Monday, June 10, 2019

Gately's Peoples store...destroyed... #Ward09

[VIDEO] This past Friday I posted about the former Gately's store located at 113th & Michigan. The store from what I can tell doing some Googling had long closed in 1981, with another store located in Tinley Park until 1994.

Usually me and my family would drive on Michigan Avenue to head to River Oaks Mall in Calumet City, we'd often pass this store. Of course by the time I came of age all I would recognize is that antiquated sign for a store that was no longer there. Whoever owned this property if it wasn't the Gately family who previously operated their location there never removed this sign. It was just a great reminder of the history of the retail strip of south Michigan Avenue between at least 107th Street to 1115th Street.

I've read up on the history of this strip and it was an important commercial areas though perhaps it didn't have the volume of another great south side commercial area such as 63rd & Halsted (which is experiencing a slow resurgence). Still there are plenty of people who grew up in Roseland and patronized this area before the decline starting in the 1980s. You can find YouTube channels that offer videos of people who grew up in Roseland during the 1950s & 1960s. It's fascinating how the area changed from a great place to grow up to what it's generally known today as a crime ridden area.

And then on Friday the former Gately's Peoples store was destroyed by fire. It seems we may never really know due to the damage what caused the fire, unfortunately the damage has been done. Who knows what will happen with the sign, however, the building that formerly housed the store which provided so many memories for those who shopped there has a date with the wrecking ball.

For me, I've never known the store and have never shopped there. I've never even shopped at the small storefronts that had occupied the ground floor of the building. Still, it's a little sad that this longtime sign is coming down and thus this won't be a landmark any longer. And now to figure out what will ultimately go up in its place along Michigan Avenue. What will be the new landmark to be located there?

Here's an ig post I did on the Gately's store once I learned of it's condition. I shot this just about a month before the fire.