Third Street Promenade Turns 25
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).
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.