Six Corners Association marks Sears store’s 75th anniversary
by BRIAN NADIG
The Six Corners Association will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Sears store at 4730 W. Irving Park Road next month with a sculpture dedication, a treasure hunt and a party.
The Six Corners store was part of a secretive initiative by Sears to design a handful of stores that would be on the "cutting edge of merchandising," Northwest Chicago Historical Society vice president Dan Pogorzelski said. Initially the store had no natural light because artificial light made the merchandise more appealing to customers, he said.
"It’s definitely been an anchor for the shopping district," association director Ed Bannon said of Sears, which has a facade that was built with a multi-story glass showcase. "It’s been here for 75 years, and a lot of people have fond memories of it."
Bannon said that the association has been collecting stories from residents about their experiences at Sears. He said that one resident recalled how he always tried to convince his mother to take him to the toy section, while another said that his parents bought him salted cashews if he behaved.
The association will hold a party outside the store with an inflatable, professional wrestling, food and children’s games from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. Many of the stores in the shopping district will participate in the association’s annual "Six Corners Halloween Treasure Hunt," which will feature prizes including an iPad.
The association will hold a dedication ceremony for a 10-foot-tall sculpture that pays tribute to the area’s history as a portage between the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers at noon the same day on the Cicero Avenue side of the store. Native American Ted "Sitting Crow" Garner designed the aluminum sculpture.
The Filament Ensemble Theater, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., will present a new edition of its "Crossing Six Corners" series, which dramatizes the history of the area, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. Admission to the show is free, but donations will be accepted.
The historical society will present a lecture on the prefabricated homes that Sears sold from its catalog at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the People’s Gas and Coke Building, 4839 W. Irving Park Road. Sears sold about 70,000 of the ready-to-assemble kit houses between 1908 and 1940.
More information on the anniversary events is available by calling the association at 773-685-9300 or online www.sixcorners.com.
Photo courtesy of Sears Archives