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    Penn Fruit

    Status: Protected

    The glass-fronted, arch-roofed former Penn Fruit Company supermarket at 5129-35 Frankfort Avenue is a rare surviving example of an architectural style and building type that spread rapidly across the American landscape in the decades following World War II. As both an architectural and socioeconomic phenomenon, the mid-twentieth-century modern supermarket was a ubiquitous and conspicuous symbol of an ascendant consumer culture fueled by mass production, mass consumption, suburbanization, and the proliferation of the automobile. Penn Fruit was one of the first companies in Philadelphia to adopt the supermarket business model in the 1930's, and was one of the earliest supermarket chains in America to embrace the modernist architecture as a core element of its corporate identity. Though approximately four dozen former Penn Fruit supermarket structures still across the greater Philadelphia region, including at least nineteen in Philadelphia proper, the vast majority have been heavily altered and no longer retain significant architectural character.

    In March 2016, a nomination was prepared to list the property on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. In November 2016, the nomination was accepted by the Philadelphia Historical Commission and listed on the local Register.