Friday, May 23, 2014

Acme – Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania

Thanks to this RICLO ad, we're getting a look at the original Clifton Heights Acme! This store was one of the very first pitched-roof store prototypes. Acme began rolling out these models in 1957 to compete better with Penn Fruit's unique, arched-roof stores. Both the architectural style and signage of these stores would undergo several incarnations before a final prototype was chosen. The one shown in the RILCO ad was made with wooden arches. This allowed for the store to be free of support columns allowing for more flexibility with the store's layout. The final piched-roof stores would be made with steel arches and have support columns in the store. It would be interesting to know why the switch was made. Cost? Longevity? As far as I know, none of the wooden stores exist today.

Look Mom, no columns! Check out all those registers!!

Not much effort put into the design of the sign. No awnings across the front on this early model. There are flat-roofed wings on both sides of the store. Hard to tell in this photo.

Some other early models...

The photo above is from a Plexiglas ad from 1957 posted on the blog back in 2009. No mention of the location of the Acme in the ad. The store appears to be made of wood but it's difficult to tell for sure from this photo. Slightly better sign than the Clifton Heights store.

Unknown Acme location. The store was featured in the "Check Acme Fast" advertisement. Architecturally similar to the store in the Plexiglas ad above but with another version of the Acme sign.

This postcard appears to be showing the Acme in Shickshinny, Pennsylvania but according to a comment in the store's post, this is not the Shickshinny Acme. Not sure if the store seen here was ever a real location. It may just be a rendering of a planned store.

After several rounds of prototypes, this is the model that won out!

Photo courtesy of Rob Ascough

South Plainfield still looking great in the late 90's! Today this location is an Aldi. For additional coverage of this classic, please click here

Now for a look at the current
Acme of Clifton Heights...

Location: 5300 Baltimore Pike, Clifton Heights, PA 

The original pitched-roof model, along with the entire shopping center, was torn down at some point. This 90's "fortress" model was built at the opposite end of the property from where the Acme once stood. A Home Depot was also built on the property.

Snow and ice falling off of the awning here.

I don't know if that is Plexiglas but that's what I want to call it. Pathmark used a similar type of awning in their 90's stores. I believe this is the only Acme to have this feature.

The welcome sign looks to be left over from the 90's Red/White/Blue decor package. We're standing in the right side entrance here but will jump over to the left before going in...

I saw this sign at a couple of Acmes on this particular road trip. The stores smelled like chicken too!

The deluxe Albertsons Marketplace remodel here. Love the tube lights in Produce.

Quick look across the front-end. Check out how high the ceiling is!

A world of difference from the poor remodels that just had letters stuck on the walls.

Apparently no one could come up with a couple of descriptive words t put under the Seafood and Meat sign.

90's tiles still in place.

Almost all new frozen food cases.

Not sure if I've seen this before… dairy cases on both sides of the last aisle. This store could really use the new PF&H aisle markers. The ones here are looking a little busted.

Center aisle over to the Bakery.

This is a huge store!

The massive sign up at the road. The shopping center is located down a huge drop from Baltimore Pike.

Aerial Views...

The Clifton Heights Acme has it's share of competition.

Historic Aerials...


The pitched-roof Acme is on the left side of this photo.






Does anyone know if the unique, possibly one-of-a-kind pitched-roof store lasted until this replacement store was built?