Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Classic Acme! Lambertville, New Jersey

Classic photos courtesy of Nicole Verity

Location: 25 South Union Street, Lambertville, NJ

The time has finally come… the classic Lambertiville Acme has arrived at Acme Style! This stunner had been sorely missing from the blog for years now. Something I have been reminded of on many occasions. I decided to hold off covering the location until I had classic pictures to share. This past July, the pictures I had been hoping fianlly arrived. I could hardly believe me eyes. Thanks to Nicole for sharing these with us! The photo above  is one of the best I've seen. It even gives us a glimpse of the interior, which we'll zoom in to closer down below. Photos of this store are easily found on the web. One on flickr even shows the interior just prior to the city converting it for their own purposes. You can see that picture by clicking here. (I would have posted it here but sharing options have been disabled for the photo.) 

Nicole isn't exactly sure when she took these photos. Judging from the signs hanging in the windows, I would say the late 80's. The sign furthest to the right is for the discount airline ticket promotion. I believe they pulled the plug on those deals as of the early 90's. Can you believe this store made it until the 80's in its original form? It actually lasted longer, staying in business exactly as you see here until 1997! The store closed just a few years shy of its 50th birthday, having opened on April 18, 1951. As far as I know, no other store in the chain lasted in this condition into the 90's.

According to an article on NJ.com, upon Acme's departure the building was renovated and turned into a Raspino's supermarket. The new market lasted only a year leaving the building abandoned until the city announced it was buying it in December 2001.

You can't spot any decor in this close up shop, but you can see a backlit word that appears to be "BAKED" through the windows.The lighted signage along the wall would have been an original feature and probably lasted until the store's last days. You can view a similar feature in a classic photo of a Publix supermarket by clicking here.

Today the building servers two purposes. It is divided between town offices and the ACME screening room. You can visit the website by clicking here and their Facebook page by clicking here.

The facade has undergone significant changes. The entrance has been moved slightly to the right. A few less windows are along the front now and the tower has been recovered to look more like a monument. The power lines are not a new addition to the area. I removed them from Nicole's photos so they wouldn't disrupt out view.

Free parking was a big feature at these types of stores that were paired with an actual parking lot. The tower here did it's job drawing customers to the store. The building is tucked away on a very quiet street in town.

ACME has been replaced with "City of Lambertville"

Letters from the tower were saved and mourned above the doors to the screening room.

These photos were taken through the front widows. At the the time I didn't realize I could walk right in to take pictures.

I had always thought this building was strictly used as a screening room. When I arrived here I saw that it serves several purposes.

The doors were open, so I walked right in…

The "Super" logo and it's tiles from the front of the building were preserved and hung inside.

A closer look at Acme's letters….

Windows were added along this side for the offices that are inside.

After it's supermarket days, the building was cut down in size, losing about 2/3 of it's length.

When I was heading out of the area, I realized I should have taken some pictures of the street. I grabbed these shots off of Google street views. The Acme was tucked away on very quiet street. It's far from a major thoroughfare in town.

Historic Aerials...

Cut down to size in the image above.

Not sure what the building was being used for at this time. This would have been after the city had purchased it but before it repurposed.

This classic Acme was still open in 1995!






Former Lambertville A&P!

Location: 299 N Main St, Lambertville, NJ 

Up on the North end of town is a former Centenital A&P. This supermarket opened sometime after 1968. Despite being more modern than the Acme, the A&P shut down in the early 80's.






Thanks again to Nicole for sharing her classic photos with us!


  1. Might this Acme have been given the aisle markers with the Ideal logo around 1964? Being a 13 year old store at the time, it already would have been old enough for some sort of a remodel. An Acme in Trenton opened in 1964 that now is a "Supreme" supermarket and it had the Ideal aisle hangers for every aisle all the way up until it closed... in 1992!

  2. Thanks for a "Super" post! When Lambertville opened it was cutting edge for the area, replacing two Asco Service Stores, one a block away at 40 Bridge St, on the corner of Union. This is now Guisseppi's Italian Grill, and until they remodeled the front, there was an "Asco" logo vent under the front window. Just across the river in New Hope was a larger Asco store at 16 S Main Street. This store still has the "Asco" logo basement vents under each window! Groceries were delivered down a slide into the basement of each store.

    On the front of the Lambertville Acme, note that the blue trim extends beyond the metal front of the store. In this extension were florescent lights which lit the front and sides of the store at night. In those days, Acme was open Thursday night until 9 pm, and Friday night until 10 pm. Inside the store department signage down both side walls were frosted glass panels in a wooden frame with the department names painted in black letters. Behind the glass were florescent lights as well, which can be seen in the photo. Across the back of the store was "Lancaster Brand Meats" in red neon.

    The store never had a major remodel, though perhaps it might have been repainted once. The fixtures were replaced at some point. I used to stop there on occasion in the mid-1990's, and while it looked old, the fixtures clearly were not from 1951. The outside tower with ACME on all four sides was lit with red neon every evening, and you could clearly see it from New Hope as you crossed the bridge.

    When it closed, it was the last tower store still covered in metal and the last metal front store. (Maple Shade still has a tower, but the big ACME letters have been removed, and the metal panels have also been removed.)

    1. Thanks Bill! I was hoping you'd jump in with some interesting information on this old store.

  3. I wish I had known about this place sooner...there was a former 50s Acme in Lakewood, NJ - much like this one - that apparently still sported the ''Acme Super Markets'' logo as recently as 2009!


    It also shows up on Bing Maps' aerial shot of the building! Unfortunately, though, Google Street View shows that it had been painted over by August 2013.

    1. I took screen grabs of that store a couple of years ago. I've seen that picture on flickr but didn't realize it was the Lakewood store! The person has no info about where it is.

    2. It was at 118 Monmouth Ave.

  4. I found another historical photo of the Lambertville Acme that further explains the free parking as shown in the first and fourth photos on this page. The parking lot was on the left side of the store, under the tower. The sign on the right side just directed customers to the left! The text is obscured by the bushes in the first photo.


    1. Nice shot! Cool too see how shiny the white tiles were.

  5. Now Lambertville has no supermarkets. Wonder Why Acme or A & P did not replace the store with something more modern a mile or so away. Anyhow being the only grocery store in town it should have done well and been expanded and remodeled.