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Roseland, Pullman

Century-Old Gately’s Peoples Store Demolished After Fire Guts Vacant Roseland Building

No injuries were reported at the historic, but vacant, store.

Gately's People Store was demolished Friday after an extra-alarm fire gutted the building and caused a roof collapse.
Chicago Fire Department
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CHICAGO — A famous but long-shuttered department store has been demolished after a fire gutted the Roseland building.

The vacant Gately’s Peoples Store, 11201 S. Michigan Ave., caught fire at 3:30 a.m. Friday and was still burning as of 8:30 a.m., said Chicago Fire spokesman Larry Merritt.

No injuries were reported, but the building’s roof has collapsed.

Hours later, the fire was extinguished. But it was too damaged to save, according to the fire department. It was also too dangerous for crews to determine the cause of the blaze, fire officials said, citing “extensive damage and partial collapse of the structure.”

Crews began demolishing the building Friday evening.

The century-old building was originally called the Peoples Store before being bought by James Gately in 1917. It became the first of Gately’s department stores, which were go-tos for Chicagoans as the stores sold everything from clothing to kitchen appliances and even had a restaurant.

Business stalled as chain stores became more popular, and the stores closed in 1994.