Two years ago, Sears‘ former headquarters were a mix of dilapidated and abandoned buildings.
Today, those buildings are a growing community hub. This 55-acre complex, formerly the main offices of Sears, Roebuck and Co., is now home to a mix of affordable housing units, community centers, and a high school.
Sears tested its products and printed the famous catalog in this complex in Homan Square, a neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. But in 1974, the company moved to Sears Tower (now Willis Tower), and these buildings were left deserted for 30 years.
In that time, Sears went from being on top of the world to being one of the most distressed American brands.
Since then, developers have been working on transforming the brand’s first home. Keep scrolling to see what it looked like then, and what it’s looking like now.
This photo, taken in 1910, shows the original Sears, Roebuck & Co. complex. At the time, Sears was America’s largest mail-order catalog company, and it ran its entire operation from this complex.
Source: Library of Congress
When Sears moved locations in 1974, these buildings were abandoned for the next 30 years.
In 2011, photographer Martin Gonzalez took a series of photos that show the inside of Sears’ crumbling former HQ.