First of all, I’d like to welcome the influx of visitors that has arrived at my original profile of the Totem Lake Mall via deadmalls.com. Although I am a transplant to this area, and have only been around here for about 13 1/2 years, I have stil seen much of this particular mall’s decline to its current state. In order to show what it was like in better days, I have undertaken a project to document some of its early history. So far, much of my information has come from contemporary newspapers from 1973 and 1974 (especially the East Side Journal,) although I have also found out a number of things from comments made to the original post. Previously, I put together a brief info dump on some of the things that I have been able to determine so far, but since then I have continued to do more research an have been able to fill in some of the blanks, and I think I’ve got a mostly complete picture of what was in the lower mall when it opened. After the jump, a closer look at what stores were in (and around) the lower mall in 1973, when it opened.
The May 9th, 1973 issue of the East Side Journal, contains a large advertisement for the mall spread out over two full pages. The most prominent (and useful) item on this page is a map of the newly opened mall (although the ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening the mall didn’t take place until May 31st, a number of shops had already opened by this time,) showing what stores were in the mall at this time, and where each of these is located. Unfortunately, I have had trouble getting a copy of this map that is clear enough to read everything on it and fit into one photo at the same time, so I have put together an annotated map with a key to the map below. For those who wish to see the original without annotation, you may find that here, although it is difficult to read. Note that it was necessary to do some minor editing to remove targeting lines from the microfilm reader screen. Click on the thumbnail below to open the annotated map in a new window.
1. Lamonts Dept. Store
2. Ernst Hardware
3. Malmo Nursery
4. Schuck’s Auto (Still open)
5. National Bank of Commerce (Based on a photo in an ad, it appears that the KeyBank branch there now is in the same building, contrary to a report that it had been demolished)
6. Pay ‘n Save Drugs (Later became PayLess Drugs, then Rite Aid, now vacant, although there is still a freestanding Rite Aid store near the mall)
7. Olsen’s Market Place (grocery store)
8. Shown as vacant here , but a comment on my previous post reports this as later becoming a tavern.
9. Standard Oil Company of California Service Station (Still open as a Chevron Station)
10. Fashion Fabrics
11. Western Optical Dispensary
12. The Utility Shop (based on info in ads, this store appears to have sold country style home decor knickknacks.)
13. Crown Barber Salon
14. The Scent of the West (Candles)
15. Totem Lake Cleaning and Laundry Center
16. Molly Wasserman (Does anyone know what this store sold?)
17. Warren Jewelers
18. Big Scoop (Ice Cream Parlor)
19. The Shady Lady (a womens clothing store that seems to have had something of an old west theme to it. For a number of years, there have been leftover decorations from one of these in a mostly vacant store at Factoria Mall.)
20. John Patrick’s Hair Styling Boutique
21. Totem Lake Management Office
22. Farmers Insurance
23. Bellevue Redmond TV
24. Nobles Card and Christian Book Store (Is this related to the Christian bookstore in this space currently?)
25. The Stein Men’s Shop
26. Washington Mutual Savings Bank (Now in a freestanding building in the upper mall parking lot)
27. Boot and Shoe
28. Raphael’s Flowers and Fine Gifts
29. The Maverick Men’s Shop
30. The Elite Edge (a Ski and Bike shop)
31. Coin Shop \ Washington Nuismatic Gallery
32. The Brass Horse (Not sure ywt what this was)
33. Iron Gates of Totem Lake Restaurant (A 1974 coupon is for either a prime rib or steak dinner for two, although I can’t be sure that this was necessarily a steakhouse. The coupon also suggests that there were other locations of this restaurant. This is also the location that the Radio Shack would later occupy.)
34. Vacant at this time
35. Travel Unlimited
36. Harvey Cole Toy Store
37. Unknown (Was this part of the Ernst/Malmo store?)
If anyone knows of anything that I might have missed, or can place stores that may have existed at a later time into any of these spots, please post comments with more info.
In the East Side Journmal, I have also been able to locate a couple of photos of the mall interior. Although the quality of these definitely leaves something to be desired, these photos at least show what the longhouse design looked like, and show that in spite of later remodels, a number of original details remain largely untouched.
(From the East Side Journal, May 16th, 1973)
Coincidentaly, one of the photos I used in my original Totem Lake Mall profile matches the spot in which this was taken almost exactly. For comparison, here it is:
Sure enough, it looks like when they remodeled the mall in the Eighties, it appears likely that they took all the timbers from the original mall and hid them under a false ceiling, creating a supremely bland and uninviting interior.
The March 20th, 1974 paper provides us with another photo of the interior. Although I can’t be entirely certain which direction this is facing, I believe that it is from the center court of the mall, facing toward the Ernst store. I am hoping to be able to get better copies of these pictures, and will update this if I am able to do so.
I have a number of other items I have found about the lower mall from articles and advertisements in the paper (as I have mentioned previously, there was no shortage of coverage when the mall opened,) but I still need to sort through the stuff. Also note that I have begun researching the upper mall as well (which opened roughly a year after the lower mall,) and I have also been able to find a list of stores there as well as a map showing what the interior of the upper mall looked like when there was actually an enclosed mall there (it was a pretty small place, most of the stores there had to be tiny.) Although I have yet to find evidence of the Turbo Tubes waterslides that several people have mentioned in the comments, I have found out that when the upper mall opened it had an indoor mini golf course, located in the building that currently houses the Trader Joe’s (which it shared with a tire shop, of all things.) The main anchor of the upper mall was Sportswest, another Pay ‘n Save subsidiary which in 1988 became the Big 5 sporting Goods store that remains there to this day. Denny’s Pet World has also been located in the lower mall since it first opened, but they were originally located in a completely different location from where they are today. Watch for more details on the upper mall coming soon. Again, feel free to fill in any blanks you might be able to here.