Crosstown Concourse

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Coordinates: 35°09′07″N 90°00′54″W / 35.152021°N 90.015002°W / 35.152021; -90.015002

Crosstown Concourse
Sears Building Memphis TN 01.jpg
General information
TypeMixed-use development
Architectural styleArt Deco
Location495 North Watkins Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38104
Completed1927
Opening1927
Renovated2015
OwnerCrosstown, LLC
Technical details
Floor count14
Floor area1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectNimmons & Co.
Looney Ricks Kiss in association with DIALOG (renovation)
Website
crosstownconcourse.com
Sears, Roebuck and Company Catalog Distribution Center and Retail Store
NRHP reference #13000954
Added to NRHPDecember 18, 2013

The Crosstown Concourse, also known as the Sears Crosstown Building or Sears, Roebuck and Company Catalog Merchandise Distribution Center and Retail Store is an art deco high-rise building in Memphis, Tennessee built in 1927. It was originally built as a Sears mail-order processing warehouse and retail store. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and renovated into a mixed-use development in 2015.

History[edit]

The building was designed by Nimmons & Co., and construction was started on February 21, 1927. Known as the Sears Crosstown Building, it was one of the first Sears stores designed to attract customers by being situated in a relatively open area of the city and providing a large amount of free parking.[1] The location was also ideal for its access to highways and on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad line.[2] Officially opened on August 27, 1927, the Sears Crosstown Building was the largest building in Memphis to date at 650,000 square feet.[3] Three thousand people attended the opening ceremony and over 47,000 people (one in four Memphians) toured the building by the day's end.[4] At a cost of $5 million, the building was constructed in only 180 days, with work crews operating 24 hours a day, six days a week.[5] Sears & Roebuck's eighth regional distribution center included a soda fountain, luncheonette, employee cafeteria, and in-house hospital.[6] The Crosstown Building was a premier Sears retail store for more than 60 years.[7] The building became vacant in the early 1990s after Sears closed many of the buildings it had constructed in the 1920s:[8] the store that had occupied the lower floors was closed in 1983, and the catalog distribution center in 1993.[9]

Revitalization[edit]

Attempts by various organizations have begun to repurpose the high-rise. Many other Nimmons & Co. designed Sears buildings across the country were quickly reused, such as the Midtown Exchange in Minneapolis[10], the Ponce City Market in Atlanta, and the Landmark Center in Boston.

In 2010, The Crosstown Arts project began working on resurrecting the building as a "mixed-used vertical urban village." Developers received commitments from nine prospective tenants called "founding partners" to fill more than 600,000 square feet of the building with various uses.[11] Work began on cleaning up the space in 2012, and the official groundbreaking occurred on February 21, 2015; with various celebrations and speeches by the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County. The new name of the building was also announced on this date - Crosstown Concourse. The grand opening for the development was held on August 19, 2017 with speeches by the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County once again, plus open houses for building tenants, live music, art exhibitions, and more. [12] Crosstown Concourse features retail stores and restaurants on the first floor; fitness, health, arts, education, and office space on floors two through six, plus 270 apartments occupying floors seven through ten.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Jackson, Kenneth T. (1985), Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-504983-7, p.257-58
  2. ^ Knowles, Jeffrey (2006-05-01). "Constructing the New South In Memphis, 1892-1930". Rhodes College, Department of History. Retrieved 2015-01-16., p.52
  3. ^ Knowles, Jeffrey (2006-05-01). "Constructing the New South In Memphis, 1892-1930". Rhodes College, Department of History. Retrieved 2015-01-16., p.54
  4. ^ Knowles, Jeffrey (2006-05-01). "Constructing the New South In Memphis, 1892-1930". Rhodes College, Department of History. Retrieved 2015-01-16., p.58
  5. ^ Knowles, Jeffrey (2006-05-01). "Constructing the New South In Memphis, 1892-1930". Rhodes College, Department of History. Retrieved 2015-01-16., p. 59
  6. ^ Knowles, Jeffrey (2006-05-01). "Constructing the New South In Memphis, 1892-1930". Rhodes College, Department of History. Retrieved 2015-01-16., p.60-61
  7. ^ Wolf, Cindy (2011-02-27). "Abandoned Memphis: Sears Crosstown, before the doors closed". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  8. ^ "Will Sears Crosstown rise again? - Memphis Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  9. ^ Rushing, Wanda (2009). Memphis and the Paradox of Place: Globalization in the American South. New directions in southern studies. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780807832998.
  10. ^ Bailey, Thomas. "'Founding partners' commit to lease most of Memphis' Sears Crosstown Building". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  11. ^ "Sears Crosstown takes early steps to rebirth - Memphis Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  12. ^ http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/2017/08/19/big-building-big-party-crosstown-concourse-celebrates-official-grand-opening/581017001/
  13. ^ "Crosstown Groundbreaking Is This Saturday + Q&A With Todd Richardson".

External links[edit]