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.
Chicago’s skyline has many facets. Viewed from varied distances and vantage points, the city center can look imposing, majestic, or at times surreal. On postcards, views from the lakefront dominate. But I have always loved the view from the near South Side, at a point in the city’s topography where the low bungalows of Bridgeport and Chinatown give way to the utter flatness of river and railyards before exploding skywards north of Harrison Street. The building pictured in the foreground is the only thing that breaks the aforementioned flatness around Roosevelt Road; it is the power plant for the nearby train station and (now defunct) post office. In the background, lit green for National Emesis Awareness month, is the Sears Tower.