Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Abandoned A&P – Basking Ridge, NJ




Location: 407 King George Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ 

This very unique A&P opened on June 29, 2002 and closed November 18, 2015. I never made it here during it's final days but have since checked it out since it became abandoned. Only shopped in the store once and while it was a fascinating A&P for a supermarket fan to enjoy, shopping here was not very pleasant. It's funny cause I was wracking my brain to remember why I disliked this store so much. I kept coming back to a memory of the place having a horrible smell. Just a few days ago I was reading some reviews on yelp to see what other people thought of the store and one reviewer pointed out the bad smell! I also remember the produce being less the fresh, which may have contributed to the oder and to my decision never to return.


The exterior appears to have been modeled after to the Centennial stores of the past. The A&P in Patterson, New York has a very similar look. (Click here to jump over to a picture of that store on Dan Asnis' flickr collection) The design of the A&P is carried out through the whole shopping center here. The inside may have been a custom design to compliment the exterior and appeal to the demographics in Basking Ridge. While not particularly high-end, the interior design did seem a little more upscale that a typical A&P. Of course this was all before the "fresh" remodels began which never made it to this location. We'll be getting a peek inside a down below, but in the meantime you can see some interior shots on the architect's website by clicking here.






Doors and windows all papered over. Thought I was out of luck getting any interior pictures. I returned at night hoping to find some holes to shoot through. There was also a bench under one of the windows that I figured I could stand on to get higher than the paper on the windows. My plan worked! Also discovered on my return that I could hold my camera up high enough to get shots through other windows. Love a good challenge when covering an abandoned store!


Exit here.


Emergency exit at the far right end.






Nice details all around...


A lot of work putting fake windows along this whole side, which faces away from the shopping center and main road.




Around to the left side which faces out of the main road...


This section housed the Pharmacy along with all health and beauty aids and baby products. Truly a strange design decision. This section was completely separate from the supermarket portion. Double doors about two thirds down the first aisle lead to the Pharmacy. But it wasn't even a direct route! First you had to walk through an atrium to get to the other building. Found it baffling when I was here for the first time. Not sure if A&P was trying to create a certain kind of shopping experience or if this design decision was dictated by the property configuration. Either way, it was jus todd. I guess there is something charming about having a separate pharmacy building, especially one with such an attractive design, but it's not very practical for the everyday shopper.


A separate entrance to the Pharmacy here with a peek inside below...


You can see the doors leading to the rest of the store on the upper right side of the photo.


I believe this is behind the counter of the Pharmacy.


The atrium between the Pharmacy and the rest of the A&P which we'll head to now...


Self-checkouts still in place but the rest of the registers have been removed. When I was here for the exterior shots, there was some activity going on inside which is why I didn't attempt any interior photos.


This photo was added after the original post went up. Realized I left the one with the clock out!












Frozen food and dairy cases removed as well.


16 aisles total which includes the aisles in the Pharmacy building. The grocery section of the building is only 30,000 square feet.




Floral was located in this corner.



AERIAL VIEWS


The Dewy Meadow Village sits right between Route 78 and Basking Ridge. Heading south on King George Road takes you right to the Acme in Warren Township.


Seems like a terrible location for a supermarket buried all the way to the rear of an already isolated shopping center.





HISTORIC IMAGE


2002
Finishing touches happening in this image from 2002.


A truly beautifully designed building who's time may soon be up. Plans are on the table to tear down the A&P and replace it with affordable housing units. You can read more details by clicking here.

6 comments:

  1. What a neat store!! Too bad if it ends up being demolished. That article did say that the center must be anchored by a food store in perpetuity, but I'm sure that can easily be overlooked...

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  2. Is there a chance that this town has one of those strange size limit rules for stores? Where they could get around it by having the pharmacy in a separate (although connected) building?

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  3. The pharmacy at the Edison Shoprite is whacked up like that too. There is a separate entrance to the pharmacy also separate registers. You have to walk through a hallway to get there as well. It's strange. Also, that Shoprite is trapped in the '90s. The Sakers must've "forgotten" to update the decor when they replaced all of the aisle markers with the Saker Shoprites branded ones. It is similar to the saker West Long Branch store.

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  4. This is the strangest A&P setup I've ever seen. It's not the strangest setup overall, the award for that still belongs to the Nutley Shoprite pre-renovations. But for A&Ps, this takes it.

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  5. The book "New Supermarket Design", by Cristian Campos, has a section on this A&P. It provides a little background on why the store was designed the way it was:

    "The center's architecture had to make reference to the area's history and convey a sense that the entire supermarket had been planned as a town square. To achieve this, the center was designed to reflect the architecture of A&P supermarkets from the early 1900s...Perhaps the most significant problem that Create [the architect] had to deal with, however, was the regulations concerning the maximum size stipulated for this type of building. The number of square feet allowed for this type of construction was, quite simply, not enough. The solution was to connect the pharmacy area of the store, which also sells durables and toiletries, to the main food hall, with a glass-enclosed breezeway. This solution created two buildings, which complied with local regulations and also allowed shoppers to travel between them in a fully enclosed, climate-controlled environment."

    So they not only wanted to make the store resemble A&P stores from the early 1900s but also had to comply with local ordinances.

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