Thursday, February 25, 2010

Abandoned Acme! Newton NJ

The Newton store closed one year ago today. To see pictures of this store when it was still open, click here. A new tenant has yet to be found. Although Acme's business had been declining over the years, the store's closing was due more to the landlord raising the rent far above market value.

A look at the store when it was still open... the day may have been grey but the Acme was still seeing green...

The red oval logo brought in during the 80's remodel.

Opened in October 1957. Standard 8 aisle store but at 19,000 it was slightly larger than Acmes built in the late 50's.

This addition was put on during the 80's remodel when the Produce alcove was created inside. Prior to that Produce lined aisle 1. Most Acmes of this size and era received Produce alcoves during the 70's remodels.

This store appears to have been a bit ahead of it's time... Acme's of this era rarely had docks at the back of the store. Back doors tended to be at ground level making the receiving process pretty difficult.

Freezer space was added onto the store during the 80's remodel. I believe this was done to increase the size of the back room. It's doesn't appear that the sales floor was made larger from the relocation of the back room freezer. Dairy may have also been stored in these units.

Look closely... one last shopping cart left behind...

Not sure what the original purpose of this door was back when the store first opened. It would have lead into the store's office. After the 80's remodel, it would have lead into the newly added in-store Bakery.

UPDATE 2.27.10: This door was where the bread was delivered to in the early morning hours before the store opened. Truck drivers had access to this small room but could not access the sales floor. Much like how things were done on the Produce receiving side.

The entrance and exit doors were here prior to the 80's. They were moved to the front of the store during the remodel.

The security window were also an addition in the 80's.

The old school floor mats activated the doors... no motion detectors here!

The community bulletin board probably hung there on the wall. The darker cream color is left over for the 80's paint job. The walls were painted white for the Convenience Store look of the late 90's.

Convenience Store graphics on the walls... 80's checkboard floor still intact.

The "Meats" lettering was mounted on to the air vents and is hard to see here.

Full service Seafood was added next to the Deli in the 80's. Removed from nearly all 80's remodels in the 90's.

I believe the section with all white tiles was where an additional register was located. The 80's "CSR" stand and store safe were located at this end of the registers, practically IN the Produce Department. The CSR stands were a dreadful, misguided replacement of the traditional Customer Service Office. Took Acme many years to come to it's senses and eliminate them. The store safe was also moved off of the sales floor to a more guarded location.

The Produce alcove added during the 80's. It did not extend all the way to the exterior wall like it did in most stores.

The Produce Department during more fruitful times.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Former Acme – Montclair, New Jersey

Image courtesy of Rob Ascough

The Montclair Acme, located at 49 Claremont Ave, closed in June 2000. Here's a look at the store in 1998. It has since been reincarnated as a CVS and Blockbuster.

It appears as though CVS added on to the left side of the building. More evidence of this can be seen from the aerial shots down below.

Image courtesy of Rob Ascough

The fish-eye sign still looking great in it's final days. The rest of the facade is showing signs of neglect. I'm guessing this store was built in the early to mid 70's.

No evidence left from the front that an Acme once stood here.

Image courtesy of Rob Ascough

"take a new look" there on the delivery truck was rolled out as the 80's remodel swept threw most of the chain. This store was clearly passed over as were many North Jersey stores. The interior here may have been the 70's Colonial decor to the end. Not sure if it had received the late 90's Convenience Store look.

Doesn't seem to be drawing the crowds like the Acme did!

The rear of the store... the second level would have been the Acme break room and employee bathrooms.

Looks as though CVS added a section to the left of the store. Hard to know for sure but the building does appear to be wider than what's seen in Rob's pictures. From this angle you can see a seam between the old in the new. The left side also doesn't have the protruding columns that still exist on the Blockbuster side... these columns are one of the first things I look for if I think I've stumbled across a former Acme of the late 50's to 70's era. Click here for a better look at the columns on the abandoned Newtown store.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Acme on FIRE!

The Pompton Lakes Acme burned to the ground on October 27, 1997. Ten other businesses were also destroyed. Light fixtures in the Acme were to blame for the start off the fire which ignited the wood trusses in the arched roof. The fire spread quickly throughout the roof of the 40 year old strip mall due to it's outdated design and lack of fire walls.

The photos in this post were provided courtesy of Rob Ascough but the source of each photo is unknown at this time.

Despite the night time sky and dark parking lot, this picture was taken early in the day as the Acme roof collapsed.

A devastating end to what appears to have been a rather unique Acme. Certainly a one-of-a-kind sign which was built into the building rather than being out at the street.

The employees mentioned in this article who were accused of not calling the fire department in a timely manner filed defamation charges against Fire Chief Albert Evangelista. The Fire Chief claimed the employees waited 58 minutes to call 911 for help. According to the lawsuit, fire trucks were on the scene approximately 20 minutes after the fire was discovered. You can read the verdict and details of the lawsuit by clicking here.

The Klugetown Center was replaced with the Pompton Lakes Town Square as seen above. A gigantic A&P rose from the ashes... now an A&P Fresh... built much further back from the road than where the Acme was located. Interesting how A&P incorporated the angled, staggered loading dock style that is commonly seen in ShopRites.

UPDATE 2.25.10: Check out this cool picture of the Pompton Lakes Acme with the script logo still on the front! It's off in the distance but look closely and you will see it.