Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Town Square Construction

Even though it has been almost 5 years since I started collecting vintage Disneyland images, I still get a little thrill when I see shots of something that I have never seen before. I get even more excited when I am able to tell a story by putting together images in my collection with new ones that I have recently purchased. Today's post illustrates such a story, as it shows some of the progress made during the construction of Town Square. Naturally, you will see that the level of quality runs the gamut throughout, but nevertheless, it’s still fun to view.

The first image shown here is a new one to my collection. I believe it is the earliest one I have showing Town Square’s construction. My guess is based on the fact that the trolley tracks are not in yet, and that this photo shows the form being constructed for pouring the concrete for the curb around the center triangle. Maybe it should have been "Town Triangle" instead!

Zooming in to check out some other details, you can see the Castle surrounded by scaffolding as it is not quite finished yet.

This particular zoom shows some of the workers near the Emporium:

Main Street looks like a virtual skeleton; hard to tell that the Main Street Cinema is here, as very little ornamentation on the store fronts has been added yet.

This aerial view, dated May 14, 1955, shows that the Bandstand is in Town Square. Once again, doing a little guessing, the Bandstand must have been moved to the Castle/Central Plaza area just before the trolley tracks were put down.

It appears that the shadow of the Bandstand is still visible in this Opera House construction photo:

Once the tracks went down, it is clear to see that the Bandstand was already deemed in appropriate for Town Square and had been moved.

Today, Town Square is still a vibrant area that makes a top-notch first impression:

And a beautiful place to finish your day at the Happiest Place on Earth:

In home video news, “Bambi” will be released soon on Blu-ray in a new Diamond Edition. “Bambi” is definitely one of the most beautiful Disney animated films, especially from the perspective of its backgrounds. I am really looking forward to seeing it in high-definition.

See more Disneyland Town Square photos at my main website.


Connie Moreno said...

OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!! I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that first photo! AMAZING post!!! Thanks for sharing!

Thufer said...

That aerial view, dated May 14, 1955; is simply extraordinary. One of the better I have every seen and a really wonderful capture.

Major Pepperidge said...

Yes, I love that aerial photo as well. I wonder if that wood-framed oval in the lower right is the very beginnings of the Chicken of the Sea pirate ship?

Snow White Archive said...

Nice post Dave. The aerial photo is certainly striking. It doesn't look as though the train tracks have been laid yet. That's just remarkable with only 2 months to go until opening.

Kevin Kidney said...

Hey Major, Yes, that thing that looks like a giant snowshoe in the May 14, 1955 aerial is the Pirate Ship!

By the way, I have been lucky enough to see quite a lot of unpublished film footage of Main Street's construction. There is one reel of film, black and white. in storage at the Disney Studio showing the bandstand making its brief journey from Town Sqaure, and up Main Street toward the castle. It's pretty surreal to see that structure being rolled past the Penny Arcade and the Market House and into the hub. I WISH I had access to the film, or even a screen grab to share with you, but at least I can give you the mental picture. There are so many interesting episodes in the park's history that few will ever hear about.

JG said...

Dave, thanks for the wonderful unusual pics.

Also, I remember my first showing of Bambi. I was just a little boy, we were vacationing in Las Vegas. My Dad loved the desert, but never gambled. He liked Las Vegas because we could have warm weather in the winter and our vacation was subsidized by the gamblers... It was so hot that we went to the theater to cool off, and Bambi was the show.

What a sad movie. I know, I'm an old softie.

Thanks for the memory.


Anonymous said...

And now that bandstand is at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach.