Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I was never very fond of the sound of the name but I grew up in Eastgate to the east of it until I was eleven and then lived in Woodridge to the north of it the rest of my childhood.

In the very early 70’s I remember being at Sunset Elementary (now Puesta del Sol) and students in true hippy fashion taping up protest signs and laying in front of excavation equipment at the edge of school property in hopes of stopping the cutting down of trees for development in the Factoria area.

I remember going to the drive-in theater (wasn’t that called Sunset, too?) and playing in the playground waiting for it to get dark so the movie could start. My parents even took us when they went to see M*A*S*H even though it was rated R since my sister and I would probably fall asleep in the back seat (I think I peeked and saw the shower fall down revealing Major Houlihan)

Before Factoria Mall was built I remember an old house standing alone on that property. The land was said to be too soggy to build on. The old house was used as a haunted house at Halloween a couple of times by a radio station. Sadly about 1974 a Newport High School teen accidentally hung himself – he had a rope around his neck and was standing on a box; he lost his footing. The way I remember it told, no one realized it wasn’t part of the scare so he didn’t get help. I've been told his name as Brad Lundgren who was a sophomore at the time :-( .

There was a very small grocery store – looking at the very few old Factoria photos I can find on the internet, I guess it was called Sunset Super Market. But I thought we called it Harry’s (anybody remember this?). My mom wouldn’t let us walk there by ourselves and I don’t think she felt comfortable going in there in the early-mid 70’s either. As kids, we were pretty excited when 7-11 was built sometime in the mid 70’s! We were allowed to walk there and I remember buying long, stale, sticks of green-apple bubble gum. Watermelon was also a popular flavor-du-jour. Safeway opened shortly thereafter but going there for candy with mom certainly wasn’t the same as walking with a group of friends to 7-11.

Here are some of the stores I remember and what they’ve been replaced with if I know – I haven’t been in there recently. Thank you to those who have helped me remember more stores - Please help me remember more.
Safeway (still there)
Pay-N-Save: I won a Black-and-White TV in a contest from their photo department! (now Rite Aid)
Lamonts (now TJ Maxx and DSW Shoes I think)
Ernest Hardware (now Old Navy and others)
Bean Pod (now Red Robin)
DJ Sound City (I think)
Hallmark Cards
Squire Shop
Kinney Shoes
Hot Dog Emporium
Tux Shop
B. Dalton's Books

**UPDATE** Thank you to Laura over at Facebook's "You know you're from Bellevue" for sharing this ad which helped me remember a whole lot more!
From Bellevue 1979

My first real job was at Pizza Haven – it was in a separate building behind Factoria Mall in Phase 2. It opened late summer 1978.

Phase two was leveled years ago and they built a new wing that is connected to the mall for Nordstrom Rack. In the parking lot behind Phase 2 was a restaurant called Barnaby’s. The Kentucky Fried Chicken in the parking lot is still there I believe. SeaFirst Bank was in the NorthEast corner of the Factoria Mall

My Dad and Mom took Santa Photos at Factoria in the early to mid 80’s. I was an Elf. I’ve always credited them with setting the standard for having really awesome looking Santas with real beards at Factoria. Factoria still has an awesome Santa and for my Christmas present every year my son takes my daughter for Santa photos with the both of them there.

Below are some interesting sites with Factoria history. I always assumed with the name they gave it, they wanted it to become an industrial area – but I never knew about the stove factory that never built a single stove nor the successful rabbit meat and fur industry.

Wikipedia Factoria, Bellevue, WA

Sledghammer’s blog Malls of the Seattle Area – A Tour of the Factoria Mall

City of Bellevue “Factoria Subarea Plan” (history on page 2 of document but print page 134)

Factoria “Back in the day”

Also - if you haven't seen this awesome video of old Bellevue, Check it out. Over the Bridge to Gracious LivingPlease share your Factoria stories. And photos if you have any!