Valley River Center; Eugene, Oregon

When it opened, Valley River Center was the largest fully-enclosed mall in the state of Oregon. Today the mall is the third largest in the state, after Portland’s Lloyd Center and suburban Portland’s Washington Square. It’s also the largest mall between Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area – though that’s not saying much, considering the only competition is Medford, Redding, and Eureka.

Despite being the largest mall in Oregon at the time, the 1969 version of Valley River Center was much smaller than the behemoth it is today. The original mall consisted of two two-level anchors, a 181,000 square-foot Portland-based Meier & Frank, and a 206,000 square-foot JCPenney, which opened a few months later. These two anchors were connected by an enclosed single-level retail corridor, where San Francisco-based Roos-Atkins also operated a 35,000 square foot junior anchor on the east side of the mall near Meier and Frank. In total, the entire mall was 662,000 square feet, and was fully operational by early 1970.