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November 15, 2005 8:25 AM   Subscribe

The Ames Fan Club documents the life of each of the deceased department stores following the dissolution of their corporate souls. From Gallipolis to West Hartford, the shells of Ames have been photographed and critiqued. Some have lain dormant, logos still peeking out from between overturned racks and offline registers. Some have found new lives, though while the buildings remain, the smell of "bargains by the bagful" will never return. If only we could all age as gracefully as the Agawam Ames.
posted by setanor (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Don't forget about all the empty distribution centers - I worked as a systems engineer at the one in Columbus. It closed in March of 2002, and the building is still empty.
posted by Liosliath at 8:33 AM on November 15, 2005


Mt. Vernon Ohio in the house!
posted by bardic at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2005


Aha, never mind, they do list them. Good old 2967 on Janitrol Road.
posted by Liosliath at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2005


Are you from MV too? I never thought I'd see the above phrase, ha ha.
posted by Liosliath at 8:35 AM on November 15, 2005


Canadian Woodward's fans feel your pain.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2005


I used to live on that hill 15 minutes to the east.
posted by bardic at 8:42 AM on November 15, 2005


Bardic, I feel your pain too. If it makes you feel any better, Coshocton Road has become an even greater pit of depravity (strip malls) than it was before. I know this because I suck it up and visit my poor parents occasionally.
posted by Liosliath at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2005


P.S. I still think that Kenyon should do what they've always printed on their t-shirts, and annex the whole damn town. Greater Gambier!
posted by Liosliath at 8:46 AM on November 15, 2005


To actually get back to the thread at hand - I have never been so turned off by American consumerism as I was while working at Ames. The piles of shit that poured into the place from China and elsewhere was unbelievable, and it was all stuff that was designed not to last.
posted by Liosliath at 8:49 AM on November 15, 2005


*Kenyonfilter: The school has purchased a lot of land west of the hill, or so I've heard. It would be nice if the Mt. Vernon DT square could come back to life--but I haven't been back for a few years.
posted by bardic at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2005


It's funny that the Hartford store is in the Caldor plaza.
posted by wakko at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2005


Was there something special about Ames (as opposed to any other big-box discount retailer) that merited a cult following? The only one I ever visited was decidedly unimpressive, and I wasn't the least bit surprised when it closed.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:06 AM on November 15, 2005


Kind of a western Massachusetts/central Connecticut theme to the links in the FPP... I live about 15 minutes from that Agawam shop, and remember shopping there as a wee lad. If memory serves, it wasn't in much better repair ten years ago. There was always a really creepy, despondent feel to that one store, like everyone working there had examined their options, abandoned all hope, and resigned themselves to working in their own personal visions of hell.
posted by Mayor West at 9:07 AM on November 15, 2005


I am mystified as to how Ames could have a fan club. Those stores were total crap -- and I say that as someone whose working-class cred includes a childhood spent racing for the Blue Light Special. And Ames were too downmarket for even me.
posted by Miko at 9:11 AM on November 15, 2005


Western Infidels:

...everyone working there had examined their options, abandoned all hope, and resigned themselves to working in their own personal visions of hell.

They made you feel dead inside.
posted by setanor at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2005


There's a cool bmx trail behind this Ames in Virginia Beach. Right next to that water tower.
posted by cloeburner at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2005


maybe tag this with the state(s)/region(s)? I've never heard of this fuckin' store...

"In my youth..." lamentation is cool though... and by cool I mean self stimulating... and by self stimulating I mean red palmed and rug burned...
posted by Jeremy at 9:58 AM on November 15, 2005


This reminds me of Dead Malls. Some good reading.
posted by TurkishGolds at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2005


How weird to click on the link and see the BigLots/Grossmans plaza that's right down the street from me on the first page!

Ames was even crappier than Caldor, and that's saying something.
posted by Biblio at 11:10 AM on November 15, 2005


If this store was so great, why is it out of business? And if Wal-Mart sucks so much, why are they doing so well? I'm not even going to address the dementia involved in operating a fan-site dedicated to a retail chain...oops! I guess I just did!
posted by wavespy at 11:22 AM on November 15, 2005


Wow. I just learned about a little park behind the former Ames in Waltham, MA. Thank you MetaFilter!
posted by VulcanMike at 11:56 AM on November 15, 2005


Yeah, Ames wasn't a very good store at all—I remember mostly going there to accumulate (back-to-)school supplies, and then only because my grandmother lived about three minutes away. Off-brand candy and "THE NICE PRICE" CDs abounded. They also always seemed to have a lot of weird board games, although I may be thinking of Service Merchandise. Anyway, our Ames-shell is still empty. Also: kind of spooky.

</STORE 2163>
posted by jenovus at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2005


Whoa. Ames. Or as people called it in rural Delaware, "Ames's." Probably mixed it up with the similarly dreadful "Roses."

I remember enjoying the toys aisles as a kid. That's about it. Oh and the only appropriate comeback to "You buy your shoes at Roses" was, "Well you buy your shoes at Ames's."

Burn!
posted by jennyb at 1:40 PM on November 15, 2005


Forget Ames! What about Zayre?
posted by May Kasahara at 4:28 PM on November 15, 2005


Wow. Gallipolis. I grew up there. I think I'm still in recovery. Southeastern Ohioians take heart though, you've still got Wal-Mart and K-Mart for your Saturday night entertainment options.
posted by Otis at 8:48 AM on November 16, 2005


Forget Ames! What about Zayre?

Thank you, May, for remembering the truly important things in life.
posted by adamg at 2:06 PM on November 16, 2005


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