Centre street, Bath, ca. 1950

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Description

The intersection of Centre and Washington streets in Bath around 1950. Built in 1941, this Sears Roebuck was one of several national chains to come to the city immediately prior to World War II.

The shifting goals of architectural design produced a streamlined building with glass on the first floor and the mass of the structure disguising the presence of the second floor. The bulk and use of glass are echoed in the design of the automobiles on the street.

Twenty-five years later, the changing patterns of car culture took customers away from the downtown and out to the developing shopping centers on the outskirts of towns. Sears Roebuck and other Bath stores moved to Cook's Corner where parking was plentiful and the buildings appeared new and modern in the mid-1960s, depriving the downtown of its economic vitality.


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