Monday, July 20, 2009

Abandoned Acme! Quakertown, PA


The last of the Lehigh Valley... this abandoned, 72,500-square-foot Acme in Quakertown Pennsylvania closed on August 23, 2007. Rumors of it's demise had circulated for years. Acme was originally located across the street in the Kmart shopping center. A Kohl's now stands in Acme's former location.


A classic 90's/American Stores building. This style was Acme's first mega-store concept and marked a huge departure from the architecture and interior design of all previous types. You can see Acme's first attempt at the super-store concept in my Williamstown post. That style was only built a few times and then was modified slightly for a couple of new stores in Delaware. The interiors of those stores had the same look as the 80's remodel package with slightly richer colors on the walls and a toned down checkerboard floor.

This 90's model had a completely redesigned interior and decor package and was also Acme's first store with entrances on either side. The double entrances were quite common in many chains during the 90's. Still used in most Giants and Stop and Shops. The overall trend now, however, has gone back to just one entrance that leads all customers into the high-profit prepared foods and perishable departments. Acme latest stores are now built with just one main entrance leading into the "Market" section.




This entrance lead shoppers to the Produce, Bakery, Deli and Meat Departments. These departments lined the left wall with Produce being in an alcove just to the left of the entrance.


Quite alot of detail and design for these foyers. American Stores would simplify the design of the entrances as this concept continued to be built throughout the 90's.




Food • Drug lablescar here.


The arched windows in the Produce Department. I should have climbed up on the ledge to get some better pictures of the interior. Looks like vandals have already tried to get in.


Produce lights are still on.


This entrance lead shoppers to the Pharmacy and General Merchandise Departments with Dairy to the rear.


First time I have ever seen the old Acme letter style on a foyer wall.


Pre-SavOn days at this Acme. I guess the Pharmacy was called "Pharmacy Plus".


Great close up.


These are among the worst interior shots I have ever taken. Terrible reflection in the windows. I hope to get back to this store someday at night to get better interior shots. But at least you can see the Bakery sign in the 90's style.

I do have better pictures of the 90's decor package which will be revealed in an upcoming post detailing all of the major decor packages over the years. You can see in both the Belmar and Berlin posts how this 90's Red/White/Blue decor package was watered down for the "Convenience Store" decor package.


Look closely to see the Meat Department sign just a little ways down the aisle from the Bakery. Those light bars hanging up were probably directly over the check out lanes.


I believe Seafood was in the back after Meat. But not sure... I took these pictures months ago and not positive of the order of the departments.


Dairy along the back. The tile pattern on the floor was a welcome change from the busy checkerboard floors of the 80's and early 90's. This tile pattern was used for several decor packages that would follow the 90's Red/White/Blue decor.


Hmmmm... someone got the Acme lettering out of this entrance. Glad to still see it at the other entrance. This entrance is on the side of the Produce and other service Departments. There was a strange wall built just to the inside of the doors on the left. Couldn't get any interior pictures from this end with the wall blocking the view to the inside. It certainly couldn't have been there when the store was open... not sure why it was added after it closed.


The sun came out just as I was getting ready to leave. Still a great looking 90's styled Acme.


An aerial shot of the store when it was still open. The latest logo on the store front. Not sure if this store started out the red oval logo. I think that Acme was building these new stores just as the new logo was being rolled out.


Walmart just a few stores away. This store has since been remodeled and now has the new logo on front. Rumors were that Walmart was looking to expand over into the Acme to create a Supercenter but that never happened.


Giant is located in the shopping center just next door. Looks to be a relatively new store although after touring the inside I wondered if it started out as a different chain. The layout and decor was a little unusual for Giant. It wasn't very busy for a Saturday afternoon and a couple of the specialty service departments were closed. I'm a huge fan of Giant but this location was pretty disappointing.

UPDATE 7.21.09: An anonymous reader left a comment saying that this Giant may have started out as a Clemens. That would explain it's very un-Giant like qualities on the inside.

UPDATE 9.24.10: A commenter left a great update of the situation here...

"ACME no longer holds the lease on that building. as of a few weeks ago 'available' signs have gone up on it.

I believe the original plan was for walmart to take the whole strip and become a super center, but ACME was holding the lease and wanting walmart to pay them a lot of money to give it up.

In December '09, new blue prints were made for the walmart, expanding it out the back, front, and garden center side. Construction is starting within the next few weeks (we started prepping the inside yesterday). It is an 18 month project and when completed, it will supposedly be the largest supercenter in the area. The store will stay open during the expansion."


