The iconic "rising sun" logo of Eastland Mall has outlived the mall. It can be found on skateboard decks, T-shirts, stickers, tattoos, and even pizzas - but mostly in our memories.
Alfred Kloke (1922-1997) was responsible for Eastland Mall’s elaborate and futuristic design. Most of the eye-catching interior design elements were concentrated around the ice rink in the center of the mall. The mall corridors turned into tiered balconies above the ice, that dipped and projected to afford good views and seating. Modern clean-lined escalators connected the levels, and huge globe-framed chandeliers hung above the ice, suspended from framing that also supported massive barrel-vaulted skylights. Secondary courtyards resembled pocket parks with lush plantings, including mature trees, skylights and fountains. On the relatively simple exterior of the mall, Kloke designed Eastland’s iconic signs. The signs depict an abstract sun/face, with puffed-up cheeks and puckered lips, as if the sun were in the act of blowing air. The sun’s corona resembles a ring of leaves.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission considers the physical "rising sun" signs to be non-designated historical landmarks. A comprehensive history of the mall and the signs can be found here.
Prior to the demolition of Eastland Mall in 2013, CharlotteEAST (then known as the Eastland Area Strategies Team) acquired the signs from the City of Charlotte. Then-mayor and former CharlotteEAST board member Patsy Kinsey spearheaded that effort. Presently, the signs are "resting" at a City of Charlotte storage facility, but are the property of CharlotteEAST. Our goal is to incorporate them at the new Eastland development as pieces of public art; one is currently on display at the Charlotte Museum of History.