The Modernism of Carson Pirie Scott & Company

Virtual event

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Throughout October, Docomomo US/Chicago will be exploring Chicagoland’s fascinating history of shopping malls through a walking tour and a pair of virtual presentations.

On Wednesday, October 26 at 6 PM Central Time, we’ll explore “The Modernism of Carson Pirie Scott & Company.” Chicago-based Carson’s is perhaps best known for their downtown Chicago flagship store designed in 1899 by Louis Sullivan (recently nicknamed the “Goth Target”). Less appreciated, however, is Carson Pirie Scott’s patronage of modern design. Arguably, no other post-World War II retailer in the US embraced modernist architecture and employed more high-profile architects than Carson’s. In just the 10 years between 1952 and 1962, this department store and hospitality chain would hire Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Getrude Kerbis of C.F. Murphy and Associates, Holabird & Root, Howard K. Fisher, Welton Beckett & Associates and shopping center pioneer Victor Gruen to design a wide variety of branch department stores, shopping malls, restaurants and later resorts in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. Several of these buildings have been demolished following the closure of Carson’s in August 2018, with more endangered.

Utilizing many little-known photographs and renderings, this presentation by DocomomoUS/Chicago board member Patrick Steffes will cover Carson Pirie Scott’s unique place in Chicago retail and hospitality history, and its long legacy of commissioning innovative modern architecture visited by millions annually.

Advance registration required

Free for Docomomo US members / $10 nonmembers

This event is part of Docomomo US Tour Day 2022.

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