Sunday, October 11, 2009

The original Sears Tower

A treasure on Chicago's west side is highlight in this piece from last month from Chicago Tonight. Originally built in 1906, this was the original home of Sears when they were known as an important mail order business. Just like people are crazy about Wal-Mart today, people were crazy about Sears enough to come down to the original corporate headquarters and visit the original tower.

Unfortunately the neighborhood around Sears gradually declined and in the riots of 1968 after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sears left the neighborhood. They still used their original headquarters moving to the more familiar Sears Tower (now called Willis Tower) located downtown. Eventually the Sears complex would be gradually demolished leaving the original tower and other buildings of this complex.

As it may have been in the heyday of this site, it may once again become a self-contained community. There are homes being build and the saved buildings from this complex are expected to become condos and retail space. In this video you saw the original power plant, that is now a school. In addition mixed-income housing has been built on this site.

I hope that eventually the original Sears tower which was saved as a beacon of hope to the surround North Lawndale community where it resides may eventually become a tourist destination once again. While it may be home to retail and condos, I hope that there will be an observatory where there once was in it's heyday!

BTW, this video was presented by the late John Calloway originally in 2006!

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