Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Sky Cabin At Knott's Reopens! - Part 7

I am going to be tying up a loose end today. It's my finale to the Knott's Sky Cabin series of posts that I ran back in March. Why did it take me so long to end that series? Well, I guess I've been kind of lazy....or distracted.....or both!

These last images are miscellaneous photos that I did not have older comparison pics for. I would like to thank Major Pepperidge again, for letting me use his vintage images for my previous Sky Cabin posts!

This first pic shows one of Xcelerator's cars reaching the highest peak of it's track, which is 205 ft tall....roughly the same height as the Sky Cabin Tower. The intersection below is La Palma Ave. and Western Ave., which we saw in Part 3 of this series.

Here is the view looking north up Western Ave. The red building on the right is the former home of Movieland Wax Museum, which we saw in Part 4 of this series. The yellowish building with the gray roof in the lower portion of the middle window is the barn used to keep the park's stagecoaches and horses.

Just beyond the barn is Bud Hurlbut's property where his amusement company was located.

Here's a "satellite view" from the internet. The stagecoach barn can be seen along with a few horses outside of it. Bud Hurlbut's company was located on the property between the barn and the row of houses seen in the top of the photo.

If we zoom in, we can see a striped tent. I'm just wondering if there is some wonderful Hurlbut ride underneath it?

This structure sits on the property and I believe it was Bud's workshop. I'm hoping someone out there will chime in and let me know for sure. There was an estate sale on the property recently and I wish I had known about it! There were carousel horses, trains, and even a Knott's Berry Farm "Happy Sombrero" ride vehicle for sale!

Continuing on with our photos taken from the Sky Cabin, this is the view looking northeast towards Supreme Scream. We saw this view in Part 5 of this series, but we never saw the very top of the Supreme Scream tower.

And just for review, I've circled the two bank buildings/murals and the Camino Real arches that we also saw in Part 5. Blogger "Outsidetheberm" commented on that post and provided us with some info about those arches. Here's part of his comment from that post: "The arches were built in early 1956 as part of the El Camino Real Mission Walk. The mission models were built by Leon De Volo. The arch in your post is the northern San Francisco arch while the southern arch (near the town square) was the San Diego arch." (Thank you, Outsidetheberm!) Unfortunately, the other arches that were locate in Calico Square were torn down within the last 10 years or so.

Here's a shot aimed just a little further east that includes the new Windseeker attraction.

And now we are turned even further east. (By the way, the Sky Cabin turns to the left, so I know that I've posted these in the opposite order.....sorry about that!)

Here's the same shot with the bank buildings circled again and this time I've circled the old Buena Park Mall (in blue) in the distance.

I'm going to include some photos of the mall "just because." Actually, it's because I have fond memories of going there as a kid.

At one time, the old sign read, "BPC" for Buena Park Center. At that time, it was an outdoor shopping center. In the late seventies, a roof was put over the center and it became "Buena Park Mall." Today, the original sign is gone and the mall has been renamed "Buena Park Downtown"....which makes absolutely no sense to me!

You can tell how successful the renaming of the mall was by the four or five people visible in the photos above and below!

I remember visiting the mall right after the addition of the roof was completed. For some reason, I also remember that the roof reminded me of Space Mountain, but I'm not sure now why I thought that. Maybe the high ceiling and the angles reminded me of the loading room? Maybe the angles and the lines reminded me of Space Mountain's exterior? I don't know....too much time has gone by since then!

I also remember visiting this mall as a kid before the roof was added over the center. I remember there were piles of large rocks for kids to climb on and that one of the sets of rocks had a tunnel to crawl through. I have searched for vintage pics online, but have come up with nothing so far. If anyone out there has early photos of the shopping center and those rocks, I would love to see them!

The mall is kind of in sad shape today. The May Co. and J.C. Pennys both closed a long time ago. Most of the large downstairs food court area has been converted into a pizza arcade-type of business. Most of the chain-type of stores have been converted to small independent businesses. I recognize the shop below with it's glass front, but I can't remember what it was originally. It was a clothing chain that was located in many of the malls....was it The Limited?

This store used to be a Foot Locker shoe store, but today you can buy a statue of Jesus, an indoor water fountain, or your very own copy of the Mona Lisa!

