The Ion in Houston upgrades an art deco Sears into a tech-incubating cyborg

The blocks surrounding Houston’s old Main Street Sears have seen better days. When the department store opened in 1939, this section of the Fourth Ward, which is just south of downtown, was a quiet suburban neighborhood. Commercial storefronts lined the thoroughfares, and quaint bungalows nestled along the tree-lined streets. It may as well have been Mayberry, to hear some old-timers tell it.

Things took a turn for the worse in the 1960s, during the construction of the I-45 and U.S. 59 freeways. Thousands of homes, businesses, and churches were seized by eminent domain and demolished—particularly in the neighboring Third Ward, which was and is

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