Thursday, July 9, 2009

Former Acme – Morrisville, PA

Here is a lucky find! I stumbled across this store completely by accident. Not even sure now where I was headed to but it was a day without my GPS and I spent most of it lost while trying to track down some abandoned Acmes. This former Acme is located on West Trenton Avenue and North Pennsylvania Avenue in Morrisville PA. A replacement store is located about 10 blocks away on the very same street.

The big question here was... "Will the Acme sign still be on the inside?" It sure was!

Used my cell phone for these pictures so the quality is lacking a bit. But check this out... they left the Acme sign up on the inside. And it looks especially dramatic with the windows around it now covered up.

The bright light on the ceiling is a bit of a buzzkill. But still... an incredible sight... well for me anyway.

Here's a look to the back of the store. Still very Acme-like inside. The place was packed with shoppers and employees so it was tough getting pictures. The store is aisles and aisles of produce with just a small selection of grocery staples.

Here's an aerial shot of the shopping center. Notice how the store is cut off at an angle in the back due to the road. Must have been tough with deliveries. Very little space for trucks in the back of the store. Interesting building there in the middle. Looks like it might have been some sort of department store.

UPDATE 7.30.09: Turns out the store in the middle was a department store... Lit Brothers. The chain was based in Philadelphia and was a lower end version of Gimbles and Strawbridge & Clothier. The chain closed in 1977. Thanks to an Anonymous reader for tip!

Here is the replacement store for the old pithced-roof model down the street. Located on West Trenton Avenue at Route 13. Sadly, the parking lot was about this full when I was stopped in on an early Saturday afternoon. Looks like the Acme is being hit hard from a Giant a block down the street. There was hardly a shopper inside... never saw anyone in Produce as I toured the store several times. The former Acme may be giving this newer Acme some serious competition with it's produce. The Garden Farm Market had every register open with lines several people long.

This Acme still has the 90's American Stores decor... the red, white and blue theme. Great looking store from the outside. The Produce alcove and arched windows are still intact. Many of these models have had the Produce department moved and the windows covered over. Notice how this store is cut of on an angle just like the old pitched-roof store.


  1. The department store that was next door to the Acme in Morrisville was a Lit Brothers location.

  2. There was also a SS Kresge to the left of Lit Brothers and a drug store to the right of Acme.

  3. Seems like this Acme is "dead man walking" Especially with Giant, Garden Farm Market, Pathmark and now a brand spanking new Walmart Supercenter! I would not be suprised if this store ends up on Supervalu's next "hit list".
    Let me give you some more facts on Morrrisville S.C. After Lit Brothers. S.P. Dunham's a local department store in nearby Trenton (New Jersey) took over the property. i believe that was 1981 (Lits closed in 77 so there may have been a 4 or 5 year vacancy. after Dunham's closed in 1995 (the same year that the Acme moved) the store became Footwear Factory. now it is a Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree moved from the old Kresge's. next door. the Pharmacy next to the old Acme is now a clothing store.

  4. I would imagine that Acme is waiting out the lease on the Morrisville store before it shuts it down for good. As I mentioned in the post, I was in this store on a Saturday morning and there was not a shopper in sight. The store was fully stocked and very clean. But you could hear a pin drop in the place. This location also seems to be tucked a bit out of the way compared to the other shopping centers in this area.

  5. Right up the street from this Acme is a Church Called Calvary Full Gospel that was also a pitched roof Acme thats has been closed for many years. The Church did some Major work to this place which includes a large addition that is now a school. The only evidence that this was at one point an ACME is the pitched roof and the Church still uses the very tall sign post that was common for ACME's back then. The address is 676 Lincoln Hwy
    Fairless Hills, PA 19030-1410

  6. Actually, the store next to that Acme was S.P. Dunham's department store. Dunham's had three stores -- one in downtown Trenton, one at the Independence Mall, and the other in Mo'ville.

    Lots of defunct stores in the Wal-Marting of America ... E.J. Korvette's, King's, Bradlee's, Caldor, Ames, and Morsan's.

  7. There is a third ex Acme store between the Calvary location and the current one. It is now a Devon Storage. The two store loacation had the Acme and a Clover department store. Clover was a discount subsidiary of Strawbridge and Clothier. the Acme that was in the Calvary location moved to the Devon location in the (early ?) 70's. That store and the Garden Market loacation merged into the new, current building in the early 90's.

    I found this site while searching for any word to confirm the RUMOR my wife heard that the current ACME will close inFebruary. I haven't had the chance to ask anyone at that store if there are teeth to the rumor. Starting as a kid, i have shopped at all of the locations mentioned.

  8. Wow! Happened upon this by accident. What a blast from the past...I started as a cashier in '74 at the devon storage lacation, worked my way up to store supervisor in Wilkes-Barre area.Worked at many of the Acmes including the one that turned into Circuit City at Lincoln Plaza which is now also gone.And Newtown...
    Was surprised to see the interest in the old Acmes. The window shot is amazing!
    P.S. my grandfather worked at the old A&P's.And of course there was Pantry Pride!

  9. Hi. The current Morrisville Acme is owned by the company and not a lease, that is mainly why the store stays open. But it is hard. When it first opened, the store was always full of customers.

  10. Thanks Anyonomous for the Info. There were rumors of it being on the Supervalu "Hit list" and the possibility of it not only closing but being taken over by a member of Shoprite (presumably Brown's Shoprite which has another store in Fairless Hills) It would be odd If Acme left the area after so many years.
    when it opened in 1995 it had only one competitor, an old, rusty, outdated Shop N Bag grocery across the street. (now Sears Hardware) then Giant opened like 15 months later and the S&B met a quick death. Acme competed thoroughly with Giant for a few years then almost all the business went to Giant, and it''s been that ways since

    Good to meet someone who worked at some of the old Acme's. and there are more people interested in the old supermarkets than you think.

    as for Pantry Pride. They were a bit before my time, I'm a bit of an archeologist of that chain myself ther'res was an interesting, athough sad story, from what Ive been told they were nice stores too, wish they were still around.

  11. Don't forget Zayre's,Jamesway,Clover, Hills
    Just Curious, Anon4 what was "Morsan's", were they a New York Chain like TSS or JW May's

  12. Just for calrification regarding the Dunham's department store locations - their first branch store was located in the Lawrence Shopping Center on Rte. 1. Then was Independence Mall in Hamilton, and for a brief time had a store in Willingboro. Their last gasp for life was in Morrisville as the City of Trenton succumbed to blight and crime.

  13. Another tidbit about the original ACME. This was actually a rebuild of a store that burned down in about 1965 (I was in nursery school up the block and distinctly remember it). It leveled the original Acme as well as the drug store to the right, which was also rebuilt and opened as Morrisville Drugs, owned and operated by Fred Hillman.

    The fire stopped at Lit Brothers, which had an extremely thick brick wall. I have no idea what that store is now.

  14. Before the fire in the mid 6o's Morrisville Drug was known as Sun Ray Drug. The lineup was Sun Ray Drug, Acme, Lit Brothers, SS Kresge, a restaurant (I think), The Morrisville Bank, a barber shop, Design for Vision, Ott's Stationers, David's Bookshelf, Ernie's Deli, and a hair salon. The only store still there after all these years is Design for Vision optometrists.

  15. Actually, back in the early 60s, Acme was the first store when you pull in the parking lot from Pennsylvania Ave., then a drug store, then Lits, then Kresges. A fire, in the mid 60s, destroyed the Acme and the drug store. When they rebuilt, the stores were reversed. When Lits went out of business, Dunhams moved in.

  16. Between the old Sun Ray drug store and the Lit Brothers/Dunham's department store was a restaurant known as the "Ranch Room." This was connected to the drug store and featured a western decor. I am going back to about 1955 with this information.

    I might note that a large four square style house on the site of the shopping center was moved up Trenton Avenue a block and served as a funeral home for many years. The other houses were demolished for the center.

  17. i thought this store was still opened as people where transferred there, only thing i heard it was the "last" stop on the acme "train" i'm a bit confused.

  18. The Moorisville store in the last picture is still open. The former store is the old picthed-roof building which is now the Garden Farm Market.

  19. FYI The Acme on West Trenton Ave in Morrisville closed November 1, 2012. The Citizens Bank inside is still open as of 12/21

  20. Who was the pop artist commissioned by acme to design the stained glass interior sign? I am interested in seeing more of his works.

    1. Unfortunately, I don't believe anyone knows who the person is.