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Searstown Gone

The former Sears plaza, locally known in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as “Searstown” came into existence in 1955.  It was considered a historic landmark and early on, was dubbed the gateway to Fort Lauderdale.  One of the first of its kind, the Sears plaza became the first strip mall offering one-stop shopping in South Florida. Besides Sears, the plaza initially housed a grocery store, a jewelry shop, a beauty salon, an optometrist, and various other retail stores.  The open-air plaza, located at 901 N. Federal Highway, is currently meeting its fate with the wrecking ball.  

The architectural style of Searstown was considered to be mid-century modern. With particular attention given to the Sears building itself, the plaza was free of ornamentation, but chock full of clean lines, flat planes, and geometric and organic shapes.  From its inception and for 66 years, the building’s mid-century modern style was maintained in its truest form. 


This body of work, titled “Searstown Gone” is a compilation of photos taken over two days in April 2021.  Most are elevated perspectives of architectural aspects of the Sears building. The photos were taken in early morning hours, and include blue and golden hours.  My intent was to capture the beauty of the Searstown architectural style.  Plans for the space include a residential multi-use complex which, sadly, will have no resemblance what-so-ever to the Searstown we once knew.  

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