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Toasting 25 Years of Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade

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Although mixed-use developments and outdoor shopping centers are oh-so-hot these days (Downtown's One Santa Fe, Culver City's The Platform, Huntington Beach's Pacific City), it was a foreign concept back in the '80s. "That was a period when shopping malls were all cookie-cutter types, and they were all enclosed," explains John Jalili, a City Manager who helped launch the game-changing Third Street Promenade on September 16, 1989. "They didn't quite relate to their surroundings; they looked like a box." Fast-forward to today, Santa Monica's celeb-frequented retail-and-restaurant hub is celebrating 25 years of success—and they're throwing a slew of festivities to toast the occasion.

To kick off this exciting milestone, Downtown Santa Monica exclusively hooked us up with photos of the Promenade's history in pictures, from opening day with a white tux-wearing Mayor Denny Zane to a look at the center's oft-photographed foliage dinosaurs before they were filled with greenery. Travel back in time after the jump, and join the Promenade next month for three days' worth of anniversary events: an urban planning conversation on September 17 (6:30pm), KCRW's Sonic Submarine dance party on Sept 20 (5-10pm) and an ice cream-filled finale parade on Sept 21 (11am-3pm).

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