cambrian park plaza

ranch-style shopping center

The old Cambrian Park Plaza shopping center in San Jose has been sold, which means they'll soon be remodeling it into a modern plaster monstrosity. Here are some photos that celebrate it's relaxing, rural-esque architecture as it existed from it's construction in 1953 to now.

The merry-go-round of Cambrian Park Plaza, designed by a local baker, depicts a young family on a pleasure outing – consistent with a family community as Paul Schaeffer, orchardist-turned-builder, envisioned it almost 50 years ago. Mr. Schaeffer turned his 270-acre prune orchard into a finished community including homes on large lots, donated land to build the Cambrian Park Methodist Church, and in 1953, the “first one-stop” shopping center including medical and dental professional offices. Innovative in its approach to blending the architecture with that of planned homes, providing covered walkways to protect shoppers during inclement weather and provide a rear delivery area to keep trucks from interfering with customer vehicles – it opened with a huge celebration. As you shop, be sure to read the plaque in front of Price Low and notice Paul Schaeffer’s favorite marigolds and roses. [ source ]

First published on 7 Apr 2015; last updated on 26 Jan 2017.

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