Monday, June 24, 2019

The future of the Gately's sign #Ward09


At least we get one good thing out of the loss of the former Gately's People's store landmark sign. The building was destroyed by fire earlier this month and the city is in the process of demolishing the former longtime department store which closed in 1981.
After fire gutted the old Gately’s Peoples Store in Roseland last week, Ald. Anthony A. Beale (9th) said he’s working with members of the Gately family to save the store’s historic neon sign.

“The sign deserves a place in a museum where it can tell our community’s story to present and future generations, and help inspire everyone to work together to make Roseland the thriving and bustling destination it once was,” the neighborhood’s alderman said Monday.

Beale said he went to the fire Friday and saw Gately family members at the scene. He was already planning to preserve the sign, he said, adding that Gately family members said they would help raise the money to make sure the sign is taken down, preserved and put up at a later date.

The sign was not damaged in the fire, but the blaze damaged the century-old building at 11201 S. Michigan Ave. so bad, demolition crews began to take it down Friday night.
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The sign remains on the building but will come down in the coming days. Beale said it will go into storage for a while and eventually go on display — but he didn’t reveal specific plans in mind to display it.
It does deserve to be somewhere to help tell the story of the Roseland community. And it's great to know the family that owned this business is still around to discuss plans to preserve this landmark.

It's awful to know about the fire, but to hear everyone - especially online or even in soundbites from any news reports - talk about their memories of the now closed store is definitely fascinating.