I recently wrote about the states with the highest number of identified Sears houses on our national database of Sears homes. To date, the database includes houses from 42 states including Alaska, the District of Columbia and the Province of Ontario, Canada. That leaves 8 states where we don't have examples of Sears homes in the database. Those states are:
If you haven't seen the latest posts from some of my favorite kit house bloggers, check them out!
Sears Homes of Chicagoland - We've Come a Long Way, Baby: Lara explains the importance of the national database of Sears homes while sharing some very rare examples of Sears models that can be found in the database.
Sears Houses in Ohio - A Sears House under serious restoration: Cindy and Frank make a road trip to the home of Studebaker, South Bend, Indiana and along the way, stop and see a Sears House being restored. But this house isn't just any old Sears house, it's one of the handful of known Sears Magnolias! Wendy and I visited this Magnolia a while back and it was in rough shape but it's clearly now in the hands of owners intent on restoring it back to its former glory!
Sears House Seeker - Gordon-Van Tine 140: Judith does an in-depth exploration of an early catalog house from Gordon-Van Tine, the #140, including homeowner photos of their house and original blueprints!
American Kit Homes - Sears Sherwood in Leetsdale, PA: The Sherwood was only offered for two years in the Sears Modern Homes catalog and only a few examples of this house have been found. Nigel recently located a possible Sherwood in Pennsylvania. Here's a chance to see another example of a rare Sears model.
Logo of the city of Washington DC's Historic Preservation Office
The week has brought a bit of excitement to my circle of kit house researchers. The reason? The city of Washington DC's Historic Preservation Office placed online a massive database of information related to over 100,000 structures located within the boundaries of the District. Among those structures are hundreds of catalog/kit houses from the major kit house companies including Aladdin, Gordon- Van Tine, Lewis, Sears and Sterling. That database has been a treasure trove of information for my group of kit house researchers, helping us to authenticate dozens of houses that had previously been identified and allowing us to discover catalog/kit houses that had not previously been identified. It's also giving us a deeper understanding of the activities of the different kit house companies in Washington DC, one of which I'll explore a little further in this post.
This year, I've had quite the good fortune to locate a number of examples of the Sears Elmhurst, a high end model offered by Sears from 1929 - 1932. It's been a few months since I last spotted one but tonight, I came across another one, this time in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Aliquippa is located about 25 miles outside of Pittsburgh, which had an active sales office for Sears Modern Homes. This Elmhurst is currently listed for sale. Let's take a look!
The national database of Sears houses recently cruised past 5,500 identified Sears houses. To mark that accomplishment, I thought it would be a good time to take a deeper dive into the database to see what those 5,500 plus homes can tell us about Sears kit houses. While there are some limitations to how much we can extrapolate from this information, it does give us an outline of where Sears homes were built. Let's look at the numbers!