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755 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA

Original Tenant: A&P
Address: 755 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA
Opened: 1950s
Closed: 1970s
Later Tenants: Staples (1990s- )
Photographed: December 2021
Our first of two stops in Bryn Mawr, PA (right between Haverford College to the southeast and Villanova University to the northwest) is this 1950s-era A&P. It's a fascinating store, not least because it's been only minimally modified in the last 50 years. It was built in the 50s as a flat-front, streetfront store of roughly 12,000 square feet -- not to mention hiding a very slight arched roof back there. In the late 50s or early 60s, it was retrofitted into an approximation of the centennial store model, which we just saw yesterday at Gladwyne -- albeit extensively remodeled.
As we notice, the centennial front is very clearly just a facade here, and consequently it is abnormally thin. It's also overly simple, compared to the ornate full-fledged centennial. And finally, we know it's an earlier store because it's about 3,000 square feet smaller than the typical centennial -- although they did vary in size, with some as small as just 9,000 square feet.
Despite the fact that this store has been a Staples for roughly 30 years, making it one of the first in the region, it still has a strong grocery store appearance. Similar retrofitted "almost-centennials" are actually fairly common in the Philadelphia area, and we'll be seeing another in just a few more days. For now, we'll be checking out a longtime, but recently rebuilt, supermarket just up the street here in Bryn Mawr on The Market Report!


  1. I presume we'll be seeing the A&P-turned-Staples in Narberth as well? I only ask because I drove past it earlier today then saw this post!

    1. A beautiful specimen! Unfortunately, no. I've only been through this area once and this was the only A&P-turned-Staples I managed to capture. I do have one store in Narberth that's a very interesting historical relic, and that'll be coming up in a few days.


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