LINCOLN SQUARE — The redevelopment of the Lawrence Avenue Sears is well underway, with an interesting twist now on public display.
The nearly 100-year-old building, which is being converted into apartments and ground-floor retail, is getting a facelift that makes it look older.
One of seven original Sears stores constructed in the 1920s, the building at 1900 W. Lawrence Ave. initially featured windows on its first and second stories, as well as its distinctive tower.
Read more:Why Did Sears Cover Up Its Windows?
But a decade later, Sears shifted to “windowless” store designs — a style still very much favored by retailers such as Target — and the Lawrence building was retrofitted as part of this movement.
The second-floor and tower windows were walled over, turning the once airy, sun-drenched building into a fluorescent-lit hulk.
Today, the windows are back as part of a transformation expected to be complete by fall 2020.
The long beleaguered Sears vacated the building in August 2016, and then-Ald. Ameya Pawar was adamant that the structure be saved rather than demolished. The building’s buyer, Springbank Capital, stepped in with a plan to retain the facade of the building while gutting the interior.
Construction includes the creation of 59 apartments, ranging from one- to three-bedrooms, and 30,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. DeVry University has inked a deal to occupy more than half of the first floor.
Check out photos of the transformation here:
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.