SEARS, ROEBUCK, Livingston

by Kevin Walsh

Who knows how long this painted ad for Sears, Roebuck has been visible on a brick building on Richmond Terrace and Taylor Street. I last did a survey of Richmond Terrace in 2007 or 2008 or so, and haven’t been back often: I should return soon. Photo courtesy ForgottenFan Larry Gertner.

The chain was founded by Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck in 1887, instituting an innovative catalog business by the 1890s and thereby becoming one of the first national brands. Though Roebuck outlived Sears and was the company spokesman from the 1930s on, the company dropped his name on store signage in the 1970s. Sears, Roebuck built what was until 2011 the tallest building in the USA (which it no longer owns), the Sears Tower, now known as the Willis Tower, in Chicago in 1974; the Willis has been surpassed by #1 World Trade Center. The company was purchased by KMart in 2004 but retains a separate identity.

Perhaps Sears’ most famed NYC property is a magnificent Art Deco masterpiece in the heart of Flatbush, as seen on this FNY Bedford Avenue page.


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