seattle metro area, and the Shoe Pavilion closed last year leaving a moderately large vacancy inside the mall) but for the most part, Crossroads has remained quite stable. Then again, a few miles away over in downtown Bellevue you’ve still got ultra high-end retailers like Neiman-Marcus and Prada opening up new stores in the middle of a severe recession, so something tells me this area either hasn’t been hit too bad or has a long way to fall when the bottom does actually drop out…

      Comment by Brian Lutz — November 19, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

      • Hey Brian & and anyone else who reads this comment,
        I’m currently writing a fictional story that may develop into a novel. I’m thinking of incorporating the mall as one of the main settings in my story. I want to specifically set some of the scenes in a movie theatre. Certain portions of this story require flashbacks but I’ve been out of luck in trying to find any photos of the mall beyond the last decade. I read in the comments above that the old movie theatre was built in the late 60s and was torn down in the 80s. In that time span, there must have been some photos shot of it! I would love it if anyone can provide for me photos that could help me grasp what it felt like to visit Crossroads Mall over the years. Thank you so much in advance!

        Comment by Josh — June 27, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  22. I moved to Bellevue in 1976 and we frequented Pietro’s Pizza (somewhere near where Chili’s is/was in recent years), and across the walk from that was the Coach House Restaurant (a “nice” place, back in the day)…. I worked at the Hallmark store in the mall when I was 16/17 years old and also their little “Hello Kitty”/Sanrio store. We would cruise the parking lots on Friday and Saturday nights (until local law enforcement (Officer Hershey, anyone??) decide that was a bad idea) — quite the local teen hang back in the day.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane…..

    Comment by Shari (Meaker) Lowe — May 13, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  23. Great posting, Brian!

    I went to the Crossroads QFC on the way from the airport to my first night in temporary housing back in ’98. Overall, the mall is nondescript by any definition but you can’t argue with how popular it remains in that part of Bellevue.

    Have you heard anything of what will become of the old Circuit City building? We had an L.A. Fitness rep tell us that they have signed a deal to build a new gym in that building/on that spot but I have yet to see anything either on the site or in the press about it…

    Comment by Brian — July 5, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

  24. Hey,
    I’m a young author and I’m trying to find out, which cinemas were the first in Oklahoma and which films they had on their programm. It’s nearly impossible to find literature about this ! Perhaps you can help me? It would also be helpful for me getting some book-titles about it.

    greetings from Hanover/Germany,

    Charley

    Comment by charley — August 4, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  25. It seems that the Seattle Times archives have secretly been digitized and are now available through a database from the Seattle Public Library! Found this neat aerial shot with a blurb about crossroads from 1964. Check it out!

    http://tiny.cc/0upp3

    Comment by Colin — September 13, 2010 @ 3:14 am

  26. I really enjoyed this! According to the link that Colin provided above, it opened in June 1964.

    I grew up and still live about 2 miles away from Crossroads and I remember the ice skating rink, getting my picture taken with Santa at Lamont’s and the Buster Brown store. There was a fountain outside of the west entrance of Lamont’s and they actually kept it after they enclosed the mall but of course it’s gone now. It was approximately under the huge skylight where there’s seating for the stage. The floor tiles that have aged and the interior design of the mall would not be from the 1960′s since the mall was not originally enclosed. I don’t remember exactly when it was enclosed because by then the mall was a ghost town and I was a teenager who didn’t care. It seems logical it was in 1985 when the new owners took over.

    Now we enjoy the mall and love the atmosphere and the food. I’m always amazed at how many people are there when I remember how deserted it used to be!

    Comment by Sherry — October 19, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  27. I was on “Candid Camera” at Crossroads Mall about 15 years ago…

    Comment by Mark S — March 1, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  28. So where was Nordstrom? Where Bed Bath & Beyond is now?

    Comment by Bobby — May 12, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

    • It was where the Old Navy used to be, and where the party supply store and Silver Platters are now. I was only there once when it was actually around, and it was not a very large store at all.

      Comment by Brian Lutz — May 14, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

      • Then what was BB&B originally?

        Comment by Bobby — June 1, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

      • Prior to Bed Bath and Beyond, there was a store that specialized in bedding called Pacific Linen in that location. One oddity of that particular store was that there was a small “hallway” in the back of the store that led directly into the Lamonts store, which disappeared when the Bed Bath and Beyond was built. If you look at the overhead view of the mall on one of the map sites, you can see a random skylight showing where this was.

        Comment by Brian Lutz — June 1, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

      • Right, and to your BB&B thing, that’s also the little hallway where the Bean Pod was way, way back in the day.

        Comment by johnnyslick — June 19, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  29. 1972: Ice Skating Rink-My only ever trip to a rink.
    1972-1974 Shoes came from Billington’s Boot Store (with it’s horsie ride)
    Early 1970′s: Herfey’s Hamburgers-Got to put own condiments on burgers
    1976: First ever record purchased w/ my own money: “You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen. (45 rpm) at Penny Lane Records and Tapes (and bong shop) $.95, promo for KJR 950 am.
    1977: First EP purchased w/ my own money: “Alive” by KISS. Penny Lane Records and Tapes.
    1980′s: Showbiz Pizza-Cool place for Highland Junior High students to hang out.
    1980′s:Gulliver’s Hamburgers
    1980: The Joke Shop. Itching powder, snake-in-a-nut-can, cigarette loads.
    1982: Ernst-Malmo sporting goods section sold pistols. Figured if I saved $.35/day I’d have enough to buy S&W .41 mag when I turned 21.

    Comment by ApolloCrudd — October 1, 2013 @ 6:41 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Shocking Blue Green Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 255 other followers

%d bloggers like this: