Sears, Roebuck & Company Warehouse Buildings: A Comparative Study in Large-Scale Adaptive Reuse
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There are gaps in the existing literature pertaining to the relationship between urban planning, community development and historic structures (Ryberg-Webster and Kinahan 2014, 129; Mason 2005, 1), and of integrated quantitative and qualitative analyses of adaptive reuse projects and their urban impacts. Based on that need, this study will center on the research question, “What are the urban impacts of the adaptive reuse of large industrial buildings, and what best practices tend to maximize positive impacts?” and will comprise of a literature review and series of case studies. This literature review will 1) provide a foundational overview of adaptive reuse practices, 2) assess the urban impacts of adaptive reuse, including environmental, economic, and social concerns, and 3) outline the role of government in the facilitation of rehabilitation projects. The subsequent series of case studies will analyze ten large former Sears Roebuck & Company mail order and retail centers, using a set of buildings with similar histories and configurations and varied modern uses to illustrate different potential approaches and outcomes of large industrial adaptive reuse projects.