Then and Now, Lawrence-Ravenswood

1952--Lawrence Avenue @ Ravenswood, view west

1952–Lawrence Avenue @ Ravenswood Avenue, view west

2013--the same location

2013–the same location

This view from the onetime Chicago & North Western viaduct is easily recognizable. The Sears store has been here since 1925, making it the company’s longest-operating outlet in Chicago. The trolley buses are gone, as are the streetcars that preceded them. However, the black poles that once supported the overhead trolley wires are still in place.

In 2013 new construction is visible on the site of the Sears service station. Meanwhile, the railroad viaduct over Lawrence is also in the process of being replaced.



6 Responses to “Then and Now, Lawrence-Ravenswood”

  1. 1 Garry August 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    The new construction is a Mariano’s grocery store & a parking lot that Sears & Mariano’s will share. At least as long as Sears is open as its twin store on 79th, which was the same style & opened the same day, just closed.
    It’s the oldest store Sears built from scratch & is probably the second oldest Sears store around now, although the long gone Homan Ave. store in the catalog plant was Sears’ first & was given number 1000. Lawrence is store 1010. The first number is the region, the second is a zero & the third indicates when in the order it opened & the last digit is just another zero. I’m guessing when it opened it was number 11.
    I learned that working for a company that sold lots of stuff to Sears all over the country.

  2. 2 Garry August 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I checked out the light poles on Lawrence today. The poles east of Wolcott are replacements for the originals that held up trolley wires.
    The ones west of Wolcott are the originals, but there has been about a four foot extension added for the modern street lights.
    How’s that for obsessive details?

    • 3 J.R. Schmidt August 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      The first streetcars came thru this part of Lawrence in 1896. I like to think some of those light poles are newer than that, but you never know.

  3. 4 Garry August 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I didn’t mean the old poles were the poles from 1896.
    The old poles are the same ones in the 1952 pix with a four foot extension added for the streetlights.

  4. 5 Ralph August 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    There use to be a bowling alley in this location in the 1940’s before the Sears Service Center. Anyone remember them selling gasoline?

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