Photo above courtesy of Michael Lisicky of Baltimore
Location: 2315 Bell Air Road, Fallston, Maryland
ABC2 News broke the story to Fallston residents
in it's January 4 newscast.
in it's January 4 newscast.
The following exterior photos courtesy of Drew in Baltimore
The Fallston Acme comes to us through photos from several Acme Style contributors. I had hoped to eventually get to this store to experience it for myself but my hopes were dashed when the recent store closings were announced. Fortunately our contributors did an outstanding job capturing the store.
A classic "33M" format which appears to be in rather excellent condition. The red paint job is certainly an unusual treatment for an Acme. It is a huge improvement over the light green color that was used during the 90's. Interesting to note the shingles as opposed to the standard corrugated metal.
The Fallston Acme is closing largely due to the anticipation of future competition. Walmart is building a huge new store just up the street and the Acme is getting out of town before it opens. Plans have been underway since 2007 but have been delayed due to Walmart acquiring permits to build the store and to make necessary road improvements. The store was initially designed to be 147,000 square feet with room for an a possible expansion of 57,000. I can't find confirmation online as to what the final size will be. Either way... the store will be stocked full of low-priced groceries. Wegmans was also shopping for a site in Fallston but has decided to go with a site 15 minutes away in Abingdon. Construction is well underway there with a planned opening this spring.
The block letter logo sign is a very recent addition to the store. More details on that down below.
A great exterior shot which gives us a clear look into the store. Can you name that decor? Let's head in and take a closer look...
Produce shote courtesy of Gary of Delaware
Judging from the interior photos taken by two of our contributors, I would have to say this store is in exceptional shape. The 80's decor has been traded out for the late 90's "We gotta sell this supermarket chain" Convenience Store decor. Doesn't look too bad here. The 80's checkerboard floor is still in and place and is looking as good as I've ever seen it so many years later.
The shot above is an excellent perspective of the Produce department of the "33M" store formats. During the 70's and 80's, these stores had an additional aisle running just under the edge of the drop ceiling. Produces cases lined the wall mirroring the cases on the left wall forming a narrow Produce aisle. Grocery shelving ran along the other side creating a true aisle 1. This aisle was removed throughout the 90's, sometimes during a remodel and sometimes not, in order to expand Produce. I would be interested to see the tile work here along the area where the aisle once stood. Did they try to recreate the checkerboard pattern where the shelving once was or just put down all white tiles? (Yep, these are the kinds of questions I need answers to.) The removal of these aisles certainly helped open up the Produce area which was often very cave-like in 70's and 80's stores.
Interior shots courtesy of Michael Lisicky of Baltimore
You can clearly see here how well this store is maintained. Fully stocked shelves with merchandise neatly organized. And... stop the presses... no burned out lights!
Check out those aisle markers. Deluxe versions of the 90's Red/White/Blue aisle markers which I have only ever seen in Convenience Store remodels.
This is the only "Convenince Store" remodel I've seen with "Lancaster" branded Meat Department.
This store did not get the blue stripes and red blocks along the lower portions of the walls.
The Bakery Department in the front corner. Checkout stands straght ahead. (We're not following this guy... the guy you may have seen at the checkouts has a blue shirt and white shorts.)
Serious old-school clock here. These went into every Acme back in the early 80's. The old fish-eye logo still on the clock. The other section was used for advertisements that would be switched out every couple of months. I would imagine that the company who handled this no longer exists which is why the generic "Thank you for shopping with us" panel is now in the display. Oh, do I remember staring at one of these clocks just waiting for my shift to be done.
Exterior shots courtesy of Gary of Delaware
The red oval sign still on front as of October 2009, making it the last store in the chain to be upgraded to the block letter logo. The Newton and Princeton Junction stores in New Jersey both made it to 2009 with the red oval sign but closed that same year.
Other signs around the store had been changed out with the newer logo. Notice the interesting wordwork which runs throughout the shopping center.
Gary gives us a nice tour around the store...
And now back to Drew's more recent pictures where we sign the other signs having been upgraded as well. The letters have become more bold over the years.
Soon to be alot more space available in this shopping center.
Now for the aerial perspective...
The CVS is right next to the Acme. Somewhat of an odd layout for a shopping center. The stores or offices next to the CVS are tucked away from view from the parking lot.
The shopping center itself is tucked away from the main roads through the area.
Google Maps shows the Walmart under construction.
HistoricAerials doesn't offer much to see for this area. The shopping center had yet to arrive as of 1971.
The next available image is 2005.
The bottom half of this sign could now be replaced by "Shop at Walmart". Sad but true. Acme isn't the only chain being killed by Walmart. Won't be the last either. I've worked for two companies that have nearly been destroyed by the ruthless chain. Two reasons, among many, you'll never find me shopping in one.
Thanks to Gary, Drew and Michael for bringing us the Fallston store!
Update 1.26.11: Some additional photos have been sent in by Will which show the store winding down it's business. Closing signs are up in the windows and shelves are emptying out. We get a look at some additional departments in the store that weren't seen in earlier interior shots...