Pleasant Plaza on 1st Street is Googie Architectural Gold
Original post made by Protect Ptown History on Apr 19, 2013
The signage on the shopping center is especially indicative of the style and its 1961 date of construction. Notice the freestanding "Pleasanton Plaza" sign along First Street with its triangular red supports which point upward like rocket. Also notice the gold "starburst" below the text. These features are highly representative of the Atomic Age and New Frontier era of the early 1960s. The plaza truly captures a moment in time in postwar America when the future seemed limitless and full of bold new ideas. The plaza building itself features the original neon Cole's sign which is flanked by a football. The signage contrasts nicely with the modern, unadorned wall it is affixed to. The cantilevered awning that spans the Cole's portion of the building is also in tune with the modern architecture of the period.
I hope Pleasanton values what it has in this shopping center and does something to protect it. It represents not only an increasingly rare form of architecture but also symbolizes a very specific moment in postwar America. Think of the people that grew up visiting the market, barber shop, pharmacy, and burger joint among others. Long live Pleasant Plaza!!
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:20 am
Hey thanks for the history lesson but you can't be serious are you? That strip mall has zero aesthetical appeal. Lets take a couple of pictures and put them in the museum on Main Street and bring in the wrecking ball tomorrow.
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:33 am
Thanks for the flippant remark. I'm sure you're an expert on aesthetical appeal and architecture. Maybe if you took two seconds to look into Googie architecture you wouldn't make such a shoot-from-the-hip comment.
on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm
The problem with Pleasant Plaza is that nothing has been properly maintained in a manner consistent with the historical nature of the style, other than the freestanding sign and the Cole's sign. The landscaping along First Street has is forlorn and has been filled in with concrete in various places, the area outside Bob's is a wasteland, and the brick-colored paint and new signage that was added a few years back aren't even close to period-correct. Nice thought, Ptown History, but it would take a major effort to make that center significant and correct once again.