Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - shopping centers

Designers: Altoon + Porter, Architects (firm); Ronald A. Altoon (architect); Gary K. Dempster (architect); James Frank Porter (architect); William Sebring (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]

total floor area: 1,800,000 sq. ft.

12505 North Mainstreet
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739

Building History

Designed on 165 acres for the Forest City Development Corporation, Victoria Gardens was an attempt to create, at once, a downtown for the Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Cucamonga. This downtown commercial district occupied 12 city blocks and 1.3 million square feet. It was seen as a radical departure from conventional shopping malls, as it was built with through streets and sidewalks to create a pedestrian-friendly destination.

Authors Jerke, Porter and Lassar noted in their book, Urban Design and the Bottom Line, said of Victoria Gardens in 2008: "The new open-air retailing design concept is growing up-and out. That is, it is being adapted for large centers that once would have been developed as enclosed shopping malls. For example, Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, Californa, a project that is being developed by Forest City Commercial Development and that won a ULI Award for Excellence in 2006, is a 1.8-million-square-foot (167,200 meters squared) town center project. Planning for the development had to overcome local attitudes that favored a typical mall. Brian Jones, California president for Forest City, persuaded the city to build a 'real urban place' instead of the self-contained mall it had envisioned. Jones employed three architectural firms to independently design parts of the 12-block urban center with the kind of 'richly organic messiness' inherent in the appearance of a place that might have evolved over a century. Plazas and pocket parks are found throughout the project. Chaffey Town Square, the open-air, landscaped destination has been a highly successful attraction. A cultural center, children's theater, and public library add a significant civic value to Victoria Gardens. This kind of place making can be found in many of the new centers being created today." (See Dennis Jerke, Douglas R. Porter, Terry J. Lassar, Urban Design and the Bottom Line, [Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2008], pp. 52-53.)

PCAD id: 6362