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- Photos courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica
- Former Mayor Denny Zane celebrating opening day on September 16, 1989. He coined this project "new-urbanist smart growth planning."
- When planning began for the outdoor shopping center more than 25 years ago, there was no blueprint, model or benchmark to measure it against because, at the time, the general opinion among urban planners was that the indoor mall was the only workable mode
- Above is the construction of one of the center's infamous foliage dinosaurs, built by Claude and Francois Lalanne. (See the final outcome here.)
- A retro look at 3rd and Wilshire. Downtown Santa Monica tells us that "it's estimated that nearly one-third of the malls in the U.S. have been torn down and turned inside out in an effort to try and, at least in part, replicate the Promenade."
- A look at Third Street Promenade today. "The precise fusion of ocean air, talented buskers, eclectic architecture, public access and accountability fosters a space that people cherish and enjoy that cannot be replicated."
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).
· Downtown Santa Monica [Official Site]
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