36 comments:

  1. The Giant store, I believe, used to be a Clemens before it became a Giant. That is probably why the interior of the store might look different from a typical Giant store and I've never even been in a Giant, LOL!

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    1. And There's Actually A Giant A Few Minutes Away From It! I Found That Even Weirder Than The Clemens.

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  2. I was really puzzled about Giant picking up that former Clemens...there is a much newer Giant only a mile or two away. (Giant also did this in Abington, PA...buying a former Clemens which was really small, despite having at least three other more modern stores nearby. This is also one of the only Giant stores I know that isn't open 24 hours).

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  3. You may have also noticed the Citizens Bank out in the parking lot near the former Acme; that used to be inside Acme but was of course forced to quickly move into an empty storefront after Acme announced they were closing.

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  4. Acme was originally located in the town itself, across from the A&P, which is now Boyers. THAT Acme became a Senior Citizens Center, then was torn down. When Acme moved from the original store, they moved to the Kmart Plaza, then on to Walmart Center (above). What a waste of brick, mortar, resources. The 2nd Acme was TORN DOWN - demolished, to build the Kohl's. I mean obliterated. They saved not a wall, not a concrete floor, nothing. All to sell clothing in the Midwest style. It's a lot of resources to build these huge behemoths - wonder if post-Recession America will support them?

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  5. Right now this Acme is Boarded up almost completely. I know the inside lights are now turned off, and sometimes the outdoor lights are turned on at night. The bank that used to be inside the store remained there for about a month after the store closed, but I wasn't able to get any indoor pictures. After like a month, the bank moved to its new location. I did see them, about a week ago, painting some of the exterior walls.

    Rumor has it that the Wal-Mart has not converted to a Super Center yet because Acme still holds the lease to this building, for at least 2 years. If they plan to do anything is anyone's question, but I know Wal-Mart is long overdo for a make over (Since there's only about 1-2 regular Wal-Marts, this included, left in the LV, the others are Super Centers.)

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  6. The Quakertown Giant was indeed a Clemens. And before that (during the 70's), I believe it was a Penn Fruit with the distinctive arched roof--much like the building in Conshohocken

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    1. Was never a Penn Fruit. That Giant opened as a Food Fair when the shopping center opened in the 50's, then became a Pantry Pride, then a Food Lane, then Clemens in the 90's. Clemens did a huge remodel and expanded to the right. Became a Giant when the Clemens chain closed in 2006. 2 Giants in town and there seems to be enough business for both.

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  7. I BELIEVE BEFORE CLEMENS THAT SITE WAS A FOOD LANE SUPERMARKET

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    1. It probably was. The store may have looked like this
      http://www.flickriver.com/photos/62355920@N00/3806793480/

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  8. All of you guys are right about the Giant being a Clemens, I used to go there for lunch sometimes when I worked at the Post Office behind the Walmart. In fact, that store was featured in a major industry publication at the time of it's opening. Prior to it being a Clemens, it was a Food Lane (Laneco) which retained the dinstinctive Penn Fruit look. The Food Lane closed at some point in the early 90's, and Clemens opened around 1996.

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  9. An update on this Acme. Apparently, they still own it. They've sent in some people to inspect the store and make sure there are no leaks, electrical problems, etc. The small door on the wood covering (They covered the doors and windows with wood) was open, so I took a peek inside. It was too bright out, so I couldn't snap any pics, but, it looks exactly as it did as an Acme, NOTHING has changed between the pics in this post, and now. There were ceiling tiles all over the floor though, I guess they were looking at the ceiling today.

    Kids are still vandalizing the store, graffiti was placed on some of the wood on the doors, on the opposite side of Verizon. On the side of the building is a small mark. I'll keep this updated if I get more info!

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  10. Thanks for the update Jason! Keep us posted.

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  11. Steve in Bucks Co.May 20, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    Wow... lots of childhood memories here! The original Acme on 4th St. in Quakertown was indeed a senior center, but was destroyed in a large fire that started in an overheated air conditioning unit in June 2007. One of the major issues with fighting the fire was reported to be the space between the materials used to cover over the old Acme interior and the original walls. Here's a link to quite a few different photos:

    http://quakertownseniorcenter.com/gallery2/main.php

    Unrelated: the Giant in Perkasie at 5th St. and Blooming Glen Rd. is another Clemens-Turned-Giant that retains virtually all of the Clemens features.

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  12. ACME no longer holds the lease on that building. as of a few weeks ago 'available' signs have gone up on it.

    I believe the original plan was for walmart to take the whole strip and become a super center, but ACME was holding the lease and wanting walmart to pay them a lot of money to give it up.

