Post Office Building, c. 1910

Address: 74 Main Street

Old Address: 69 Main Street

Other names: Post Office Building; Grand Union grocery store; Meyer's Drugs; Meyer's Gifts (Hallmark Store); Down Hill Grill

Year built: By 1915

Architect: Scopes and Feustmann

Other information: The old Post Office block was a 3-story brick building in the style of the Roberts Block. It was the U.S. Post Office from 1915 until 1925, when the present Post Office opened on the corner of Broadway and Olive Street. In the 1930s and '40s it was a Grand Union grocery store. In the 1950s it became Meyer Drugs. A fire gutted the store on November 18, 1958, and in the aftermath, the decision was made to remove the upper floors of the Post Office Building. At the time, Bill Meyer said that "25 feet of additional land had been purchased behind the store, and that the new store would be one story high but half again as big." When Bill Meyer retired, the pharmacy was closed. In recent years the store was known as Meyer's Gifts, run by his son and daughter-in-law, until it closed in 2007. In 2011 it reopened as a new restaurant, the Down Hill Grill.

Down Hill Grill, 2022
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Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 19, 1958

Raging Fire Destroys Meyer's Drug Store in S. L., More Than $150,000 Loss in Seven Hour Blaze

Three Fire Departments Join to Prevent Spread

Tenants Above Store Homeless But No Serious Casualties Occur


Bill Meyer was working in his drug store after five o'clock yesterday afternoon.

He smelled smoke. He asked one of the girls to see if it wasn't coming from one of the ash trays, a common occurrence in any drug store or restaurant.

Then he looked behind him, and the back part of the store was a sheet of flames. "It looked like someone was operating a flame-thrower," he recalled late last night.

And that was the beginning of Saranac Lake’s worst fire since the Hoyt garage burned on Riverside [illegible]

The total loss Norman and Bill Meyer estimate at about $150,000, not including the losses suffered by those in the seven occupied apartments above the drug store.

There were no casualties, other than that several firemen had to be given oxygen after an over dose of the billowing smoke.

Seven of the eight apartments above the store were occupied. All those who were at home got out safely.

Bill Meyer says that his thought was to get the people out of the store…

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 19, 1959

...a glittering modern Meyer's Drug Store [is] rapidly nearing completion.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 8, 2011

Early on I lucked into the most incredible of jobs: waiting on customers, carrying out the garbage, cleaning the garbage chute and washing and decorating the display windows at Meyer's Drugstore. The garbage chute ran from the soda fountain to the basement. It was at the drugstore - after school, during holidays and every summer between the age of 10 and my graduation from college - that I met a cast of characters that you could otherwise find only on the screen at the Pontiac: A.C. "Bags" Bagdasarian, who worked at the radio station (he and others and I performed several radio mysteries on WNBZ; I think I was mostly in charge of the sound effects); Eddie Vogt, the ex-vaudevillian who wrote the "Our Town" column for the Enterprise; the actors and actresses who performed in the Saranac Summer Theater, all from the Yale Drama School (I was enlisted from behind displays of Pepto-Bismol and Bromo-Seltzer to be a Japanese houseboy in "The Bat" (my blond hair was carbon-papered every night) and a stable boy in "The Importance of Being Earnest"); the Amazing Ballantine, [Carl Ballantine] a patient at Will Rogers who taught me a mesmerizing assortment of magic routines (he later was Gruber on "McHale's Navy"!); and an endless stream of TB patients, always ready with the bon mots and repartee, and always smiling and laughing and talking about stuff I only vaguely understood, which was probably just as well. The garbage chute, by the way, had to be cleaned from below, to loosen the blockage, and it was always a mistake to look up the chute to see what was going on. Bill Meyer was a great boss. He said that cleaning the chute built character.

From a reminiscence of David Smith. Full article here.