Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Snapshot: Former ACME - Canandaigua, NY

Get ready, supermarket enthusiasts. Hold onto your hats and buckle up. We're going up to the city of Canandaigua, NY, which is at the northern tip of Canandaigua Lake. (Bath is maybe half an hour south of the southern tip.)

Are you ready?

Put your safety goggles on and...

Yes, that is a fully-restored 1940s ACME. It's not Photoshopped. It's not your imagination.
There's a story behind this. The building certainly hasn't looked like this since the 1940s. It had received a facade update at some point, for some later tenant.
In the process of renovation in 2016, property owner Andrew Guffey uncovered the original facade, which was porcelain. Interestingly, the Acme Markets sign was not painted on, but porcelain as well.
After a brief conflict with the Canandaigua City Planning Commission, they agreed to let Guffey keep and restore the original facade. (The sign with the year and address was added at that time, and is a new replica of what a period sign might have looked like.)
I love to think that Guffey and others probably came across the Acme Style blog in their research into the history of this store.
This light fixture is certainly a replica, but it sure looks great. (I'm also a fan of 1940s and 50s architecture and design, so sure, I'm biased.) As visible in the above photos, the store is located at 212 S. Main St, Canandaigua.

Okay, now you can take off your safety goggles, unbuckle your seatbelts, and let go of your hats. Did I overdramatize it? Probably. But not by much.

We have yet another cool photo tomorrow, so check back!


  1. Amazing find!! Nope, not overdramatized at all - I really ought to have heeded those warnings before scrolling down XD Very glad the commission agreed to let the sign stay. I always wonder, though, what the parent company thinks in situations like this. If they wanted to, could ACME successfully petition to get the sign removed? For history's sake, I sure hope not!

    1. The crazy thing about this is that I had no idea this existed. I just stumbled upon it while looking for a restaurant to eat dinner at in Canandaigua. My heart literally skipped a beat and I had to do a double-take, I couldn't believe something like this existed!

      I would argue the real question in this case is, does ACME/Albertsons corporate know about this? It's possible they don't, unless somebody got in touch with them for information during the restoration process. I could see a potential trademark infringement problem, but I don't really see a reason that ACME would object to this otherwise. Likewise, I really hope that they don't!

    2. I didn't even think this was related to the Acme chain of today! Thought it was just some random local former grocery store coincidentally named Acme!

      I did see the potential for it to be re-tenanted, but if Acme corporate found out about this, they would probably petition the Planning Commission to block it until the name were changed.

    3. Yes, it's definitely related! I do hope that whatever happens with this place, they get to keep the sign. It would be a real shame to see it go!