|Brandon T Martin posting
Sears was founded in 1893, and in just seven years became the country's largest mail order retailer. That growth is a reminder that back then most farmers did their shopping from catalogs and had their orders delivered to the nearest railroad depot. City folk, as well as farmers, could even buy houses from a Sears catalog.
The complex contained the printing plant that for many years produced the Sears Catalog, the company’s principal selling instrument; the nine-story Mail Order Plant whose 3 million square feet of floor space made it the world’s largest business building at the time; the one-story Power Plant which provided heating and cooling for the entire complex; and the original Sears Tower.
Seven thousand men were hired for the project, and each day 60 freight car loads of building materials were used. Eventually, 23 million brick and almost 15 million feet of lumber were consumed in the completing the project. By October 1906 the Mail Order Plant was complete, and on January 22, 1906, the company transferred its entire operations to the new facility. In later years, Sears added to the complex a merchandise manufacturing facility, a sunken garden, parking decks and lots, an automotive center, an Allstate Insurance Building, a distribution facility, a construction and display building, and numerous support structures. Until 1973, when the 110-story Sears Tower, the world’s tallest building, was completed in downtown Chicago, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Complex served as the firm’s headquarters.
|Brandon T Martin posting
In the 1920s extensive athletic facilities were added and athletic field events [below]. They encouraged after-work socialization to keep high morale among their employees. Included were a clubhouse and tennis courts, and the Sears Department of the YMCA. Events included an annual track and field competitions, and company baseball teams. (company)
|Sherman Morgan posted
The original Sears Tower, Homan and Arthington. My parents would take us to Sears for school supplies, new clothes. My sister bought lots of records there. We also bought popcorn,cashews and pistachios there. There was also a bank. Haven’t been in that area in years. Don’t know what’s left besides the tower.
|(company), HABS ILL,16-CHIG,110A--81
|Zachary Taylor Davis - Chicago Architect posted (source)
Farewell Sears, (1893-2019).
Pattrick McBriarty shared
Noah Stein The area has the warehouse used by CPD (and probably FBI) as a "Black Site", akin to those we learned about that the CIA uses
Christine Prairie posted
Sears, Roebuck & Co., Chicago. The World's Largest Mercantile Institution. Postmarked 1914
Terry Gregory More than you ever want to know about the Sears Homan Avenue plant.
Cort Chubko and now Homan Square is where CPD makes people dis appear. LOL
Don Carnahan Cort Chubko, yeah, the John Burge torture chamber was right there on Homan, wasn't it?
Michael Bose The postcard was probably printed ca. 1910, but could be later. The only automobiles identifiable are a couple of 1908-15 style Ford Model T's and several (of course) Sears Motor Buggies, sold 1908-13. Sears built them here! They only made 3500 in the 5 years of production, about as many per year as Ford built Model T's in one day!
Arvid Noreen Their home kits were made in Cairo, Illinois. There's a road called Sears Roebuck Rd at the northern end of Cairo
David M Laz posted
Post card of Sears on Homan and Arthington, 1906!
Kevin Ahern posted
|Kevin Ahern commented on his post
|Neil Gale posted
Sears, Roebuck, and Co. First Retail Store in Chicago, Illinois, opened in the Merchandise Building in 1925.
MY ARTICLE ─► https://drloihjournal.blogspot.com/.../the-first-sears...
|Eric J. Nordstrom posted
1940s photographic image of nimmons and fellows's sears, roebuck and company administration building/complex (1905), located at 925 s. homan ave., chicago, ills.
the prairie style administration building features unique sullivanesque terra cotta ornament, executed by the midland terra cotta company, chicago, ills.
the 14-story tower is all that remains of the mammoth merchandise building.
courtesy of bldg. 51 archive.
Elaine Conradi: The tower building is where the store was located. Across from the building shown was a block-long beautiful park with seasonal floral displays. At the center of the park, across from the building’s entrance, was a shallow pool with a fountain. Stunning!
The HABS photos are from the Historic American Buildings Survey of the Mail Order Plant.
By 1926, the first ground level parking lots replaced the athletic fields. This happened at the same time that a strategic shift from catalog sales to retail stores had started with easy auto travel making travel to a store more practical. The first Sears retail store opened in Chicago on February 2, 1925 in the Merchandise building. This store included an optical shop and a soda fountain. (company)
|Synergy Construction Group
Sears began to decline in the 1970s even before online shopping because of the new kids on the block such as Kmart, Kohl's, and Walmart (Wikipedia). Sears sold the tower and moved to a new office campus in Hoffman Estates, IL in 1995.
Nitram242 has posted several photos of the restoration of some remaining buildings. I selected this view of the old Allstate Sears building because it includes Willis Tower in the background. It is a nice juxtaposition of the old and the older.
This excerpt from a 1938 photo is between Independence Blvd. and east of KedzieAve. The smoke about in the middle of the image shows where the power house is. The building between Central Park and Homan is the Mail Order Plant, of which only the tower along Homan remains. The railroad running south of the Sears Complex is the B&OCT Homan Yard.
|1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
|Dennis DeBruler shared, 1952
The view below is of the west end of the Mail Order Plant. The city gave them permission to build across St. Louis Ave. so that it spanned the two blocks between Central Park and Homan Avenues. The tower you see on the left is on the east side of the building along Homan Avenue.
View of conveyors from supervisor's platform
North Pneumatic tube station
|Scott Griffith posted
Climbed the Old Sears Tower to get shots of Chicago's skyline, including the newer Sears Tower. I did not know this Inception existed. You can now rent out the two story event space at the top of the tower, for $2,400 per night. For reference, the newer Sears Tower is 108 floors, versus the original 14.smile emoticon.
|David M Laz posted
View of downtown from the top of the Old Sears (Nichols)Tower on Arthington and Homan.
|David M Laz posted
With the rest of the buildings removed from around it, here's the "First Sears Tower" at Homan and Arthington.
|David Daruszka posted
Heading eastward on the Altenheim Sub on a WC Transfer.
David Daruszka Demolition underway on the Sears complex on the left.
|Saigon Joe posted
Sears Roebuck Main Administration Bldg with Fountains and Employee garden. Opened 1906 on Chicago's West Side. Anyone know the exact intersection?
Anthony Ward Sr Homan and Arthington was both the store and the corporate HQ .Little tidbit the radio station WLS started there it stood for "Worlds Largest Store".
|Scott Griffith posted
|Carl Venzke posted
Freight Railroad Depot used by Sears Roebuck & Company, Between the annexes of the Merchandise Building. Chicago
Keith Rook That brake wheel
|One of many neat photos in Chicagology
From the Southwest
|Lou Wuollett posted