About Sears Merchandise Building Tower
The Sears Merchandise Building Tower is a small part of a building that was used by Sears as a retail headquarters and distribution center for what was the largest catalog retailer in the United States. Officially opened in 1906 it was the 40-acre home of Sears, Roebuck & Co., Chicago. The 3.3 million ft² office building attached to the tower was later demolished. It was the headquarters and main operations for all parts of the Sears Roebuck Company for almost seven decades. Early catalog advertising 1906 invited customers to come to Chicago to tour the facilities as their time permitted when visiting Chicago. This included not only the merchandise building, but also the advertising building, administration building, and power house. In the 1920s extensive athletic facilities were added and athletic field events. They encouraged after-work socialization to keep high morale among their employees. Included were a clubhouse and tennis courts, and the Sears Department of the YMCA. Events included an annual track and field competitions, and company baseball teams. WLS radio formerly broadcasted from the 11th floor.