It seems this series on Sears will be slow and fitful. There is so much to do lately, and precious little time left for editing and posting photos. In addition, Idiot Photographer and I are leaving for a week long jaunt around the midwestern Rust Belt in a couple of days, which will squeeze time even further. Hopefully, though, it will yield some good pictures to share.
In the meantime, here is the directory in a pneumatic message tube station. Because there was a time you couldn’t just dash off a thought via email, you had to take it to a guy who would put your paper-and-ink message into a can, which in turn was propelled by vacuums to various terminals around the office. Next time you get wistful for the imagined romance of olden times, please refer to this post, hipster.
I’ve posted a couple shots from here in the past couple weeks, but we’ve had to play coy until we could return and see more. Our first trip essentially wound up being an extensive scouting mission, with yesterday’s follow-up finally allowing us to see most of the campus. So let this post function as a belated introduction to the former headquarters of this retailer.
Once the largest retailer in the world, Sears’ great innovation was the mail-order catalog. It was a commercial revelation which helped make Chicago the thriving commercial center of the Midwest by the late 19th century. In 1905-06, Sears built this massive complex to house its offices and printers.
Today, only the eastern bank of buildings remains, with all but the tower (the original Sears Tower) remaining West of Homan Avenue.
More to come.