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SKYLINES — The Original Sears Tower

2011 January 6
by Caroline Nye Stevens
Homan Tower

The ORIGINAL Sears Tower, CNS 2011

When we think of the Sears Tower, a soaring glass and steel skyscraper comes to mind – today called the Willis Tower. But the original Sears Tower is not found downtown but rather in North Lawndale. The tower was once attached to a huge sprawling complex where Sears Roebuck & Company printed their catalogs and filled their orders. Today only the tower remains.

5 Responses
  1. May 6, 2011

    I’ve always wanted to get in there…I recently noticed some scaffolding around the base–do you know if they are the doing some work on the place?

    • Caroline Nye permalink*
      May 7, 2011

      Yes, they (the Homan Square Foundation) are retouching the exterior and have plans to eventually renovate the interior — possibly into a community arts center of sorts!

  2. Madeleine Raymond permalink
    May 7, 2011

    What a tragic loss of jobs for the people of that community. Time marches on so they say. Does Sears even have a catalog these days? Probably not…just flyers inserted in the newspapers.

    • Caroline Nye permalink*
      May 7, 2011

      Losing Sears was indeed a huge loss for the community, however Homan Square Foundation’s (they own the land and several buildings on the old Sears property) efforts to help the people of North Lawndale are incredibly honorable and impressive. It’s headed in a good direction.

  3. Rick Lightburn permalink
    May 9, 2011

    The cultural influence of the old Sears is being explored in an exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center called “Sears at the Center: New Work by Donald Fels.” Website:

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