Friday, November 17, 2017

Behold the Future of Kit House Research


Earlier this month, fellow kit house researcher Catarina Bannier announced the launch of a new interactive map that features all of the authenticated kit houses located in the Chevy Chase section of  Washington DC.
Map of Historic Chevy Chase Kit Houses
Image courtesy of Catarina Bannier
As Catarina shared in her announcement, this area of Washington DC is home to almost 100 kit houses that have been authenticated using building permits and mortgage records. The interactive map not only documents the location and model of each house but includes catalog images for the specific model and images of the homes themselves. I created a similar kind of interactive storybook - on a much smaller scale - for the Sears houses located in the Oakwood Subdivision of Northville, Michigan.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Databases of Houses

Image courtesy of
Clarke Historical Library
In a recent post, I shared some of the data that I was able to extract from the national database of Sears homes. That database is the most frequently mentioned in my posts. But it's not the only database being maintained by myself and my fellow kit house researchers. There's seven databases representing the major kit house companies that sold houses nationwide as well as one regional company that sold houses across the northeast United States. While none of these others have the number of homes that can be found in the Sears database, some of them have a significant number of homes. The homes that are included in the respective databases can assist homeowners, historians and researchers authenticate and identify kit houses in their communities.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Where are the Sears Houses - November 2017 Edition

29 Lawrence Ave - Tuckahoe, NY
Sears Alhambra
Image courtesy of Zillow
With our recent appearance on NBC Nightly News and running for re-election here in Novi, it's been a busy few weeks around the Hamilton house. When the national database of Sears homes passed the 8,500 home mark, I took note of it but didn't get a chance to run the numbers. As there's a bit of friendly competition among our group of kit house researchers, I didn't want to keep them waiting too long for an update. Here is the breakdown of location of houses by state based on approximately 8,600 homes in the database. Let's take a look!

Kit House Presentations

Catalog images of Sears Stratford
(1929 Special Supplement)
Images courtesy of Antique Home
Interested in hearing us speak about kit houses? Check out our list of upcoming presentations. Interested in having us present? We're scheduling presentations for 2018. Contact us to schedule a presentation in your community!

2018 Scheduled Presentations

Waterford Township Public Library
Thursday, April 19, 2018
7:00 pm

Capital Area District Library - Holt Branch
Saturday, June 9, 2018
11:00 am

Petoskey District Library
Monday, July 23, 2018
7:00 pm

View a list of previous presentations.

Elmhurst #20!

If you watched the NBC Nightly News segment on Sears houses that Wendy and I appeared in, you may have caught a glance of a catalog image of a stately brick and stucco Tudor-style house. If you watched closely, you would have seen that the model featured was the Sears "Elmhurst". If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know that finding and sharing examples of the Sears "Elmhurst" has been a recurring feature on the blog. Coincidentally, a Sears Elmhurst in Alexandria, Virginia was recently listed for sale.  This listing gives us a chance to see this model up close and personal. Let's take a look!