Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1966 New Plaza Building & Coldwell Banker

I found several references to Coldwell Banker who evidently was handling the lease arrangements for the new Plaza Building which would open in 1966 at the Disneyland Hotel.

Some information on the Plaza Building (and Coldwell Banker) from our book

Just to the west of the lobby and shopping arcade, the new shopping Plaza Building opened on the Hotel's grounds in November of 1966. It was a three-story structure with offices on the upper level and shops and boutiques occupying the first two floors. Built of concrete and glass, it contained an elevator that served all three floors and individual air conditioning to each shop and office in the complex was provided. The architects were again Weber and Nicholson of Los Angeles, who also had designed the Sierra Tower. Once again, the contractor was C. L. Peck of Los Angeles. The leasing of shop space in the Plaza Building was handled by John Holmquist of Coldwell, Banker & Company of Newport Beach (at the time operating only in Arizona, California, and Nevada...years before it became a national presence).

This new structure was actually a sunken building, patrons having to descend a short flight of stairs to enter the shops on the first-floor level. A sunken garden landscaped that lower level, and red tile walkways led guests from shop to shop. It was described as having glass walls and graceful grillwork, gleaming in a lush garden setting. It was further described as resembling a necklace on green velvet, containing the beautiful and unusual in a score of smart, avant-garde specialty shops. Here one could buy aromatic tobaccos from Turkey, candles from Mexico, leathers from London, toys from the United States, Germany and Japan, and here one could select from fashions inspired in Paris, Rome, and on Carnaby Street. The Plaza also featured a beauty shop, a travel agency, and a dental facility. The sounds of tinkling fountains and of Muzak added to the calm atmosphere of the new shopping area.

The Plaza Building was not only a place of leisurely shopping for necessities (forgotten in the haste of packing back home) or for finding those unusual gifts and souvenirs. From the first days of its operation, the Plaza was also a place of entertainment and of the unexpected. A shopper might discover a Mariachi band playing outside Flavia (a specialized gift store that featured the paintings of wide-eyed children by the renowned Southern California artist whose name was to be found above the entrance to her shop). Turning a corner, one might be greeted by Native Americans performing age-old ceremonial dances in front of Treasure Trails (a shop filled with authentic Indian dolls, crafts, and works of art). At another time at that same shop, one might be delighted by a young Navajo girl's demonstration of her skills of rug weaving. Only a few steps away one's dreams of the Pacific Islands could be realized at Waltah Clark's Hawaiian Shop. A former Hawaiian beach boy, Clark had established himself as an importer of fashions and accessories from his former home. The Yelland Galleries also held surprises for Plaza visitors. With the addition of the Plaza Building and with the pre-existing Arcade, the Hotel now had forty-thousand square feet of shopping area, occupied by nearly two dozen specialty stores. The Disneyland Hotel could now boast of having "the most complete hotel service and shopping center in the nation."

Both the Tower Annex and the Plaza Shopping Center were a part of the $5.5-million Hotel Expansion Program. By itself, the Plaza Building had cost $1.25-million.
This one is from my buddy Dave over at Daveland. If you have not checked out his blog or his website, do yourself a favor and do so:

If you look carefully under the sign, you can see an advertisement from Coldwell Banker soliciting leases for the new Plaza Building.

Here is a Plaza Building construction shot also listing Coldwell Banker as well as the architects, contractors and builders.

This was an actual ad in the Hotel's Check-In magazine from October, 1966.
If you look in the background of this one, you can see Plaza Building construction going on. This photo was shot during the mermaid tryouts in 1966 where the lucky winners would swim around the submarine lagoon inside Disneyland.

For vintage Disneyland Hotel images, please visit:

Our website for the definitive book on the history of the Disneyland Hotel is

No comments: