Saturday, January 31, 2015

Former Acme – 3rd and Oregon, Philadelphia

Location: 320 West Oregon Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 

The Acme opened here on June 17, 1964 as a pitched-roof store. The original building has been completely disguised by a newer facade and expansion which most likely happened in the 70's. The "Super Saver" awning remains intact after all these years. This store was most likely switched over to the Super Saver banner although I don't have confirmation on that. The awning isn't always a guarantee the switch happened. Acme used this same treatment on locations that never became Super Savers and it eventually became standard issue on new stores in the 70's through early 80's.

We can jump back in time to see what that store looked like after the 80's remodel...

The former Acme on Route 309 in Wilkes-Barre was an expanded pitched-roof store as well. You can even see the exact same while panels that were used on the brick facade (one is peeking into the shot on the left side).

Princeton Junction is another store that went through a nearly identical transformation. This store has been covered extensively on the blog.

How about jumping all the way back to 1964 for a look at this store...

I completely forgot this picture was on the blog. Thanks to "@" for pointing it out!

The columns along the front were upgraded at some point. I would guess this happened after Acme left.

Not sure if this door was an emergency exit or used for the bakery.

Scars left from the cart corral gates...

The left side of the store is divided into some small restaurants...

Turn the corner and you can see the pitched-roof building on this side...

A drop ceiling has been added inside and is much lower for this half of the store than in the newer section.

Jumping over to the other side as we head around back, we see an emergency exit now sealed over.

Clear view of the pitched-roof building from the back! I didn't venture around the back of the property for a better shot. If it was abandoned, I would have been all over it.

And now for a look inside...

There isn't much to see here. The place was pretty well stripped of all Acme clues. I was really hoping the interior had some remnants of Acme similar to the store over on Adams Avenue.  Josh Austin reported on his flickr collection that a furniture store moved in after the Acme left in the early 2000's.

This shot is from the back looking up to the check out area. The lower ceiling to the left is where the pitched building begins.

Looking along the back toward the original building. Nice floors.

And here, we're in the pitched section looking over to the newer section.

The dairy aisle would have run along this wall. And check this out... could those hood lights in the upper-right corner of the photo be left-over from Acme's Max Pak department? That is where they would have been in the Acme and I don't see them in any other areas of the store. Wish I had noticed them while I was there so I could have investigated more closely. You can see what these lights looked like in an old picture of the Willingboro store by clicking here.

Parking lot sign still intact!
Aerial Views

The Acme sat next door to a shopping center that had a Kmart and Pathmark. The Kmart has closed but the Pathmark remains, for now.

The sales floor was easily doubled with the addition. Must have been a fascinating transformation to watch.

Wow, kind of a mess back there.

A close-up of the Pathmark. This place has some outdated decor inside. Wish I knew that when I was in the area. It never got the "Path to Savings" remodel. I happend to stumble across some pictures on foursquare which you can view by clicking here. Be sure to check out the bakery. Painfully generic and lifeless.

The 3rd Street store in the upper left corner with the 19th Street store on the right. The new store opened in around August 2003. You can visit that location by clicking here.

Historical Images

I included the Pathmark in the views but we won't see an evolution of the store over the years. It does appear to have a small addition to the left side.

The building looks unoccupied from this vantage point from 2008 back to 2002.



Acme still opened in 1999.



In 1970 we see the pitched-roof building with no shopping center next door. Unfortunately no images are available during the 70's or 80's to better pinpoint the expansion or the arrival of Pathmark. 

Such a long drive from the main road!

About a year old in this shot.



  1. Did you know Acme used to have a warehouse two blocks from here? It opened 1985-ish and coexisted with the one in Overbrook (West Philly) but closed around 2000, with the opening of the Acme plant in Denver PA, halfway between Lancaster and Reading.

  2. I actually saw that warehouse (right by the stadiums) The oval logo is still intact under the paint! I know I took a picture of it but I have to search.

    As for this store it was a Value Furniture store for a while (really dumpy from the outside, never went in). Afterwards it was vacant for a minute before opening as the Oregon Market.

    BTW I believe the Pathmark shopping center (Whitman Plaza) opened in 1980. I remember reading something to that extent when they were talking about the Kmart closing.