Here is a very historic 270,000 square foot Sears location that closed on January 28, 2018. The store opened in 1939 and was the oldest operating department store in Houston at the time of its closure, click here for a brief summary of the history of the property. The property is currently under redevelopment to become a new business center. Here are the plans from Rice for the redevelopment of the property, which is nearly complete as of the publishing of this post.
December 6, 2017 during the store closing sale.
We start on the basement level.
Tools, seasonal, appliances, sporting goods, lawn and garden, vacuums, and electronics were located on this level.
Once the electronics were moved out, mattresses took over the floor space. The rugs were brought in for the store closing sale, I swear these rugs are brought in to just about every store closing sale I have been to.
Christmas displays were being sold down to the end.
The former electronics area.
Looking from one end of the store to the other.
One of two old school clocks.
As you can see in the distance, the electronics department had the upgraded paint job just before they eliminated the department.
The appliance department also had the upgraded color scheme.
I wonder what cool things were behind this employees only door.
Sporting goods with the very old security camera looking over the area.
Another employees only door to the backroom.
Going up the vintage staircase.
I am not sure what happened to this painting with the redesign of the building.
Such detail with the handrails.
A random advertisement.
Up to the third level of the building.
This corner of the store has always intrigued me, the old school design just past the exit door.
From one side of the third level to the other.
The third floor had intimates, kids clothing, housewares, small appliances, some furniture, and clearance items.
Leftover curtain displays from years ago. Most Sears stores had pulled these down a while back.
More of the old school security cameras watching over store.
One of the back storage areas had the door open for a look inside. Not much to see from this view, but it was cool none the less.
A different storage door was open across the way so I got to see more of the back room.
Very old door fixture.
The Simply Indoors sign had seen better days.
As a matter of fact, all of the display signs had seen better days. Some of them had fallen out of place and were hunched over.
We are now on the second level (street level).
The old school thermostat.
One of the store exits that had been covered up. Awesome stone detail surrounding the doors.
The ceilings and light fixtures of this store are much different than modern stores.
This floor had Women's, Men's, Shoes, Portrait Studio and small gifts near the escalators.
Final day of the store January 28, 2018.
Took several photos at several slightly different angles on the exit ramp.
Here are some short videos that I published on Youtube from this trip.
We start our journey on the basement level.
Whatever had been covering this sign up for years was removed. What a cool vintage sign. My Sons hand got in this photo, lol.
A look through a peg hole into the back storage room.
Lots of people, not a lot of merchandise left.
More views into the back storage area.
The remains of the tool department.
Back up the stairs to the third level.
Another look at the vintage corner on the third level.
The empty intimates department.
Now to the second level, which is where the majority of the remaining merchandise was left.
The walls needed work in the restroom area. The smell in these bathrooms was pretty bad and had been for many years.
Of course the fixtures that were left in the sale were pretty awesome. A lot of these fixtures were from many, many years ago.
A more recent fixture. I have one of these in my garage that I purchased from the North Shepard Sears.
With shelves being removed, lots of cool things were now out in the open like this phone and signage.
Very old school iron.
Panels beginning to fall off of the walls. These panels are not very sturdy since they always seem to droop when the shelves are taken down during the store closing sales.
Lots of fixtures still left with only a short time left for the sale at this point.
These ceilings look to be tough to maintain. I would guess that the plumbing and electric lines go through them as well. Any leaks can cause some real issues in the drywall.
A look at what was remaining on the sales floor.
From this view, it almost looks like a normal day at Sears.
A full view of the staircase from the third level.
Back to the street level of the store.
A lot of inventory was still left here. People were standing in line with full clothing racks though so deals were being made.
More of the sinking wall panels.
The watch display.
Interesting decorative designs in the ladies department.
A panel had fallen off of the wall. Also notice the ceiling which has discoloration from either damage or repairs.
A good view of the first level from end to end. Women's clothing to the Men's clothing area.
Some random fixtures along with the high tech Windows XP upgrade. Looks like the security camera system.
Behind the scenes in the former Portrait Studio.
I really enjoy going into these previously closed off parts of the store. The Portrait Studios usually have some cool things to see. On future posts, you will see the Pasadena and Baton Rouge Sears Portrait Studios during the closing sales at those 2 stores.
A lot of ceiling damage here.
Looking from the former Portrait Studio into the store.
A random coupon found on the desk.
More views of the store.
Some of the old funny t-shirt racks.
The closed off entrance in the Men's department.
Another old phone near the Men's Department.
They don't make these signs for the last day.
Not sure where these photos are from, but they were out in the fixture area.
There were some other photos for sale like this 90's looking one.
A look at one of the lines to check out.
The customer pick-up exit of the store. This was actually my first time going into this part of the store.
Looks like an old trash chute door.
Some racks of clothes were back here, not sure if they were already sold or if they were overstock that hadn't been pulled to the sales floor yet.
An old customer service booth?
Things were moving fast at this point. The shoes were picked through, with very few remaining.
The former Sears Optical corner.
More ceiling damage in this area of the store. In the past these areas would have held the grand window displays.
A view from the main entrance to the back of the store.
This is what the parking lot entrance looked like. Very detailed just like the entrance we saw that had been closed off. Carpet had been placed down unfortunately which covered up the vintage floor design.
Random fixture that was in the shoe department.
I am not sure what this is, but take a look below to see where it came from.
This was a cool find in the fixture department. This Kmart store was also scheduled to close in March 2017. It is so strange how this item got here to Houston.
More items in the remains of the shoe department.
A look back into the storage area near the shoe department. There were probably more retail treasures left back there.
A few more random photos from throughout the store.
This sign caught my attention.
One of the last open registers.
We left the store with less than an hour left before the store closes for good. We were there for over 2 hours.
More views of the store as we drive off.
Farewell Sears Houston, 79 years of business. The sun sets on the final day of operation 😢
After the store closed taken in April 2018.
Taken in August 2021, the Ion transformation is nearly complete.
The former Fiesta next door has also been transformed into a lab.
It is hard to believe this is the same building. A couple of floors were added to increase the size of the building.
The classic exterior of the former Sears that were covered up by the ugly metal panels are once again open for all to see.
A blend of the old and new.
The view from the freeway exit ramp.
I am pleased at how the building looks. I wish they somehow could have kept the neon sign somehow, but the extra floors made it necessary to remove the sign.