The Sears, Roebuck and Company Department Store was built in 1940-41 in the Tenleytown section of northwest Washington, D.C. It is the largest structure in an uptown commercial area which includes churches, schools, and public buildings. It is located at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue, Albemarle Street, River and Murdock Mill Roads, and an alley. The structure is free-standing and polygonal in shape, following the irregular alignment and sloping contours of the streets. Sears is one story plus a basement and has rooftop parking. It has concrete walls and measures about 25 feet high on average and 385 feet on its longest side, creates to an impressive horizontal profile.
The Wisconsin Avenue Sears is significant as a product of mid-20th Century innovations in department store design aimed at adapting retail merchandising to an increasingly mobile and suburban population. National retailer Sears, Roebuck & Company pioneered many of these changes with remarkable success, offering a wide range of well-made practical goods to the middle class.
The Sears, Roebuck & Company department store, designed and built in 1940-41, is highly significant to the architectural and cultural heritage of the nation's capital. Designed by the Sears company's chief architect John Stokes Redden and store planner John G. Raben. This Sears building ranks among the most innovative stores realized during the seminal period of development by a company that has had significant impact on twentieth century retailing practices in the United States.
Built 1941, John Stokes Redden and John G. Raben, architects
DC Inventory: May 25, 1995
National Register: February 16, 1996