Friday, November 12, 2010

Acme – Wayne PA



Location: 311 East Lancaster Ave (Route 30)
Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Status: Open for business. There was alot of speculation about this store closing back in 2009. If you Google "Wayne Acme closing", you will see talk of it's demise on several message boards. The store remains open and was looking good and busy upon my visit in January. There are several other Acmes along this stretch of Rt. 30. In fact, there is another Wayne Acme just down the street from here. We'll check out that store down below. Other former Acmes along this stretch of road will be featured in upcoming posts.


As we'll see in the satellite photos, the original store was built sometime between the late 60's and early 70's. In the 90's, the store expanded into a neighboring building and received the ultra-deluxe pyramid treatment to the exterior. This atrium area is actually located to the right side of the original Acme building. You will be able to see this more clearly in the satellite photos.  


As far as the 90's remodels and expansions went, this location got the royal treatment. The only other store I can think of that got a similar treatment was the Elkton store on Rt. 40 in Maryland. The standard pyramid treatment can be seen on the old Succasunna store.


The Acme expanded into the section here on the right. There was also a Rite Aid next to the Acme but that store closed sometime in the past couple of years. I believe it was abandoned when I was here taking pictures. The Acme may be the only store left in this strip. 

I was in this store a couple of times in the mid 90's. I seem to remember it having the Red/White/Blue decor but I could be wrong. The store now has the Alberton's Marketplace decor package. Sort of the mid-level version. It is far nicer here than what many larger stores received.


The huge column to the right of "Meat & Seafood" may be the dividing line between the original store and the expanded section. 


A surprisingly nice store for it's age and for all the online closing rumors. Clearly a very successful location during the 90's and early 2000's to have received such significant upgrades.  


The aerial shots below give us a good look as to how the store was expanded...




About 2 miles west on East Lancaster Ave is the other Wayne Acme.... also known as the Devon Acme. 


Paired up with a very cool looking Kmart, this Acme had the basic pyramid entrance in the 90's and was expanded and extensively remodeled in the early 2000's.


The sections with the angled back wall is the addition to the original store.




Just one interior shot here... showing the deluxe version of the Albertson's Marketplace decor. 


A visual to show how close the two Wayne Acmes are located to each other. There are two other former Acmes not much farther west. They will be coming to Acme Style in the future.

And now a closer look at the Kmart...


Not sure is this was always a Kmart. The exterior lends itself more towards a 70's higher-end department store. 


The interior is disappointing after seeing this exterior. It hasn't been updated much since the "Big Kmart" days. 



And now back to the Acmes...



311 East Lancaster Ave.



New or very new as of 1971.



Something was torn down to make way for the Acme.



The 700 West Lancaster Ave location had not yet been expanded in 2002.



Contrsuction appears to be underway in 1971.



If you click on this image, you can slide over to the left and see the drive in theater that used to be next door to the shopping center.

13 comments:

  1. The exterior of the K-mart looks like it might have been a JM Fields at one time. The Acme next-door is interesting. The back loading area doesn't look like the typical Acme receiving dock. This Acme might have also started off as another store.

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    1. I think it was a Pantry Pride/Penn Fruit JM Fields combo

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  2. The Main Line has always been an Acme powerhouse from Bala Cynwyd out to Paoli. After the Food Fair bankruptcy, every single grocery on the Main Line was an Acme! Part of their historic success is that three founders of the American Stores Company lived in this area. Samuel Robinson, the first President moved in 1925 to "Glencoe House," Rosemont, just a mile east of Wayne. His brother, James, lived in Merion before moving to a farm in West Chester in 1943. And his younger brother, William, moved to a farm in Paoli around 1920. The final president before the company was sold to Skaggs, John Robinson Park, lived in Bryn Mawr.

    It is said that the name "Louella" used as the private lable on butter and evaporated milk for 80 years came from Louella Avenue in Wayne.

    My earliest memory of the Wayne Acme was a tower store downtown on Lancaster Avenue, west of Wayne Avenue. It opened in 1949 (Nov 2nd) and remained open until the new store opened in 1971 at 311 East Lancaster Avenue. The expansion in the 1990's required every other store to vacate the shopping center except for Rite Aid. I believe that a restaurant is now opening where the Rite Aid was.

    The Devon Acme at 700 W. Lancaster Avenue was a former Pantry Pride purchased in 1978 at the Food Fair bankruptcy auction. It opened in 1979 and has always been successful. In 1985, I lived a block away, and shopped there regularly. Devon had a major remodel and expansion in 2002 and is a fabulous store today.

    The K-mart next door had previously been a J M Field's discount department store operated by Food Fair, which explains the distinctive facade.

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  3. Bill, the historical information you provide never ceases to amaze! Thanks!

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  4. Pike Creek Acme on Route 7 in Pike Creek De is another Acme that took over several stores in a strip center and r4cieved the full Castle look.

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  5. Bill, yes: very obvious conversion from 1970s J. M. Fields; see also
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/42444189@N04/5132323974/galleries/
    for a photo of the Fields in Cherry Hill, NJ.

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  6. Glad you came to Wayne! Here's a history I wrote about Wayne's Acmes through the years: http://radnorhistory.org/bulletin/2010-acme.php

    The article linked as a source at the bottom of the page has a great history of Acmes (and American Stores) in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships.

    The Acme in Bryn Mawr, which is a very old store, is set to be torn down very soon for a larger store. Definitely worth checking out (and better do it quick)!

    -Greg

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  7. The speculation is reportedly now fact: It has just been announced to workers at the Wayne Acme that their store will be closing next month, in February 2011. Some 'rapid' food chains (5 Guys, Panera) will supposedly be moving in to join Anthony's and Chipotle.

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  8. most of them are being converted over to chinese buffets. whatever though!

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  9. everything was great, but the front of the Acme-YUCK!!!

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  10. The KMart started out as a J.M. Fields, The Kmart in Bensalem, PA was a JM Fields too, along with a former food fair next to it(in Bensalem)

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  11. @Bill H: Louella Avenue, Drive, Court, and Asco/Acme's former Louella line of dairy products actually derive from Louella Mansion, J.H. Askin's 1867 residence in Wayne named for his daughters Louisa and Ella, still in existence today as condos. Wayne (never incorporated) was itself known as Louella until the turn of the 20th century.

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  12. I lived in atrafford back in the 70's there use to be a jm fields, having gone there many times after school ola not sure ola still open but the drug store on the corner where I got my bubble gum and comics

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