In the few years right before and right after 1940, Safeway built new stores facing the sidewalk. In the late 1930s they were right on the corner, and in the 1940s local new stores had a small parking lot on the corner, but still faced the main street.
A little more than a decade later, new stores were set in the middle of large parking lots, recessed away from the sidewalk on the main street.
|Successor store, just 15 years later|
November 13th, 1951
We have often understood the story of the Center Street Safeway as a story of loss, of the loss of one of Salem's earliest school buildings from the 1880s. But it is also a story of our autoism. The store's central location, starting with that one in 1936, on the edge of downtown has proved durable and useful, but the evolution in store plan showed our appetite for parking.
|East School / Washington School, 1949|
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
|November 13th, 1951|
Erickson's had opened a "super market" on Portland Road at Lana Avenue in 1946, and Berg's another one in the Capitol Shopping Center in 1949, but the Erickson's store does not seem fully realized, and Berg's wasn't stand-alone. At the moment, the Center Street Safeway seems like the best candidate for the first modern supermarket in Salem.