Update 04/23/09: The Redmond Pizza Hut has now reopened in a new location at Cleveland Street Square (I don’t have the exact address since I just saw it while passing by earlier today, but I will add the info once i get it.) Also, for a more in-depth look at what will be coming to the new Redmond Center, be sure to check out this post:
If you’ve driven through Downtown Redmond at any time within the last few days, you might have noticed something missing at Redmond Center. It seems that the Pizza Hut located at the entrance to one of Redmond’s older strip malls has vanished, and as of Saturday about half of the building next door (which was most recently used as a physical therapist’s office, and previously as a Payless Shoe Source) had disappeared as well. These two buildings are being demolished to make way for part of a new expansion and overhaul of the east side of Redmond Center, one of Redmond’s oldest major shopping centers. More details on this demolition and the future construction that will be coming to the center, and a bit of the history of this site, can be found after the jump.
As you can see, the wreckers seem to have wasted little time in bringing down the Pizza Hut, which was still standing as recently as last Wednesday. Over the weekend the back wall of the other building was left in place, but presumably it will be gone by the time you read this. The back wall of the building did stand long enough to reveal one interesting sign of this building’s past though:
I cannot be entirely certain of the origin of that particular bit of art, but it looks like something straight out of the mid Seventies. Unfortunately, since I know basically nothing of the history of this center prior to 1994 when I moved here, I have no idea what could have been here that would have prompted the painting of something like this on the wall. Since this was on the back wall of the building, it would have presumably been located in the stockroom of whatever store it was in, hidden from public view up until the bulldozers arrived to bring it down. Does anyone have any ideas on this?
At some undetermined point in the future, the demolition crews will eventually be turning their attention to the east side of the shopping center as well, and rebuilding a new larger structure in its place, eliminating the breezeway between the buildings in the process. I have been informed by the owner of Niko Teriyaki (where I have been a regular customer for many years now) that they will be moving to a new location somewhere in the general vicinity soon, but I have not heard anything about any of the other businesses here (including Hill’s Barber Shop, which has been here since 1965) moving to different locations.
From the permit filings for this project on the City of Redmond website, we can get a better idea of what the updated Redmond Center will look like. Aside from the former Lakeside Drug store (which I will discuss in a bit more detail in a further post) which is currently in the process of receiving a name change to Pharmaca and an extensive remodel, most of the center will remain untouched at this time (although it has already been renovated extensively about five years ago when the Staples store was added.)
Finally, for a bit of historical context, here is an aerial photo of the center from the Sammamish Valley News as it appeared when it was first opened in 1965, courtesy of the Redmond Historical Society arcvhives. At this time only half of the center as it exists today had been built, and the QFC store was originally an IGA Foodliner. I need to go back and make another attempt to fill in some of the blanks on the history of this center, but there seems to be a fair bit of info missing at this point. Once I get a chance to do some more research, I intend to put together another post on this.
To take a closer look at how this shopping center evolved over the years, you can also see aerial imagery of it from 1968, 1980, 1990, 1998 and 2006 on HistoricAerials.com. You can also see a 1964 image showing the vacant land where the center would soon be built, and some scattered houses in the area. Based on these images, it appears that the old Foodliner store (or at least the building it was in) was replaced by the larger QFC store sometime during the Eighties, and that the Pizza Hut was here before 1980 (If I had to guess, I would say it probably arrived sometime between 1978-1980, since the 1977 SVN archives I have gone through don’t make any mention of it in spite of a fast food boom going on in Redmond during this time.)
Again, there are a lot of blanks I need to fill in here, so I will follow up on this when I get a chance. I also have a long overdue post I need to write about the nearby Redmond Shopping Square, which is even older than this one (dating back to t0 1956) and will be disappearing completely soon.