    In December '09, new blue prints were made for the walmart, expanding it out the back, front, and garden center side. Construction is starting within the next few weeks (we started prepping the inside yesterday). It is an 18 month project and when completed, it will supposedly be the largest supercenter in the area. The store will stay open during the expansion.

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  13. There are quite a few rumors going on that might be worth mentioning. The 1st one is that Walmart wasn't offering Acme enough money for the building. Hard to confirm, but it doesn't seem likely, since Acme still held the lease until right before the remodel began.

    The second rumor is that while Walmart might not be expanding into Acme's space, it is possible that Walmart might put a Sam's Club there, much like the Whitehall location (Sam's Club moved out, and now that Walmart may be expanding.)

    If the second one isn't true, its going to be hard to get anyone in there, with a Walmart Supercenter, Giant, Kmart, Target, and Aldi nearby, there's WAY too much going on that anybody would want to get involved in.

    Anyway I'll see if I can get a few pics of the Walmart remodel, plus some pics of Acme. The one bay door is cracked open just enough I may be able to get a shot of the backroom, but it appears that the lights are out, the inside is no longer lit like it used to be, only the exterior lights are now....

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  14. Oh, also, this is Jason from before, just posting under a different username. Another tip is that this store was opened in 1998, same year that Walmart opened, so it barely lasted 9 years....

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  15. the lettering on the "Welome to Acme" sign looks like the red oval logo lettering.

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  16. My earliest memories of the Giant store is that it was a "Pantry Pride" in the early 70's, than it as a Clemens in the 80's. In between it may have been a Food Lane but Im not so sure.

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  17. Yes, it was a Food Lane prior to becoming a Clemens. It was a Food Lane up until about 1990.

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  18. I went and looked at this old Acme on Saturday, and nothing has changed except for the "now available for lease" signs hanging in the front windows. The Giant that is right down the street, had 3 cars in their parking lot.

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  19. The Giant Is Now Completely Remodeled, You Can See The Store's Map @ giantfoodstores.com Store Locator, And It Is One Of The Most Fanciest Giants I Have Ever Seen!

    The Acme Might Actually Turn Into Another Boyer's (Except This One Will Be Bigger), But... There's A Possibility It Might Be Demolished To Build Some Other Supermarket, Such As Weis... Also, Another Possibility Is That The Acme Will Be Divided In Two Parts, One For Some Pharmacy, Another For Walmart, Which Could Extend One Of Their Departments, So Like Let's Say The Bakery Turns Into A Full-Blown Pastry Shop. Weird.

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  20. Checked Out This Acme Yesterday, Can't Even See What Was There. The Doors Are All Boarded Up And There Is No Sign Of Acme.

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  21. I found a pic of the acme when it was open.http://web.archive.org/web/20130116034733/http://www.acmemarkets.com/about.html

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    1. Acme style did you see it yet?

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    2. Yeah, that picture was used a lot on Acme's website towards the end of the SuperValu era. They started including a picture of each store in the directory. That photo was used when an actual picture wasn't available for a particular store. It's too bad the sign is completely blocked in that link.

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    3. Yeah. It's A Shame. (I'm The Same Anonymous That Wrote: Checked Out This Acme Yesterday, Can't Even See What Was There. The Doors Are All Boarded Up And There Is No Sign Of Acme. Just Under A Different Name) When Will You Be Doing The Doylestown Acme? I'm Pretty Sure It Started With The Red Oval Logo

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    4. And Do You Know What's Funny? That Picture Appeared On Their Website When The Store Was Already Closed!

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    5. Acme Style, You're Good With Photoshop Right?

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  22. Isn't there a way to remove a layer of a photo? You could copy the pic or do a print screen, then remove the text layer.

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    1. Unfortunately no. Once an image is saved in Photoshop for posting on the web all of the layers get flattened.

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  23. Acme Style,
    I Just went on google earth and found out that the acme was doing less business even 4 years after it opened.

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  24. Hello again, it's been a long time!

    This is Jason from way back in 2010. I have some updates for this Acme. They're tearing it apart!

    Err, ok, to be more precise, TJ Maxx and Homegoods have taken up the lease and are working on renovating the Acme building. So far, the interior has been gutted, and the front has almost literally been ripped up. I've taken pictures of the progress thus far, and plan to keep updating for as long as I can.

    Right now, the gallery can be accessed here: https://imageshack.com/user/tehkapi/a

    I wasn't aware ImageShack went to a fully paid model, so I'll be moving the gallery to my own hosting when I get the chance, and will post the new link as I can.

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    1. Thanks for the update! I'll get some of these posted on Tuesday.

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