Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Moderator: Groceteria

Post Reply
User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 530
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: Thunder Bay
Contact:

Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by Andrew T. » 02 Feb 2009 17:16

Here in Manitowoc, there is an abandoned shopping center known as the Mid-Cities Mall, or (by its later-period name) Lakeview Centre. The mall opened in 1968...and like a number of other early malls, it included its own supermarket.

I took a handful of pictures of the mall a few days ago:

Image

The supermarket was structurally connected to the rest of the mall, although it lacked access to the interior corridor. The store opened as an A&P in 1968, and later changed to a Supervalu franchise when A&P (initially) pulled out of the area in the midst of its "meltdowns" of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Labelscar from the Supervalu "S" sign is still visible today. I'm not entirely sure when the store closed, but it was probably at least a decade ago by this point. The entire mall interior (save JCPenney) was closed in 2000.

The entire exterior of the mall was covered in vertically-channeled concrete facing, and I'd expect that the store is not necessarily representative of any A&P architectural design.

Image

This is a close-up view of the entrance, which is a pretty standard late '60s automatic door configuration. (I wonder if the "In" and "Out" decals hark back to the days of A&P?)

Image

Finally, here's a view into the store interior, made possible by a shutter speed of one second. The floor tiling and courtesy desk are plainly visible. I'm a bit intrigued by the black things dangling from the back wall, but they're probably lights that overlooked the meat cases, or something along those lines...

Any questions or comments are welcome.
Last edited by Andrew T. on 03 Feb 2009 04:00, edited 1 time in total.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

krogerclerk
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: 05 Nov 2005 01:47
Location: Northwest Georgia

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by krogerclerk » 03 Feb 2009 01:12

My guess it's a post-centennial store built to match the center. Its facade has likely been redone, as most A&P's of the 1970's would have a facade similar to Winn-Dixies in the South of the same vintage.It likely sported the then new A&P pill/oval logo before its closure. A&P seemed to install the new logo inconsistently after its introduction, some stores were skipped while stores devoid of customers got the new logo, but no other changes as if the new logo would create newfound interest in shopping in the stores.

On a second look the facade appears original, as the center doesn't look touched in several years(read decades).

rich
Senior Member
Posts: 574
Joined: 15 Nov 2005 20:51
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by rich » 03 Feb 2009 11:36

It was becoming unusual to have a mall with a super market, even in a small market by 1968. It's unlikely that the A&P would have come later. Although A&P often added centenils or centennial elements to shopping center stores, they also did open some stores that didn't include these elements and would have done it if they wanted the location.

User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 530
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: Thunder Bay
Contact:

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by Andrew T. » 03 Feb 2009 16:17

krogerclerk wrote:On a second look the facade appears original, as the center doesn't look touched in several years(read decades).
The concrete facade indeed hasn't been touched since 1968, and it covers the entire mall; including the anchor stores. No doubt the supermarket was designed to "fit in" to the rest of the structure.
krogerclerk wrote:It likely sported the then new A&P pill/oval logo before its closure. A&P seemed to install the new logo inconsistently after its introduction, some stores were skipped while stores devoid of customers got the new logo, but no other changes as if the new logo would create newfound interest in shopping in the stores.
There's one other retailer that had a schizophrenic attitude towards logos and sign replacements, and that's Kmart. Alas, that's an issue for another thread...
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

User avatar
Groceteria
Great Pumpkin
Posts: 1563
Joined: 04 Nov 2005 12:13
Location: NC Triad
Contact:

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by Groceteria » 03 Feb 2009 23:03

For comparison, A&P's Kenilwoth Mall store in New Orleans, open around the same time:

Image

This one seems to have pretty much gone with the look and feel of the center as well. I've also seen several A&P locations open around the same time adjacent to malls (on outparcels) that largely adopted the design of the mall as well.

At this point, A&P was sort of playing catch up, trying to make up for lost time and develop a much larger presence in suburban centers. From what I've read, I imagine they were extremely flexible in their negotiations. This was about the same time they were also moving into a lot of urban renewal type centers in poorer areas.

TenPoundHammer
Senior Member
Posts: 225
Joined: 17 Jan 2007 21:05

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by TenPoundHammer » 09 Feb 2009 14:41

Groceteria wrote:This one seems to have pretty much gone with the look and feel of the center as well.
I'd say you're right. The facade is still there, incredibly enough.

rich
Senior Member
Posts: 574
Joined: 15 Nov 2005 20:51
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by rich » 10 Feb 2009 11:09

In New Orleans, A&P built non-centennials during the 60s. Except for the oversized cupola, the masard roof with a big slant and the traditional A&P script (as in the pic) was commonplace in the New Orleans area.

User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 530
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: Thunder Bay
Contact:

Re: Abandoned A&P, Mid-Cities Mall, Manitowoc WI

Post by Andrew T. » 10 Nov 2009 16:51

While in the midst of researching the Mid-Cities Mall and other local history topics on microfilm, I happened upon some pictures of this A&P from when it opened on May 1, 1968:

Image Image
I was a little surprised by the square exterior sign: I was expecting that A&P would have used a round sign, or the scripted "A & P" letters that were used on some stores in the Centennial era.
Floor tiles are original.

Image

And according to the little map, the store was accessible from the mall interior corridor!
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

Post Reply