Housing Complex

Soviet Safeway No Longer

How dumb! (Lydia DePillis)

In light of the increasing prevalence of mixed-use developments with housing or offices on top of retail, now characterizing Safeways from Wheaton to Petworth to Southwest, I hereby re-christen this one-story grocery store on Corcoran Street–in the heart of livable Dupont!–the Stupid Safeway. Originally built in 1942, it's since been renovated, but never into an appropriately urban form; graceful archways don't even save the architecture, closed off to the street as they are.

May it serve as a model of what to avoid in the future.

  • http://dcentric.wamu.org/ DCentric

    I saw this headline and felt momentary panic-- I thought they closed it!

  • John

    I thought the same thing about the Safeway on Columbia Road. I was sure when Safe started raising their profile in the area that it was prime for development. Instead they just gave it a spit shine. Then again they can always pursue that a few years down the road. Maybe if the fancy shmanz Hotel ever gets built they will see fit to go the "sexy safeway" route. Until then we'll keep calling it the "spit-shine safeway".

  • http://twitter.com/otberbur OTBerbur

    Can the author point to any examples of chain grocery stores built in DC before 2000 -- much less in 1942 -- that conform with her ideal of enlightened urban development? Moreover, as the continuing sagas with Hank's Oyster Bar, JRs, et al. demonstrate, putting apartments across the street from restaurants and clubs serving late in the night does not always result in a harmonious community. At least this Safeway, unlike the presumably soon-to-depart 8th & O Giant, does not isolate itself from the streetscape by surrounding itself with a massive parking lot.

  • J

    I was scared too that maybe it was closed. That safeway has dissapointed me so many times that it would almost be sad to lose it! Long live Soviet safeway!

  • Bob See

    The P St Whole Foods was built way more recently. Shouldn't it be the poster child?

    Anyway, http://www.allbusiness.com/food-beverage/restaurants-food-service-restaurants/5645668-1.html

  • Chris in Eckington

    Both the Harris Teater in NOMA and the one on Pennsylvania Ave, SE are built below apartments/condos, as is the Trader Joe's in Foggy Bottom/West End. Word is that the new Giant on H Street NE will follow suit.

  • Rick Mangus

    If you like no food items on the shelves on the weekend then this is the store for you!

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  • Lydia DePillis

    Sorry for scaring everyone! Wasn't a shallow ploy for clicks, I promise.

  • HillChris

    Wow, this post didn't come off as snobby *at all*...

  • http://www.schuminweb.com/ Ben Schumin

    Wow - I had no idea that this Safeway was circa 1942! They apparently have done quite a job in renovating it, as I would never have thought that the store was World War II-vintage from looking at it, inside or out. Would love to see historic photos of the store from what it used to look like...

  • Ann-Mari

    Kudos to Safeway for dealing with a very tight space and other constraints as they try to put the food out there for all of us. The Produce Department in particular has never looked better, and the produce staff are a fine group of people!