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4.09.2014

Quakertown, PA 1965 Aerial View

If you have ever visited Quakertown, chances are that you only recall the big box stores that scatter a drag that is at least a mile long. Long gone are the days where the only stores were the old Trainer's Corner, Quakertown Plaza with a Food Fair (I think), Woolworth's and a few other stores, along with a satellite location of Leh's, Allentown's second most prized department store and more. I recall the last vestiges of this time when the former Food Fair store was converted into the former Laneco owned Food Lane, Woolworth's, Farm and Family, Leh's, and Hess's with Clemen's grocery store in the old Richland Mall. The larger Trainer's Corner shopping center already existed with a Kmart and an Acme supermarket at the end of the shopping center where Kohl's is located today. It is mind-blowing how much Quakertown has changed over such a short period.
Photo credit to Topix
The large road just right of center is 309. The house (or is that Earl Bowl?) on the lower right corner of this shot is approximately where the Applebees and Panera are located in front of the large Wal-Mart shopping Center and Regal Movie Theater. The Leh's Department store (currently the Outpatient Center)was not even built yet. The only thing we can see on the 309 drag that still remains is the Quakertown Plaza shopping center in the middle of this shot and even that is way different. The far end of the shopping center had a Food Fair in it that would eventually be converted into a Food Lane and then was torn down to create a giant new Clemens that moved from further down 309 at the Richland Mall. This would be replaced by a Giant supermarket when they purchased the Clemens Chain in the mid 2000s.

On the right, directly across 309, you can see the current site of the Trainer's Corner Shopping Center where Kmart, Kohl's, and others are located. On the approximate site of today's Burger King you can see an old Drive-In theater with the viewing area extending out to the current shopping center building.

The triangular complex across from the Quakertown Plaza shopping center is the old Trainer's Corner where produce was once sold and it eventually expanded to serve seafood in a restaurant setting. This would close at some point in the late 80s or early 90s and remain vacant for a few years until it was torn down and a shopping center was built in roughly 1995 or 1996 that originally included Staples, Herman's Sporting Goods, Blockbuster, Sears Hardware, and a few others. I believe that Sears is the only remaining original tenant. McDonalds and TGI Fridays sit approximately over the main part of the old building. The only remaining vestige of the old complex, a giant cut out of a red lobster, was on the side of the TGI Friday's building for years until a renovation in 2009. The lobster was donated to the Quakertown Historical Society and I am unsure of where it is today.

Anyways, this cool shot from 1965 shows a quieter time in Quakertown compared to the big box store center that it is today.

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