Monday, May 1, 2017

Kit House Presentations

Catalog images of Sears Stratford
(1929 Special Supplement)
Images courtesy of Antique Home
Interested in hearing us speak about kit houses? What for upcoming presentations. Interested in having us present? Drop us a line!

Kit Homes of Ann Arbor: a Historical Tour
June 8, 2017 - 6:30 pm
Ann Arbor District Library

View a list of previous presentations.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sears Testimonial Houses in Kansas City, Missouri

Recently, I've been looking for Sears kit houses in and around the Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri metro area. I wrote about a couple of Sears houses that I located in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of the two Kansas Citys. While researching another Sears-house related topic, I came across one of the Sears promotion posters that I own that's titled "Honor Bilt Homes Make Happy Homes". The two-sided poster contains several dozen testimonials from satisfied customers from various cities in the Midwest and Eastern United States where Sears kit houses had been built. One of the cities that is featured on the poster is Kansas City, Missouri with 3 different testimonials. A check of the National Database of Sears Homes didn't reveal any testimonial houses for Kansas City so I decided to get looking! Let's see what I found!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

ID this House! Sears Hawthorne


Catalog image Sears Hawthorne (1932)
I was recently scanning through real estate listings online when I spotted what looked like a rare Sears model, the Hawthorne. The listing included some great photos of the Hawthorne, a model that was offered by Sears Roebuck in the early 1930s. Those photos give us the chance to see some of the distinct elements of this model, details that could help us identify other examples of this house. As we only have one other example of this house on the National Database of Sears Homes and I've run across some look-a-likes for this model, I thought this house would be an excellent candidate for my "ID this House!" series. Let's learn to ID this house!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ID this house! Sears Van Dorn

Catalog image of Sears Van Dorn (1928)
Sears offered a number of Dutch Colonial Revival style houses in the Sears Modern Homes catalog. Many of these models were large, spacious homes. But Sears also offered several smaller, more modest houses in this style, the best known example being the Sears Puritan. Similar in size to the Puritan but not as well known is the Sears Van Dorn. While the Van Dorn may not appear as distinctive as the Puritan, it actually has several elements that I've found make it fairly easy to spot once you know what to look for on this model. Let's learn to ID this house!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sears Oakdale in Prairie Village, KS

7341 Belinder Ave - Prairie Village, KS
Sears Oakdale
Here in Michigan, we're a long way from Kansas. But sometimes an example of a kit house comes up that has to be shared. This Sears Oakdale in Prairie Village, Kansas is just one of those houses. It's a picture perfect example of the Oakdale on the outside with a gorgeous interior filled with original hardwood floors and unpainted millwork. The real estate listing from when the house was last sold in 2015 gives us the opportunity to take a "tour" of a well-kept Sears Oakdale inside and out. Let's take a look!