North_Pearl_Street_Rite_Aid_buildling_2017-June.jpg

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A storefront then and now

North Pearl Street Rite Aid building historical comparison

Walking along the west side of North Pearl Street in downtown Albany the other day we were gawking at the building that's occupied by Rite Aid. It's one of those buildings that doesn't look like much at street level because of the non-original facade -- but look up, and there's certain distinguished quality about it.

Anyway, we were curious about what the building originally looked like. And, as it happens, the commercial streets collection of the Albany Public Library's digital collection includes a photo of that section of the North Pearl streetscape from 1947. That's a side by side above (and there are larger photos after the jump.)

The old(er) facade and signage seemed to fit the building better. A lot of things weren't great in the past -- but it did generally have better signage.

The business occupying the building in that 1947 photo is S.S. Kresge Co., a national chain "5 and 10" store. There was at least one other in Albany, in Pine Hills near where Madison Ave and Western Ave run together.

Kresge is still around, in a way. The company eventually became... K-Mart. Yep.

Sometimes big chains might seem like a relatively recent thing, but they've been around a long time -- and in the same spots, even.

Look up

Large-format pics are at the top -- click or scroll all the way up.

Earlier

+ Signs of storefronts past

Comments

If you look closely near the top, you'll see a series of Roman numerals - V, X, and XXV - representing the prices at Kresge's (five, ten, or twenty-five cents).

The "5 and 10" stores, or "five and dime," are now "dollar stores" today.

How likely is it we'll look back with nostalgia on the concept and design of our "dollar stores"?

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