Groundbreaking for the May Company building took place on October 14, 1950 as 300 business leaders and state and county officials looked on.
The developers of Lakewood made Lakewood Center the new community’s “downtown” – a novel idea in 1950. Surrounded by thousands of homes, the new shopping center was just minutes away from shoppers.
Surveys showed that nearly 25 percent of prospective consumers in Los Angeles County were located within a 30-minute driving radius. As the west’s largest shopping center, promoted as “the 154-acre ‘shopping heart’ of Lakewood” (260 acres if the parking lot acreage was included), Lakewood Center would be a city in itself.
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