Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

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Andrew T.
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Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

Post by Andrew T. »

I was digging through some old photos today from road trips in years past, and I found one ripe with mystery:
peoria-mystery.jpg
Although I've done a bit of research in Illinois, covering Bloomington-Normal and Waukegan for the site, I've never researched Peoria.

Any guesses to what this could have been? It's a blonde brick building, roughly 12000 square feet in footprint. It looks fairly original, and the front parapet drops down in a stairstep where it meets the side. An early-1970s Kroger superstore stands across the street, and this might be that store's 1950s or early 1960s predecessor. Or it might not. The building has fairly generic styling, and I can't eliminate the possibility of it being built for another chain, an independent grocer, or even a non-supermarket purpose like a hardware store.
"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
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Re: Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

Is it possible that brick is not original to the exterior? This is more of a side shot but what little I could see of the front says this could be a 1950's pre-centennial A+P but they used a lot of stone for the exteriors on those so I'm wondering if that brick was added later in a renovation of some sort. I'm going to go out on a limb and say (maybe) A+P.
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Andrew T.
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Re: Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

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TW-Upstate NY wrote: 02 Oct 2021 18:46 Is it possible that brick is not original to the exterior? This is more of a side shot but what little I could see of the front says this could be a 1950's pre-centennial A+P but they used a lot of stone for the exteriors on those so I'm wondering if that brick was added later in a renovation of some sort.
Nothing's impossible, but I can't imagine that anyone could have slathered over these walls with new brick. Again, it looks original to me.

Using my library consortium access, I was able to find a severely truncated copy of the 1960 Peoria city directory...just enough to let me see the "Grocers" classified listing (which leaves out A&P, Buehler, and Kroger locations) and the A-B listings of the alphabetical section. I didn't find the address in the classified section. This is what the alphabetical section lists for A&P:
A & P Food Stores branches 3500 SW Adams 2245 NE Jefferson av 2309 N Knoxville av 2022 W Krause 225 S Main (EP) and 1109 West Main.
So the logical possibilities now are "Buehler," "Kroger," "not a supermarket," and "post-1960."
"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
rich
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Re: Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

Post by rich »

Stone accents were common for Kroger’s in the late 50s and early 60s, but not unique to them. The parapet drop is odd unless there was a sign on the side that needed to be serviced somehow from above.

Kroger’s usually had the name in front, but nothing on the side unless there was a second entrance.
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Andrew T.
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Re: Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

Post by Andrew T. »

Hi Rich,
rich wrote: 07 Oct 2021 15:14 Stone accents were common for Kroger’s in the late 50s and early 60s, but not unique to them. The parapet drop is odd unless there was a sign on the side that needed to be serviced somehow from above.
I checked my photos to see if I could find any images of Kroger stores with similar dropped parapets. I came up with just one: 215 E Main St in Northville, MI, which I highlighted in a past thread. This store was also a conversion of a farm implement dealership, so it may not have been typical for the chain.

While searching for other leads, I found a searchable archive of Peoria newspapers: Bingo, exactly what I was looking for! Unfortunately I then discovered the archive had a huge gap between 1953 and 1975, making it useless for verifying the original identity of the address. So the mystery goes on...
"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
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Andrew T.
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Re: Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

Post by Andrew T. »

For the record, I just heard from David. He's doing location research here, and was able to confirm that 3008 N Sterling Ave was indeed a Kroger store in 1960! Although the address has shifted, that's only because the building has been divided up: 3000, 3008, and 3010 are all under the same roof. So I'll consider this one settled.
"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: Mystery store: 3000 N Sterling Ave, Peoria IL

Post by Groceteria »

Just a teaser: I'm working on the Peoria list right now...
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