A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

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Andrew T.
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A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

Post by Andrew T. » 13 May 2018 19:33

IMG_3052s.jpg
I was paging through some pictures that I had taken on a road trip through northeast Ohio in 2014 when I came across this. The structure is a bizarre sight: It looks for all the world to be two centennial-style A&P stores conjoined side-by-side, with each half having its own distinctive roof.

One of the "A&Ps" is subdivided between a Goodwill store and AutoZone, while the other "A&P" is subdivided between Lake Carpet & Mattress and a Sears Hometown store. Judging by the Google Maps view, nothing about the buildings or tenants has changed since I last drove this way.

One possibility I thought of is that A&P never occupied more than half of the building, and the "extra" centennial roof was built over a companion neighbouring tenant such as a variety store. This would be the only time I've seen something like that done, though, and I have no corroboration.

If anyone can solve the mystery of what happened here (and why it happened), I'd be grateful!
"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."
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Re: A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

Post by Groceteria » 15 May 2018 11:37

I've seen a center that was sort of similar in Columbia SC, though the additional store did not have all the centennial features and the stores were at two ends:

https://goo.gl/maps/rnC72TzLpG92

I would guess a drug store or variety store tenant. What's odd to me about the one in Madison is the way the two seem slightly offset. I'm wondering if the centennial details were maybe added later to one of the two (I'm guessing the left) so they would both "match" and maybe to cover some other architectural detail of one of the stores. It might even have happened after A&P moved out. Just speculation, though...

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Re: A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

Post by Andrew T. » 15 May 2018 16:48

I'd guess that the "A&P" on the right was the actual A&P store of the pair, as that half of the structure retains a supermarket-like corner entrance configuration. The centennial roof actually hangs out over the walkway on the "A&P" on the left, which is something I've never seen on an actual A&P store.

I dug up the Lake County auditor record to see if it might contain the name of a past tenant, but didn't find anything other than a build year...for *both* halves of the building (1969).

So that's what we know...
"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."
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Re: A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

Post by rich » 26 May 2018 00:03

Very easy one. The A&P was the one of the last centennials in the Cleveland area. The other building was a branch of the Ashtubula-based Carisle-Allen department store chain--it looked a bit different from the current store but did complement the Centennial. Their main store was in downtown Ashtubula with a large branch (~100K) on Park Place in Painesville, that had slowly grown from a small branch built in the 50s. They had someother stores in Erie & Meadville that came with the acqusiition of another chain around the time this store was built. This store was rather small (probably just a bit larger than A&P) and only sold clothing. Carlisle's was the small town equivalent of a high end store----not in the same league as an upper-middle store like Cleveland's Higbee's abut a bit more upscale than a Mercantile Stores-type chain. The 2 stores constituted "Madison Mall", with the expectation that it might grow later. Other than Pizza Hut, it didn't. A&P left when they departed the market and I think it was an indie for awhile--the competition was a small IGA and a Stop & Shop--not the Cleveland chain, but one which had small stores in the smaller towns NE of Cleveland, so the store had a niche. Carlisle's stuck around through the 80s, but I think they may have closed this store before they went into Chapter 11 in '93.

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Re: A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

Post by Andrew T. » 26 May 2018 11:44

rich wrote:Very easy one. The A&P was the one of the last centennials in the Cleveland area. The other building was a branch of the Ashtubula-based Carisle-Allen department store chain--it looked a bit different from the current store but did complement the Centennial. [...]
Thanks for solving the mystery! You definitely have a lot of knowledge about this portion of the Cleveland area. Did you live or spend a lot of time there, by any chance?
"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."
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Re: A conjoined, double A&P centennial store? (6644 N Ridge Rd, Madison, OH)

Post by rich » 26 May 2018 15:40

I grew-up in the Cleveland area and return 4 or 5 times a year for family reasons. I had family who lived in the Madison area in the 70s and again around 1980, so the chronology of this shopping center is well known to me.

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