Friday, December 10, 2010

Grand Finale 2010...
The Abandoned Acme of Woodstown NJ!

Location: 1016 Route 40, Woodstown-Pilesgrove NJ

I discovered this old store in satellite photos a few years ago. Up close views were not available back then so the location remained a mystery. Wasn't sure if it was abandoned or occupied by another tenant. Once Acme Style got up and running, several people emailed me about this location, confirming that it was still abandoned with a replacement store having been built just down the street. This past October, I finally made the long trip down to check it out. One of the furthest Acmes I've traveled to yet. Well worth the trip!

There are a few photos of this store kicking around online. All of the pictures show the front of the building boarded up which had me wondering if it was possible to get any kind of look inside. Most people who photograph these old locations don't take any interior pictures. Kinda baffles me. When I see the outside of an Acme like this, I gotta see what's inside! Despite the obstacles that you see here, I was indeed able to get some interior shots. In fact, this is the only abandoned store that I have ever gotten inside of! Well... just my arm... but that was more than enough to get some great pictures.

Water erosion along the side of the building. The brick work here is not your standard 50's Acme. Certainly a little more deluxe.

Produce receiving is barely visible with all the with trees that have flourished since Acme moved on. 

You see "PRODUCE" in the shadow of the leaves.

Grocery receiving. The trees along the side look like they were planted on purpose. 

The good old beam used for raising the compressors to the second floor. I worked in an Acme from this time period but our compressors were on the first floor rather than the second. Seems like alot of effort went into getting up to the second floor. 

Standard issue breakroom and employee bathroom windows. You see these at the back of Acmes that were built in the 50's all the way through the 60's.

Mother Nature is taking the Acme for her own.

A sneak peak out to the street sign. We'll get a better look at that classic down below.

Bread delivery door. This is the only Acme I've seen with this type of brick treatment. Notice too, the wood along the awning is still in it's original condition and was never painted over.

Odd make-shift extension of the entrance door. There aren't any signs of a second set of doors ever being inside the store.

Magic Carpets!

I was afraid this was going to be the best view of the interior that I was going to capture. I had yet to approach the front doors but was pretty sure they were going to be covered over as well.

We can see inside! Too bad the windows are so dirty. But wait... I can stick my arm into the store...

Crystal clear pictures! The frame to the left side of the exit door had been removed leaving me just enough space to get my arm and camera inside. Remnants of the 80's Remodel still up on the walls. Some Colonial 70's decor remains as well. The ceiling tiles appear to be bulging from water leaking in the roof.

Looks like the tile was replaced at the front end when the checkout stands were upgraded. There is no hint of the checkerboard pattern from the 80's throughout the rest of the store. The tiles appear to be very old. Perhaps the checkerboard flooring was never put in here. It certainly was bold enough to still be visible after years of aging. The exposed beams above may be due to the removal of the vestibule.

The clock is most likely original. They were usually built into the wall behind the office. Odd to see a yellow stripe on the wall by Produce. This color color was reserved for Dairy and Eggs on the other side of the store.

Deli back in the corner. Formally the Corner Deli. Looks like Seafood never made it's way to this store. 

Blury close up view. The shingled awning was standard issue for the 70's Colonial Decor. It was often  found above the Deli and along the top of the Dairy cases. The dark brown shigles were painted the same beige color as the walls during the 80's remodel. Interesting box protruding from the wall above the  awning. There's another one down by Dairy. 

Formally the Quality Meats deapartment. This metallic tiling is a first for me. The Meat Department was usually done in orange and brown paneling in the 70's. The was then painted along the top half when the multi-tiered meat cases were put in during the 80's.

Dairy stripe along the left wall. 

You can see the other box protruding from the wall at this end. Not sure if this is left over decor elements from previous eras or if they server some other purpose.

The Bakery stripe is peaking out here in the front. Just bread here. No full-service Bakery. 

Looks to have been a very unique entrance and foyer area. Hard to tell what's been removed, if anything. The office appears to have been exposed to the entrance. 

One lonely cart left behind.

I should have gotten some more shots of the floor just inside the doors to see if there were any clues about the vestibule. From the looks of it, there simply wasn't much of one.

Now out to the street sign...

Fish-eye logo remained until the end here.

Windy day when I was here and the sign was creaking like crazy.

The replacement store is right next to the water tower in the lower right of the picture.

A new condo complex has since been built to the rear and side of the this property.

You can tell these images are quite a few years old. Very little vegetation along the side of the store at this point.

Still going in 1995!

The Acme was the lone building here in 1970, with the usual oversized parking lot.

Obviously not built as of 1940.

