Yesteryear: Sears Building


Yesteryear: Sears Building

by Pat Sides

The stately red brick building at Fourth and Sycamore streets, pictured here in the early 1960s, has been a presence in the downtown business district since it was built in 1920. It was originally occupied by a hardware store and named after its builder, Col. William H. McCurdy, who also constructed the hotel that bears his name. In 1925, Sears, Roebuck & Co. became the new tenant, making the site the company’s first retail store outside of Chicago. For decades, the Evansville store was a major destination for local shoppers, selling a dazzling array of products. Competition from new suburban shopping centers prompted the downtown store to close its doors in 1975; the building was entered in the National Register of Historic Places four years later.


  1. My wife and I bought our first new washing machine and bedroom furniture there in 1967. Good old Sears revolving account that would work for a young couple with no credit history just because it was decided in the store, not corporate headquarters. I’m sure a lot of young families were thankful for Sears back then.


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