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The Sears Building on Lake Street (#1856)

The Sears Building on Lake Street
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copyright © 2002 Chris Gregerson. Available format: 4 megapixel (2272 x 1704 total resolution)
picture date: 2002-03-28


I consider this to be the Sears tower, but I don't want to confuse this building with the Sears Tower in Chicago (which this isn't).

This Sears is located on Lake Street and Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis. It closed about 7 years ago, and is waiting for a decision on how it should be re-used.



  • Theirry Gravois   Nice, France -- 2003-10-15

    I have lived in the Twin Cities for a number of years and I definitely think that has to be the ugliest building in Minneapolis. It cold, gray and generally drab look is a eyesore in the otherwise beautiful skyline.

  • Norton   Minneapolis -- 2003-10-28

    The guy above doesn't know architecture at all.

  • Bill Sebring   Austin, TX -- 2003-11-25

    I'd read a few guidebooks about Mpls/St. Paul, that talked about the Mpls Public library central branch, and the commentary wasn't all that flattering to be honest...I think it was described as a cold harsh place, where everything was in concrete, and sound didn't fall dead in the place. They said that it didn't feel like the kind of place where you could comfortably sit down with a good book. They said the staff, on the other hand, was fantastic. I'd have to say the library was due for replacement, and certainly could stand to be more inviting, if the guidebooks I'd read about the place, were true.

  • Brian   Minneapolis -- 2004-01-09

    What is this guy talking about? I don't see how this criticism of the MSP central library has anything to do with the Lake Street Sears building.

  • stewert   st paul -- 2004-01-11

    archetecture style or whatever it is still drab concrete and quite plain to me, not that there really is anythin appealing about the chicago lk st sewer, i mean area. maybe they should paint it white with blue trim or board up its windows to match and appeal to the rest of the neighborhood. the facination with preserving ugly is beond me kinda like the concrete bunker they r turning into a condominium on 6th st and marquette, history or not it is ugly, they tear down 1 historic building called the metropolitan which was a shame and rational thought flies out the window. think about what to do with it...we have a vast majority of the greatest retail and office spaces sitting empty downtown at least 50-80%empty, like the pilsbury tower and old usbank tower to name a few, which has done nothing but hurt retail and suppliers like me. try fixing that minneapolis.

  • Karen   Las Vegas, Nev. -- 2004-02-25

    As a child at Christmas time, ugly or not, this was a magical place to come to look at toys. I remember waiting in the car while my Dad would go inside to pick something up and trying to guess what it would be. These pictures are a trip home for me. Thanks.

  • Tom Watembach   Urbana, IL -- 2004-03-08

    I grew up in Minneapolis, and I lived on 11th Ave. So., right across the street from this Sears parking lot. I learned to ride my bike and play baseball in that parking lot, and my brother and sister learned to drive there. Many winters, I played on large snow piles in that lot, until spring took them away. We used to climb on the little building in that lot (we called it the "white house"). My brother and sister both worked at that Sears, and I spent many hours in their toy department and playing hide-and-seek throughout the store. Later, I watched them build the National Tea store in that lot, and eventually worked there as a stock and carry-out boy. I don't know if the building is ugly or not, but to me it's beautiful because it holds so many memories.

  • Sherri   MN -- 2004-09-24

    They are turning this historic site into an office building with a Sheraton Hotel attached. Huh. Kind of an odd spot for that, don't you think?

  • Wayne Bowman   Houston,TX -- 2005-03-15

    Does anybody remember the beach ball that was suspended in mid air by a vacuum cleaner in the appliance dept. at this building? I see this picture, and I can smell the popcorn and the cashews. I got my first skate board, BB gun, and sleeping bag from this building. My mother used to leave me in the toy dept. while she shopped, (you could do that in the 50's and 60's.)Lot's of my friends and their older siblings worked in the catalogue operation upstairs.

  • Joe   St. Louis Park -- 2005-03-23

    I find the whole thing fascinating. I work for Allina, first of all, so the whole project is exciting. Secondly I remember in the summer between 5th and 6th grades I took part in painting a mural a few blocks away. My contribution was painting the Sears an interview I commented that it was a great place where everyone could come together

  • Rick   Warrenton,Va. -- 2005-04-21

    Just one correction,the "Sears Tower" was At 2929 Elliot Ave. Not Chicago ave. I grew up exactly one block away. Like some of the other commentators also learned to ride my bike in the parking lot.Had several family members that worked there. They sold everything from Tomb Stones to used cars.

  • Ben   Philadelphia -- 2005-06-02

    I grew up in Phillips and I'm overjoyed to see such a great redevelopment project finally coming to this gigantic space. If I had a million bucks to spare, I'd move back to Minneapolis and buy one of the penthouses.
    Sherri--the Sears Tower is about a block south of Abbott Northwestern Hospital (which doesn't have a decent hotel near it now), and not far from Downtown, Uptown, the Convention Center area, the Dome, and the Institute of Arts. That's why this is a natural location for a hotel.

  • Jennifer (Clark)   Lakeville, MN -- 2005-07-25

    I toured the building yesterday, WOW. I grew up in South Mpls., shopped with the family and later worked at Sears on and off through the 80's. It's a fabulous view from the top. I'm glad to see that block coming back to life. It's had a long history!

  • Jacki C   crow agency mt -- 2006-09-15

    The SEARS building tower was a security symbol for me. I grew up in an apartment bldg. on Powderhorn Terrace (1943-1956). Those beautiful gigantic green neon letters atop all four sides of the tower were like a night light, visible through the sheer curtains, blowing in the summer breeze. What a flashback! I missed a tour of the store before it closed by one day. Does anyone remember, also in the appliance dept., (which was on the right of the main aisle on the back back to the toy department) One season there was a large real frozen pig with the freezer lid open for display. This grisley scene was further accentuated by the ingenuity of some neighborhood prankster who stuck a marble in the sunken eye socket of the pig on display making it much more interesting. I am so homesick for the old Powderhorn neighborhood and the park the way it was and the old Horace Mann School. Makes me feel better to know there are lots of other who miss that scene too.

  • Andrew   Lauderdale, MN -- 2006-10-05

    This building has had quite a transformation. The ground floor is the "Midtown Market" with all kinds of different ethnic foods and gifts available. A large portion of the building is now HQ for Allina Healthcare, and the rest is condos and apartments with incredible views.

  • Bill Peyton   -- 2007-12-28

    My mother worked in what was called the "Jewelry Cage" at this Sears in the early 40's. On occasion my grandfather would drive from our home in North Minneapolis (33rd and Russell)to pick up my mother from work. I recall being awed by the size of the place and I do recall the smell of popcorn and the sound of the chimes summoning the "floorwalker". I also recal that there was a "live" pianist in the music department who would play whatever sheet music you were going to buy. (Had to be a Sears "Beckwith" piano !!

  • Debbie Pommer   Stillwater -- 2009-11-06

    My mother used to work in the Sears store in the 1960's. I always loved going to "Sears" to shop. She worked in the Export shop on the second floor and then the Sporting Goods department until she retired. Sears was a favorite meeting place for my whole family.

  • Dinzee   Lexington, KY -- 2009-12-18

    A U of M gopher from 1958-62, I vividly recall an "expedition" to the Sears Tower area, during my fraternity initiation rites. . . Suffice it to say that a large quantity of Hamm's beer was involved, and a winsome group of lovely gopher ladies who accompanied us . . . If you ever viewed the B&W films of Federico Felllini, you'll grasp at least a part of the action that took place. "Naughty" is too nice a word.

  • D. Lewis,   Elk River Mn. -- 2013-11-16

    I worked on the 4th floor between 1958-1960. I am looking for people whom I worked with, Mary K. Jim P. Bill S.. On the 3rd floor I knew G. Nordquist. I will be looking for a response.

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