Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Eugene Oregon of my Youth

This picture was taken about 1963.... but this what downtown Eugene looked like when I arrived as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon a few years later. The tall building was J.C.Pennies. The Valley River Mall was opened while I was in the Army about 1969. After the Mall was build they tried to save downtown by turning it into a pedestrian outdoor mall and it only hastened the downtown's demise. The urban planners sure got that one wrong. I still remember going downtown as a college student and eating at the Newberry's lunch counter and movies on a Saturday night. I first saw "The Graduate" at the Fox theater shown on your right.There were three theaters downtown back then I remember in high school our debate coach let us spend a Saturday afternoon running around downtown Eugene following a speech tournament trip to the Willamette Valley from North Bend. Downtown's were special and I miss them.