Location: 725 S. Chester Road, Swarthmore, PA
I first discovered this former Acme on JoshAustin610's flickr collection five years ago. At the time Josh was wondering if this was, in fact, a former Acme. I chimed in saying "absolutely". The awning confirmed it without a doubt. This particular model has since been referred to as the Colonial Cottage here on the blog. Years ago I thought this style was developed as the pitched-roof model was being phased out. Turns out the Colonial Cottages were built throughout the 60's, although very sparingly compared to the pitched-roof stores. The Swarthmore location opened on December 13, 1961. These stores would grow larger in size as the decade wore on. They would eventually ditch their 50's layout in favor of an early "33M" layout. Illustrations of the various layouts Acme had will be coming to the blog in the near future.
While I was preparing the photos for this post, I realized I didn't have much information on the store. I jumped over to Josh's photo and found updated information that proved very fascinating. Turns out the Acme caught on fire on January 7, 1989. While the building was not completely destroyed, Acme chose not to reopen. The building remained damaged and abandoned for 6 1/2 years according to an article on Philly.com. Thrift Drug opened here in the early 90's, eventually becoming an Eckerd which closed in 2001. The former Acme is now divided between Dollar Magic and Goodwill.
The inside of the stores have no evidence of an Acme ever being here.
Above is a picture of the Port Reading store which gives you an idea of how the Swarthmore Acme looked. Port Reading was larger and had a similar layout to what would be used in the 33M stores.
No former Acme parking lot signage remains at this location.
Second floor windows have been bricked over.
Former compressor door and air vent openings have also been covered over as well.
CVS is now located at the right side of the strip. It looks like they tore down what we there and built a new store.
2008By 2008, the building next to the former Acme had been expanded forward. You can see its original size below...
1999The building on the left side arrived after the Acme was gone.
1992About 3 years after Acme left. According to the article on Philly.com, the former Acme was a "burned out hulk" which were not really seeing from this vantage point. Seems strange that the roof would have survived such a fire.
1965The Swarthmore Acme stood alone in 1965.
Acme currently operates a very deluxe store nearby in Folsom. That store has been photographed and will be posted on the blog soon.
Thanks to Josh for his help with this post!