Façade treatments proposed by a developer will compromise the historic integrity of the shuttered Sears Store at 1900 W. Lawrence. A 2016 Preservation Chicago 7 Most Endangered Building, the shuttered Sears Store at 1900 W. Lawrence Avenue was the first Sears, Roebuck & Company retail store to be built from the ground up as a commercial department store. It is an outstanding building with great prospects for preservation-sensitive redevelopment.
The building was purchased from Sears Holdings and is being redeveloped by Springbank Capital Advisors. The proposed $40 million redevelopment plan includes an adaptive reuse of the existing structure and plans to deliver 59 apartments, 42 parking places, and 20,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.
Preservation Chicago’s primary concern is with regard to the façade treatment. The original building façade had large and expansive windows and we would strongly support the reinstallation of windows of a similar size to the original design. Additionally, we oppose changing the original exterior colors.
Preservation Chicago hopes that the developer will reconsider some façade treatment elements. Earlier renderings indicated a solution that was more sensitive to the building’s original design with deeper setbacks and fewer additional floors. The developer has responded to some community concerns voiced at public meetings to address parking and traffic flow considerations.