Alderman Plans To Save Gately’s Peoples Store Neon Sign

Ald. Beale is working to safely remove, preserve, and display the old sign.

Bernie Tafoya
June 11, 2019 - 10:25 am
Firefighters are tackling a three-alarm fire at a commercial building in Roseland.

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Demolition is underway of the old Gately’s Peoples Store building in the Roseland neighborhood, but a very familiar piece of that building will live on.

9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale said the neon Gately's Peoples Store sign will be saved. 

"We have a real golden opportunity to preserve some long-standing history in our community," he said.

Gately's was an anchor for, what the alderman said, "was considered downtown South Michigan."

"We’ve already had communication with the contractor and we have a sign company that specializes in removing these things and preserving them and they’re coordinating with the demolition company," he said.

Ald. Beale said it’s unfortunate fire destroyed the more than 100-year old Gately’s building, but he said the store’s sign will fit nicely into plans that are in the works to bring tourists to his community to tell the history of Pullman and Roseland.

He said those plans are likely to be unveiled sometime this summer.

The building was part of Gately’s department stores, which closed in 1994. It sat vacant ever since, but the sign was iconic at 11201 S. Michigan Ave.

The three-alarm fire burned for nearly seven hours last Friday. No injuries were reported, but the extensive damage lead to demolision.