Video: Lifelong Resident Laments Downtown's Decline

Gordon Nickle, 62, moved to San Lorenzo Village when it was a delight for children and shoppers. But those days are gone, he says in an interview outside the theater.


It was nearly 80 years ago when San Lorenzo Village became one of the nation's first planned communities, built to provide affordable homes to East Bay factory families during World War II. 

Part of the Village plan was the creation of shopping centers on Hesperian Boulevard between Paseo Grande and the San Lorenzo Theater.

For 62-year-old Gordon Nickle, a lifelong San Lorenzo residents, this central shopping district was his stomping grounds from his childhood to adulthood.

But over the past 20 years he's seen this once vibrant area decline, as he tells Patch in a video clip taken in front of the now-defunct San Lorenzo Theater -- itself a symptom of the community's difficult times.

What do you remember about the San Lorenzo Village's central district back in the day? What are your hopes for it in the years to come?

Thomas January 30, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Elvis - In The Ghetto (1969) http://goo.gl/zqQKn Not Elvis - San Lorenzo - (2013) http://goo.gl/M5G6X
Michael Moore January 31, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Tom, you left out the key component of the San Lorenzo Village development right after WW2. Along with the little Village was and is the big time defacto and dejure segregation which made San Lorenzo and neighboring San Leandro the Whitest communities in the East Bay up through the Seventies. How much of the nostalgia for the good old days is really a yearning for the segregation and lack of diversity which is the real legacy of San Lorenzo Village.
David January 31, 2013 at 02:47 AM
I read somewhere that retail sq ft per US resident increased by something like 50% the past decade. Nowhere near what incomes have gone up by, population is up barely 10% and never minding internet competition. I think we're in for a long, decade or more contraction in retail real estate.
Fred Eiger January 31, 2013 at 03:36 AM
I knew there would have to be some jackass like Michael Moore to piss on everyone's parade. Look you mutant, not one person who posted here said anything about race, so you little piece of crap shut your pie hole when people are reminiscing. If you don't have anything constructive to say, which obviously you don't you blackhole of stupid then SHUT UP!!!
David January 31, 2013 at 03:04 PM
+1 for Fred.


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