R.I.P. Gatelys Peoples Store Building

South Michigan Ave at E 112th Pl in the Roseland neighborhood in 1969. One the most beautiful photos I have ever seen!

Hello everyone, This morning at 3:30 am, the building that occupied Gatelys Peoples Store was on fire. Gatelys closed around 1980/1981 and the building was vacant for decades. The parking garage was demolished a few years ago and today after the fire, the building will be demolished or has already started. I have been interviewed by a couple of TV stations and one radio station today about Gatelys. I have been saddened by the news all day. Watchong the building in flames on TV was very hard. Growing up in the Roseland neighborhood from 1969-1974 were very pleasant. One memory I failed to mention on my previous entry on my blog was when my mother went shopping there for the first time and she was awestruck with wonder. It was also very intimidating, because my mother has only been in Chicago for seven years. She arrived in Chicago in 1962 from Greece after she married my father and lived in South Shore first. While she was at the store, lo and behold, the first person she met was Mr. Gately, the owner. That man went out of his way to help my Mom in every way possible. My mother’s English was dicey back then, but she has improved over the years and has a better understanding in most situations today. My mother followed Mr Gately in the departments she wanted to shop. The grocery store in the basement, women’s clothing on the second floor and mens section on the first floor. He was very kind to her and helpful to her, but I heard from other people and sources, he can be gruff and impatient at times. That was not the case for my mother. I doubt there will another Gatelys like that in the future. That kind of charm is gone forever. As to the fire today, that was the final nail on the coffin. We still have our memories of Gatleys and Roseland and no one can take them from us. That’s for sure! Thank you everyone. Pete Kastanes-Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

2 thoughts on “R.I.P. Gatelys Peoples Store Building

  1. Hi Pete. I love this photo of the old Roseland neighborhood and what it once was. Now, the story has changed and certainly not the for better of its residents and businesses. I have fond memories of Gately’s also. In my youth the store was located on 159th street near both Oak Park Ave. and Harlem Ave. in Tinley Park. When I was a part of Pack 39 Cub Scouts in Mokena in the 1980’s we could always count on Gately’s to have the boy scout needs I required. When Gately’s closed in the early 90’s I think, the Daily Southtown used that building as it’s headquarters. When the Southtown left for the Sun-Times buildings Menard’s bought not only the Southtown building which once housed Gately’s but also the old Brementowne Mall which was a favorite place to go in the 80’s and 90’s also. I manage Park Ace Hardware at 167th and Oak Park Ave. so I’m close to the old Gately’s everyday and I miss that small independent retailer. Thankfully I work for a good one in a good community.

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