Old Acme at the bottom. New Acme at the top.

Location: 857 Route 45, Woodstown-Pilesgrove NJ

You can see the old Acme sign just down the street to the lower right hand corner just beyond the abandoned gas station.

Green means "Premium Fresh and Healthy" remodel!

This store has a nice version of the PF&H decor. The mid-level package I would say. The good thing... the Alberstons lead is hacked off enough to be almost unrecognizable. Just looks like an interesting decor element. Also lots of boarders and colors on the walls as opposed to just all brown paint with the letter mounted to plain walls as seen in other remodeled stores. 

Looks as though this store was built with the "Chalkboard Market" decor with some of those elements remaining on the walls.

The drum pendant lights created a cool effect in the frozen food aisles and the front end. They're not being put into to more recent remodels. Between gathering dust and frequently falling off center, these lights are seriously high maintenance. 

The Woodstown Acme is very successful. It remains the only grocery store in town.

There is another former/abandoned Acme south of Woodstown on Route 45. Not a terribly exciting location to see but it will be featured in an upcoming post. 


  1. Grand Finale for 2010? No post next week?

  2. The classic Woodstown Acme 1118 opened in 1959 (Dec 16th). It was the only supermarket in town, so very little was spent in the way of upgrades, as the above pictures show. It never had an expansion, and was in operation with about 12,000 square feet for over 40 years! The new store opened in 2000 (April 7th) with about 60,000 sq ft and started with the chalkboard market decor, which was very popular at that time. I agree, the new decor package is one of the best that I've seen.

  3. There will be a post next week but this is the final store post for the year. I've decided to finish out the year with exactly 100 posts.

    Bill, I wonder if Acme wanted to build a new store for years but just couldn't get the property to do it. That may explain why this store received minimal updates. Acme may have been eyeing that new spot but you can see that there was another building right where the new Acme stands. The owners may have held out for years. I just read online that they have finally broke ground on the new gigantic Stop and Shop in Sparta. That store has been in the works for 15 years! It would have been a brand new Grand Union if the chain didn't go under in 2001.

  4. Fantastic post! Nice work.

  5. I swear the PF&H decor looks similar to Stop & Shop's new decor.

  6. NICE SET!!!

    I visited Woodstown for the Cowtown Rodeo in 2008 and went by this store along the way. I tried to stop and take pictures, but it was dark and there happened to be a cop nearby.

    Good thing this store was lucky enough to get a replacement. Nice to see it doing a brisk business as well.

    By the way, that other abandoned Acme you mentioned is actually on Route 45 heading towards Salem. Route 40 turns right at the new Acme.

  7. Thanks Nintendo85!

    Route number has been corrected. Things were a little confusing down there. My GPS had a hard time telling me where to go.

  8. It's interesting to see how Acme stores of that era were different, even though we believe them to have been more or less the same. Some stores had a front canopy that went straight across the front of the entire building (like Newton) while others (like the Woodstown Acme) had a lower canopy above the entrance area that doesn't go quite to the other end of the structure.

    The new Woodstown store seems to be a lot like the current Lincroft store, which makes sense since both opened around the same time.

  9. You should visit the Acme in Pennsville, NJ. It's only about a 15 minute drive from this one. It used to be where a Peebles is now until it moved next door to a former K-mart. I'd love to see old pictures of this location.

    1. Pennsville is one of the last few NJ stores to be covered on the blog. It should be arriving by the end of the year.

    2. Is this still happening?

    3. This was very cool to see. I was hired to work at the new acme just as this one was closing. My girlfriend worked at this location at the time and I remember shopping here as long as I can remember. Really interesting trip down memory lane to see inside of it again.

    4. When is Pennsville happening?

    5. Don't know. Haven't been there yet.

  10. I still remember the grand opening (and closing of the former). I remember the small band playing inside on opening day and everyone in town excited about the bigger supermarket. Woodstown didn't have a whole lot happen so of course we went to check this out. This was just before I graduated high school. I can't really picture the old acme layout too much any longer. But I do remember my mom complaining about it being dirty and there were a lot of cockroach stories that would make their rounds.

  11. My brother worked at the Woodstown Acme for many years, starting there as an apprentice Meat Cutter, and ending his time there as Meat Manager. He was offered the position in the new store, but he turned it down as he was nearing retirement and didn't want the hassle of a new store.

  12. There's 1 in Salem... 1 town over from woods town....building still there but used for other things

    1. I have the one photographed and started a post about it but never got it done. I will get it up on the blog soon.

  13. I worked in this store in the late 80's....I worked in back room driving the old stand up forklift to unload trucks. Wow... What memories brought back here!!