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438 Blue Valley Dr, Bangor, PA

Original Grocery Tenant: ACME Markets
Address: 438 Blue Valley Dr, Bangor, PA
Opened: ca. 1960s/70s
Closed: 1996
Later Tenants: Ace Hardware (2006- )
Photographed: December 22, 2018
Welcome to Bangor, PA! We're just across the street from what's considered Pen Argyl, but very close. You've probably already figured out why we're checking out this store; the Capitol Ace Hardware is housed in a 15,000 square foot, former pitched-roof ACME.
According to JoshAustin610, ACME closed in 1996 and the space was vacant until Ace opened up about 10 years later. I assume the Mr. Z's across the street (later Weis, linked above) was the final nail in this store's coffin. But it seems to do quite well these days as a hardware store. Oh, and while I'd never write a blog about them, I do love independent small town hardware stores.
Ace Hardware's entrance and exit are definitely left over from ACME, and we can see the remnants of the so-called "magic carpets" that would open the doors when you stepped on them. Let's head inside the hardware store, though...
Just for a place to start, we're looking out of the original ACME in the above photo into an expansion out the side. The hardware store is around 1.5x the size of the ACME. But inside the hardware store, we can definitely tell the place used to be an ACME...
...that's right, the pitched roof is exposed inside and the glass wall at the front is in beautiful condition. Note the large sign frame where the Ace logo is on the outside -- I wouldn't be surprised if the interior tiles are still there under this frame.
That was a fun stop, because of the obvious ACME history still so well preserved in this building, even almost 30 years after ACME closed. Not to mention that the people working in the hardware store seemed very nice! Up next we're headed into the little downtown area of Bangor (a small town of around 5000) for a grocery store that closed shortly after I visited. Check it out on The Independent Edition tomorrow!


  1. It's great that Ace preserved so much of this building's Acme history.

    FYI, this Acme opened on August 1, 1962. If you have access to, there is a photo of this shopping center under construction in the 2/2/62 edition of The Morning Call. (One of the other original tenants of the center was W. T. Grant.) Josh was slightly mistaken about this Acme's closing date, since it actually ceased operations on November 29, 1997. That same day, an Acme at 16th and Liberty Streets in Allentown also closed.

    This is a different topic, but when you were discussing the interior tiles, you linked to a Flickr photo of the Clayton, NJ pitched-roof Acme. It is obviously amazing that store is still in operation. Out of curiosity, have you had a chance to visit the Clayton, NJ Acme? (I unfortunately have not visited that store.)

    1. I agree! Thanks for the detail on opening and closing dates.

      I have not, sadly! That's quite a drive for me but it's definitely on my list.


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