Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Neighborhood of Wardway Homes - Part 1

Recently, Wendy and I were traveling through Pontiac, Michigan on our way to meet a friend for dinner. As often is the case driving through areas with older homes, we were keeping an eye out for anything that looked familiar. At one intersection, we stopped for a red light and we immediately spotted several houses that looked promising. Could they be Wardway Kenwoods? As the light changed and we drove through the intersection, I was sure that I spotted a Wardway Piermont down the side street. On the next block was another home that looked like a Kenwood. It was an intriguing discovery but as sometimes happens, we didn't have time to stop and take photographs.

Wardway Kenwood

Catalog image of Wardway Kenwood
courtesy of Sears Homes of Chicagoland

Later that evening when we returned home, I fired up Google Maps and switched over to Streetview mode. I found my way back over to the intersection in Pontiac and started to look around. Sure enough, down the block was a Wardway Piermont. But wait! Across the street was not one but two Piermonts! As I made my way via Google Streetview up and down the neighboring blocks, I was astounded as I found house after house of Wardway models - Avalons, Dovers, Kenwoods, Piermonts, Trentons and even a Devonshire! 


Wardway Devonshire

Catalog image of Wardway Devonshire
courtesy of Sears Homes of Chicagoland

Interspersed between the Wardway models I recognized were other houses of matching designs that didn't match Wardway models that I knew but looked to be of the same vintage with design elements that were similar to ones seen on Wardway models. As best I could tell, almost every house in the neighborhood was a Wardway model or a design that was shared by multiple homes in the same area.


Wardway Avalon
Wardway Avalon
Wardway Devonshire
Wardway Devonshire
Wardway Dover
Wardway Dover
Wardway Kenwood and Wardway Piermont
Wardway Kenwood and Piermont

Wardway Trenton
Wardway Trenton

All photos courtesy of Google Streetview

When I first got started looking for kit homes, I imagined that once I found a street with one or two homes from Sears or Wardway, I would find the whole neighborhood consisted of kit homes. I quickly learned that's not the case. It's unusual to find neighborhoods where most or all of the homes are kit homes. Places like Carlinville, Illinois and Eastwood Circle in Cincinnati, Ohio tend to be the exception, not the rule. This is especially true of Wardway homes. I couldn't recall any mention of anywhere in the United States where a large number of Wardway homes had been built in one neighborhood. Yet, if my eyes weren't deceiving me, here was a neighborhood full of them.

In future posts, I'll explore the likely origin of these possible Wardway kit houses and how that discovery led me to several more streets of possible Wardway houses. 

3 comments:

  1. This is a great discovery. I bet there are more Sears and Wardway neighborhoods to be out there found.

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