I may have strayed a little in this post, but if you've read this far, thank you for letting me reminisce! I will end the post and this series with a piece of concept art for the old Sky Jump tower and the Sky Cabin which is labeled here as "Sky Flight." I wish the Sky Jump part of the tower had not been shut down and removed, but I am very glad that the Sky Cabin has reopened. The next time you're at Knott's, make sure you go for a ride in it and show Cedar Fair that there is still an interest in these slower-paced family type of attractions. Maybe we can get them to bring back the Haunted Shack and Knott's Bear-y Tales!!!!!


...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

Great post! I loved learning about Bud, and that property with the tent absolutely fascinates me. The Sky Cabin will have to be the first attraction we run to next time we visit (Soon?!??!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you, BIWATW! Yeah, I saw some photos that were taken at the auction, but I don't remember seeing any pics of that round tent-like structure. I guess it's possible that it had been removed by the time of the auction. Just let me know when you would like to go to Knott's!

outsidetheberm said...

The rocks at the Buena Park Mall with the crawl through 'tunnel' - boy, you sure jogged a memory there! Hadn't thought of that in years. It certainly was a different place then, wasn't it?

And yes, you have the Hurlbut property correct. The carousel out back was moved away in the final days before the last sale.

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

Will certainly do, TM! I forgot to add how much I love the paint job and architecture at the mall. We'll have to visit it too! (I've never been.)

Major Pepperidge said...

Hey, a new post!

I wonder when the heck I'll ever get back over to Knott's. I know my niece and nephew are curious to check it out the next time they are in town (next April probably).

Anyway, great Sky Cabin pictures for sure. My niece didn't like that spinning giant orange ride at DCA, so I wonder what she'll think of "Windseeker"?

Beatfox said...

Dunno if you check back here still, but I just wanted to say I enjoyed your info on the Buena Park Mall in particular! When I was a kid during the '80s and early '90s, it was probably the mall I (well, my parents, with me tagging along) frequented the most. I didn't know it was originally an outdoor shopping center - that's pretty crazy, and a little ironic given today's shopping center trends. Found some early photos online and couldn't even recognize it as the same place!

How well does your memory serve you of that mall? For some strange reason, one of my most striking memories of the mall was of the entrance to one particular shop or restaurant - not sure - the tenant might have changed a few times, but that entrance stayed the same for many years and always stuck in my mind. It had a brick or stonework appearance, and on either side was a large lantern sconce with one of those orange flicker bulbs that was supposed to imitate a flame. It may have been on the lower level (how I loved that underground level!), but I could be wrong. Something about that entrance was just so eerie, dark yet cozy, it captured my imagination. Wish I could remember what was inside!

TokyoMagic! said...

Hello, Beatfox! Thank you so much for commenting on my post. And yes, I do receive new comments and I always try to respond to them quickly. I would also like to get back into the habit of posting regularly, as I have many more photos and post ideas that I would like to share. I just got a little busy and ended up taking an extended break from blogging.

In answer to your question, I remember some things about that mall, but I'm not sure about that restaurant or shop you described. I want to say the description sounds sort of familiar. As for restaurants, the only one that I do remember was a fast food restaurant called the Busy Bee. They relocated downstairs after the mall was covered, but prior to the roof being added over the mall, they were located upstairs in the center entryway/corridor (facing La Palma) on the left hand side. The only other tenants that I remember for sure on the lower level after the mall was covered would be the movie theaters, and a shop that sold cartoon character-related items (Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, etc.)

Hmmmm, I am just now remembering something. I wonder if what you are recalling was a shop called The Tinder Box? I remember other malls having them and they kind of fit the description that you gave (brick facade and kind of dark on the inside). They looked sort of like an old English, Tudor-style house. They sold pipes, cigars, tobacco and other smoking paraphernalia. I just don't remember for sure if there was one in the Buena Park Mall or not. Let me know if that jogs any memories for you!

Beatfox said...

Hmm, doesn't ring any bells. I looked up some photos of other Tinder Box shops but couldn't really deduce anything from that. Really thought it was a restaurant or bar, for some reason... ah well. Guess it'll have to remain a mystery lost to the mists of time.

Thanks for the reply, anyway! It's funny the things we remember from our youth, isn't it?

Beatfox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoMagic! said...

Yeah, I tried to look up some vintage photos of some Tinder Box shops, but only came up with some newer ones that don't look anything like the older shops did. I wonder if it is even the same company. There are some vintage pics of the Buena Park Mall online that go back to before the roof was added, but maybe someday someone will post some pics that will show what that shop or restaurant was and it will no longer be a mystery. Please let me know if you make that discovery!