Today we are STILL riding aboard the newly reopened Sky Cabin at Knott's Berry Farm! This vintage shot of the Sky Cabin is used here courtesy of the Orange County Archives.
We are now looking in a northeastern direction. The sun is behind us at this point and it's casting some pretty long shadows. In fact, if you look closely, you can see the shadow of the Sky Cabin and it's twenty-story tower being cast across La Palma Avenue (just to the left of the center of the pic).
Here are two more 1977 pics from Major Pepperidge's collection.
I've circled some more points of interest. The green circle is around the old California Alligator Farm site. Knott's bought this property after it closed down and it is now used for overflow parking.
In the vintage photos, the Alligator Farm property can be seen with a fence around it. Just to the right of that (not circled) is the old Cottage Pottery shop that used to be at the corner of Beach Blvd. and La Palma Ave. Does anyone remember that? Claim Jumper's restaurant sits on that corner today. I've circled the Galloping Goose railcar and one of the Gasoline Alley cars in blue, but we saw a close-up look at them in yesterday's post.
It will be difficult to see due to the shadows and trees, but the red circle is around the old brick arches that still stand along La Palma Ave. Did I hear someone say, "What brick arches?" Well, we will take a closer look at them in just a minute.
The yellow and the purple circles are around two former Home Savings and Loan locations. We'll be taking a more detailed look at them as well.
First, here are a couple souvenirs from the old Alligator Farm. This was a Southern California attraction that unfortunately I never made it to, but I do remember the large Alligator sign that used be out near the street. I would love to find an old picture of it!
According to Wikipedia, the Alligator Farm was originally located in a Lincoln Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, next door to the Los Angeles Ostrich Farm. It opened in 1907 and was moved to Buena Park in 1953. It closed in 1984 due to a drop in attendance and the alligators were relocated to a private estate in Florida.
These are the brick arches mentioned earlier. They aren't that easy to find in the park. They are visible when riding the Stagecoach......
....or when riding the Dragon Swing!
This piece of architecture has a long history at Knott's as seen in this vintage photo used here courtesy of the Orange County Archives. Note the old sign for the Alligator Farm on the fence across the street. The trees behind the arches seemed to have survived at least until the 1977 photos were taken, but have since been cut down. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since most of the wonderful old trees that used to be at Knott's have been cut down in recent years.
Now we'll look at a couple structures across the street from Knott's. The building that was circled in purple in the aerial shots was the first of two Home Savings and Loans built at the intersection of Beach Blvd. and La Palma Ave. Home Savings and Loan was an institution that was known for incorporating artwork into the design of their buildings.
Let's take a closer look at the mural above the entrance.
The yellow circle in the aerial pics was highlighting the property just across the street. In the late seventies, Home Savings and Loan moved out of their original location on the southeastern corner of the intersection and into a larger building on the northeastern corner. In fact, if you look at the pics from 1977, the lot is being cleared and prepared for construction. Today, Chase has moved into the newer building after acquiring it from Washington Mutual. And look, there's IHOP sitting right next door just as it did in 1977.
We'll zoom in closer on the mosaic above the entrance. The subject of this mural happens to be Knott's Berry Farm! Who knew?
An even closer look reveals the detail. This particular mural is the work of artists Susan Hertel and Denis O' Connor.
We will end today with this small photo. It's a close up of the old Buena Park Mall sign and it can be seen off in the distance (circled in pink) in one of the vintage aerial pics. The mall was built in 1961 and for years the sign read "BPC" which stood for "Buena Park Center." I believe it was in the late seventies that it was changed to "BPM" for "Buena Park Mall" after a roof had been built over the outdoor shopping center. The sign has since been torn down and the name of the mall has changed once again to "Buena Park Downtown." Couldn't they have left this cool mid-century modern sign and just swapped the "M" for a "D"? I stopped by the mall a few months ago for the first time in over twenty years and found it to be in pretty sad shape. I took some photos of the interior and will possibly include them in a future post.
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