Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Valencia Town Center: Count On It! Here It Comes.

Thematic Art Album.


Webmaster's note.

When the Valencia Town Center mall opened in September 1992, it had what you might call a "citrus" motif. It was no accident. Successful shopping malls create themed experiences to engage consumers and keep them coming back.

One year earlier, when the Valencia Town Center was in the final planning stages, it needed a theme. The Newhall Land and Farming Company's design consultants chose to blend something old and familiar with the new, ultra-modern, glass-ceiling architecture. So, they met with members of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society to gather ideas for historical motifs appropriate to the mall area.

Drawn to the orange crate labels found along the Santa Clara River corridor on the west side of the Newhall Ranch and beyond, the consultants focused on the area's agricultural history and intertwined it throughout the mall design — even coming up with an orange crate label of their own. (Oranges weren't grown in Valencia, but carrots, onions and other row crops were. Newhall Land, aka FivePoint, still grows oranges in the Newhall Orchard, just west of the L.A.-Ventura County line, past the cattle, which still range on Newhall's land in 2019.)

More than a mall — the mall managers really frowned on that word — the Valencia Town Center lived up to its name, becoming a central gathering place where people from all over the Santa Clarita Valley came again and again for shopping, dining, entertainment and socializing.


Art Album: Abstract.

Collect a piece of history. The distinctive identity and interior design treatments of the new Valencia Town Center reflect rich local history that has been closely linked to Southern California orange and citrus farming for more than a hundred years. Valencia is situated on part of the vast Newhall Ranch, an original holding of The Newhall Land and Farming Company, a pioneer California orange and citrus producer.

As this unique industry evolved, millions of colorful paper labels were used to identify and advertise the wooden crates of oranges that were shipped throughout the country by these growers. This now rare and collectible commercial art form from a bygone era has vividly captured a piece of Valencia's heritage and tradition of success. And it has in turn influenced the identity of what the new Valencia Town Center is all about. It's a legacy of adventurous prosperity. You can Count On It!

Start now — with your enclosed Count On It! Club collector's album. Approximately every six weeks, from now until the new Valencia Town Center's Grand Opening this fall, you will receive a valuable collector's label to place in your album. Look for them in The Juice, our newsletter to the Santa Clarita Valley.

Each distinctive new label will be different and will have something to say about the new Valencia Town Center. Also in The Juice you will receive information about a host of events leading up to the Grand Opening that you will want to be a part of.

Look for The Juice in the mail and start collecting. Punch out the labels and glue them into your album. When you complete your Valencia Town Center label collection, present it at the Mall's Grand Opening this Fall. Your name will be entered into a special drawing for a chance to win exciting prizes, shopping discounts, and select no-cost services from participating Valencia Town Center retailers.

For further information call us at 805-287-9050. We look forward to seeing you soon. You can Count On It!


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Builder to Show Mall Art.

Santa Clarita — Valencia Co. officials say they are drawing from local history to get decorating ideas for the planned regional shopping mall.

In a presentation Wednesday to the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, Valencia Co. representatives are scheduled to show off some of the development firm's ideas for the valley's first regional mall, which is under construction on an 80-acrc parcel at the intersection of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard.

"A lot of the interior mall graphics and arts program is based on what we refer to as the upper Santa Clara River valley, from Piru up through the Santa Clarita Valley," said company spokeswoman Marlee Lauffcr. "It was influenced by the history of this area."

The presentation is scheduled 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Saugus Train Station, located in the historical society's Heritage Junction in Newhall.

Lauffcr said Valencia Co., the development arm of The Newhall Land and Farming Co., has drawn on local history of agriculture, railroad development and oil production for its mall art concepts. She said the mall's decor may include murals based on local history.

The mall logo is an artist's rendering of an orange crate.

"That logo has been developed by the old orange crate art that was so prevalent, particularly in the Piru area," Lauffer said.

Valencia Co. plans to open the mall, called Valencia Town Center, in fall 1992. The mall, being developed jointly by Newhall Land and JMB/Urban Development Corp., is expected to include J.C. Penney, Sears and May Co. as the first-phase anchor stores.


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Valencia Mall Art to Feature Historic Themes.

Newhall — The decor of Valencia Co.'s regional shopping mall will be inspired by local history, company officials have told members of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.

"The architecture alone doesn't really relate this project to the Santa Clarita Valley," Valencia Co. architect Jeff Rhoads said during a presentation Wednesday to about 20 historical society members.

The art, he said, is what can do that. The mall, called Valencia Town Center, is expected to feature a logo based on orange crate art inspired by orchards along the Santa Clara River, west of the city. Also, the mall may feature murals depicting the heritage of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Rhoads said Newhall Land worked with historical society curator Jerry Reynolds and former Signal Editor Ruth Newhall to gather ideas for the artwork.

"We spent one full day visiting historic locations in and around the Santa Clarita Valley," Rhoads said. "We have tried to look at all the various historic areas."

He said representatives of the mall design firm, RTKL Associates Inc., "were very much enamored of orange crate label art. ... The orange crate label became a point of departure for the logo tor the project."

Rhoads said the developer plans three murals in the mall focusing on local history. The planned topics are "bounty of the land," people of the valley and the Santa Clarita Valley as a gateway to Los Angeles.

Historical society spokeswoman Sandra Forbes said she was pleased that the mall will include historic murals.

"I was hoping you'd do murals," she told Rhoads, "because the history of the Santa Clarita Valley is so unique and so wonderful. Regardless of where you stand on issues, it's the one thing we all have in common."

Historical society members had a few ideas of their own. One member suggested the planned multi-screen movie theater include art based on local film history.

"It really depends on the will of the tenant," Rhoads said, "but certainly that's an idea that we should put past them. It's a wonderful idea."

Reynolds, who helped Newhall Land gather ideas for the historical themes, said, "I think it'll be quite a showplace, especially with those arched glass ceilings.

"I'm glad they're bringing some (historical themes) in. Of course, it's not a museum — it's a shopping mall," Reynolds said. "If we're going to have a shopping mall, we might as well have a nifty, attractive one, and I think that's what we're getting."


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