The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 31, 2009

Out-of-Context Ad Solution: You Might Want to Bring the Umbrella…

Filed under: Bellevue, Malls, Recycled Newspaper — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 3:15 pm

As you’ll recall, last week’s Out-of-Context ad showed the Easter Bunny choppin’ down the Bunny trail, dropping… well, something anyway, on what we would presume to be an unsuspecting crowd of Easter celebrants below.  That much should be easy enough to figure out based on the ad snippet (as shown above,)  but exactly what was the Easter Bunny doing in a helicopter in the first place?  And what the heck would he be dropping on the crowd below? The full advertisement is posted after the jump, along with a bit of background on what was (presumably) going on here.

Journal-American, 3-22-78, Page C8

Don’t worry, in spite of the (perhaps slightly unfortunate) drawing here, nothing too messy was going on here, just 1,200 ping-pong balls being dropped out of a helicopter on a crowd of people in the back parking lot of the Factoria Mall. What could possibly go wrong with that one?  Well, if you think about it you could probably name plenty of things, but given the fact that the subsequent editions of the paper contained no mention of any horrendous maimings related to the event, I’m going to guess that it probably went off without too much trouble.  I suspect you’d probably get sued into oblivion if you tried something like this these days, even if nothing bad actually happened.  Presumably Mr. Moose could not be reached for comment:

At this particular point in time, Factoria Mall (or Factoria Square Mall, as it was more typically called at that time) had opened up just a few months earlier, and at that time had a very similar layout to the lower part of the Totem Lake Mall, with a Lamont’s (later Gottschalk’s) store in the middle, an Ernst store on one side (which got a significant remodel just a few months before the chain went under) and a Pay ‘n Save (still operating as a Rite Aid,) and a grocery store  (currently a Safeway, and probably a Safeway back then as well)  on the other side , with a couple of hallways worth of stores in between. 

From HistoricAerials we can see the mall as it appeared in 1980, a couple of years after the ad above ran.  In addition to the mall, you can see a building in the Northwest corner of the mall which was there in 1980, seems to have been cut in half by 1990, and was replaced completely by 1998 by the Nordstrom Rack store.  In the meantime, the expansion to the mall which added the Target and Mervyn’s stores makes its appearance in the 1990 images (based on the decor of the stores, compared to other Targets and Mervyn’s stores I’ve been in, I’d say this was probably late Eighties, although I’d have to do some digging to find out for sure)  and more of the space in the back was turned into parking.    In fact, much of what is now the southern part of the Mall property was undeveloped land covered in trees in 1980.

When the Grazie Ristorante at Factoria closed in mid-2008, the sign on the door announcing the closure said they had been there 18 years, which would have put the construction of that (and presumably also the Torero’s)  around 1990 or so.  Although the Burger King, Big 5 and Billy McHale’s restaurants and the Washington Mutual branch  along Factoria Boulevard seem to have appeared sometime during the 1980s as well, the Bank of America branch (which would have been Seafirst Bank back then) and the KFC at the North end of the property are both present in 1980, and would probably have opened around the same time as the mall itself. 

Assuming that the redevelopment plans for Factoria ever get off the ground (quite frankly, I’m not expecting anything to happen anytime soon) there will be even more significant changes coming in the future here.  I’ve been meaning to put together an update on Factoria Mall for a while now, but quite frankly, aside from a couple of stores (the Radio Shack and the Shoe Repair place) moving to new locations, there is basically nothing to report.  The old signs on the former Grazie and Torero’s locations have been taken down, and I think I may have even seen “For Lease” signs back up on those vacant buildings, which might be an indication of Target abandoning their plans for a new replacement store on the site.  Given the difficulty of finding much of anything on the situation here, I’m going to have to guess that it could be quite likely that this project, much like the redevelopment of the Totem Lake Mall up in Kirkland, has either gone on indefinite hold or been cancelled entirely.  If anyone has any information to either confirm this or indicate otherwise, I would be interested to hear it.

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