Sunday, July 29, 2007

Their Own Private Idaho

Long before Albertsons became a national name in grocery retailing, it was a powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest. The history of Albertsons started in Boise, Idaho in 1939 when former Safeway manager Joe Albertson formed a partnership with L.S. Skaggs (of Safeway founding family fame) and accountant Tom Cuthbert. Though the partnership would not last long, Albertson would build his company at a rapid clip in the coming decades, racking up a store count of nearly 100 units by the time the store pictured above was opened in 1961.
Probably the most common design associated with early 60's Albertsons stores is the arched-roof "marina" style of architecture with the "Albertsons" name rendered in old west-style lettering against individual white rectangular backgrounds across the expansive glass facade of the store. The fact is that the company used quite a number of prototype designs during this period, including this beauty, which was located in the Franklin Shopping Center in Boise. It's a nice pre-opening shot -note the glass manufacturer's stickers still attached to each pane!
(Note: A reader has kindly updated us on the current status -the Franklin Shopping Center, at the NW corner of Orchard and Franklin Streets, has been demolished and a swank Fred Meyer occupies the site today.)


  1. The Franklin Shopping Center has been demolished and a swank Fred Meyer
    occupies the site today.
    NW corner Orchard and Franklin Streets.

  2. Thanks for bringing us up to date on this. At least swank has replaced by swank!

  3. I was researching "my" old Skaggs Albertson store in Tulsa, Ok, at 71st & Memorial. While the store was being built in the early to mid 1970's, I was around 20 years old, & hired to help stock the store. I guess I proved myself to be a good worker & continued employment after the store opened in the "Camera Bar". It was a little area at the front of the store that sold tobacco, candy, gum, cameras, recorders, alarm clocks, radios, TVs, & took in film to be sent off for developing. I worked either the 9 to 5 shift or the 3 to midnight shift, but only to 10 PM on Sundays, & an hour for lunch. The 3 to midnight shift got lunch at 5 PM when the assistant manager would come & give me my break before he left for the day. It wasn't easy to get someone in there to give me a 10 minute break, we were supposed to get 2 per shift & the restrooms were on the opposite side of the store! I moved away from Oklahoma in 1976 or 77, but I still have family in the Tulsa area. I was wondering what was at the location now, what I now find is called the Crossing Oaks Shopping Center, & came across your website. I'm planning a trip to Ok this spring & I want to go see it for myself.