The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Giving a new life to a forgotten area

The original doors are still in place at the Lofts on South Side on Lamar.” height=”300

Sears Roebuck & Co.’s Catalog Merchandise Center, now known as South Side on Lamar, was first opened on September 24, 1910 as a three-story warehouse. The building employed over 1,000 employees, and generations of former Sears employees continue to return to reminisce, according to the website.
The rest of the 10-story tower and an additional nine-story structure were opened in 1915.

The original building housed the catalog orders and was the headquarters where mail was sent to subscribers all around the United States. This building was Sears’ first operation outside of Chicago and anchored the Southwest Territory’s success.

In 1920, the building was demolished and a new era of construction began. Slowly but surely, different levels and buildings were added until the last employee parking lot was added in 1971, resulting in the remodel to be finished in 1973. On April 30, 1993 the Dallas location of the Sears Catalog Merchandise Center processed and shipped its last order and closed its doors indefinitely.

In 1997, Matthews Southwest purchased the property and began to turn it into the building it is now. Matthews Southwest helped shape the neighborhood many live and work in and assisted in getting the building to be recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1999. The loft doors were opened to residents in 2000.

Today, South Side on Lamar has aspects of the old Sears building mixed in with new touches. There is a safe from the 1920’s with the old paint right next to an ATM; bricks and hardwood floors next to contemporary art; Sears catalogs line the wall behind the concierge desk. Retail shops are located in the basement area which was home to the shipping equipment for the Sears company.

The background history is what strikes potential residents’ interests to move in. It is what partially convinced resident Vershea Mikel to the building.

After a house fire in 2010, Mikel’s family friend told her about the lofts and convinced her to move in. “I only really knew it was the old Sears building. Every floor has a different picture of the past. It lets you see what all went down in this building,” Mikel said.

The neighborhood and building represent community for those who live and work in South Side on Lamar. Receptionist Ashiah Baldwin said there is a large
community aspect to the building and meeting everyone is her favorite part. “Everyone’s different. There’re lots of artistic people here,” Baldwin said.

The neighborhood on Lamar is building off of the artistic feel that the lofts already encompass. Foster + Partners and Matthews Southwest are working
together on a 45-acre development. It is set to include “multi-family projects, entertainment, restaurants, retail stores and galleries. The approach is to create a spectrum of opportunities for the future while allowing the overall plan to be economically viable in the present,” according to the South Side on Lamar website.

When the master plan is complete, Matthews Southwest will have developed around 4 million square feet of residential, commercial, office, and hotel space. To
date, approximately 30% is complete.

To celebrate the anniversary and incorporating the community aspect of the neighborhood, the 1st annual GuideLive Lamar Street Festival provided a
celebration of art, film, food, and music. From noon to 10 p.m., families were welcomed to come and enjoy the fun in an “interactive zone” with activities and
crafts, then after 6 p.m. the interactive zone became directed more towards adults.

Visitors experienced different forms of art at each tent and some tents gave prizes for spinning wheels. Throughout the day various musicians performed leading up to the headliner Erykah Badu’s performance.

Visit for more information.

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