Historic Structures

Building Description Sears Store Building, Evansville Indiana

The old Sears, Roebuck and Company store Is a 110,000 square foot commercial structure in downtown Evansville. It is actually made up of three separate buildings, attached to one another by common walls.

The original store, constructed in 1920, is located on the corner of Fourth and Sycamore Streets and until 1937 was a free-standing rectangular structure of four stories with four bays on the Fourth Street side and seven bays on the Sycamore Street side. In 1937 a two-story addition was attached facing Fourth Street; two more stories were added to this in 1946, so that the two buildings appeared as one with seven major bays on each side.

The first floor is characterized by large display windows flanked by limestone piers and pilasters, which are continued in brick on the upper floors. Each bay originally contained large double-hung windows, which have been bricked-in on the second and third floors and replaced on the fourth. The main entrances on Fourth Street and Sycamore Street have been changed from their original locations. The flat roof with its stone coping was originally trimmed in dentil molding, probably of pressed metal that has since been removed.

The interior of the building features poured concrete floors, with octagonal reinforced concrete columns under a twelve foot high ceiling. There are stairs on the east side of the building, and a staircase in the center of the building going to the basement, which is also used for display. There are elevators servicing all floors, including the basement. A mezzanine was added on the south and east walls of the 1937 addition surrounding the first floor, with an aluminum and glass railing and stairways on the east and north walls.

The building known as The Annex was added in 1943 next to the 1937 addition. This two-storey bui Idinrg is faced with limestone, and its four major bays continue the first floor display windows, with large windows on the second floors. An entrance through an arch at the north side leads to a flight of stairs to the second story with a wrought iron railing and slate stairs. The second floor occupies only the front half of the building. There are skylights in the rear half of the building allowing natural light to flood the first floor. The main loading docks are located in the rear of the Annex building, and also the freight elevator, which serves the original building on all floors.