Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When You Wish Upon a Sears

You know, it just wouldn’t be Christmastime around here without stopping in at Sears. So, in keeping with our age-old (ok, three year-old) tradition, here we go! And a welcome sight this is – the brand-new Sears at the Tri-County Shopping Center in Springdale (Cincinnati), Ohio, as it appeared during its first Christmas season in 1967. The store still exists in what is now called Tri-County Mall, just off of Interstate 275.

It doesn’t take much to get people who grew up with the Sears Christmas Wish Book to talk on and on about it. In my family’s case, we would kill several hours over Thanksgiving weekend going through it (or the JCPenney Christmas Catalog, which was also excellent), making a list of things we hoped to find under the tree - in the interest of making it easy on the folks, of course. The list making was almost as much fun as the actual opening of the presents! (Note I said “almost”.)

For those who want to reminisce or were a bit too young to experience the “wish books”, I want to once again point you towards a fantastic website, appropriately enough called the “Wish Book Web”, where you’ll find an amazing collection of Christmas catalogs from the likes of Sears, Penneys, Wards and others, scanned in full. You may want to wait until after Christmas to check it out, though, or you might not get your shopping finished!


  1. Sears is still an anchor at Tri-County Mall. It looks just about the same as it does in this picture even though there have been major changes to the rest of the mall. Thanks for posting!

  2. I am definately wiahing upon a Sears!

  3. Never will forget those years (early/mid 1980s) in my life when thumbing through a Sears, Penneys or Wards (Christmas '84 being their final one) catalogs was like one had up and gone to heavenly paradise. I'm not sure what was better either....waking up Christmas morning, or perusing the catalogs beforehand.

    That big mall in my dreams, the stores would look just like this one pictured, and would still be adorned with that script outside (and the classic serif all-caps logo in brilliant blue for interior mall entryways). I can only imagine the interior of this particular store during this time of year...never got to experience a true 'full line' Sears of the era. By the time I got into my first full-line store (Oshkosh - Park Plaza downtown) in 1984, stuff like toys and the candy counter were all but gone, in lieu of more apparel space.

    Speaking of Park Plaza, that's a mall I miss. It was really a magical space during the holidays. Strings of lights hanging down from the skylight atriums, the large Center Court turned into a North Pole-style scene. Not to forget the absolutely jammed parking deck, surrounding lots, and the halls with shoppers almost shoulder-to-shoulder

    Ah yes, and I shouldn't forget, Dave. Merry Christmas.

  4. Awesome! Here's the Sears I grew up with in Downtown Peoria. It's now an ugly pit of empty land in my hometown's downtown awaiting redevelopment. This was a huge store.


  5. Maggy – Thank you! It certainly was a great-looking store! Thanks for your comment.

    Didi –Me too, always. One like this!

    Matt – Very well said – I guess we all have our mind’s eye version of the perfect classic mall, and mine would include the script Sears as well – such a striking visual image, especially compared to the way their stores currently appear. Sounds like Park Plaza was a wonderful place.

    I hope that you had a great Christmas as well!

    Jack – Wow, that one was a beauty!Very glad that someone photographed it. And it does look huge!

    Hope that you had a very nice holiday season!

  6. Hey Jack, that's my photo of the old Sears in downtown Peoria. I was saddened to find out last year that it had been demolished. So the land is still vacant? The last I heard was that a museum was supposed to be built on the vacant lot.

    Here's the old Sears in downtown Decatur. It moved out to the Hickory Point Mall and is now the public library.

  7. Adam - Thanks for that additional link. I'm a big fan of your work!