Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sears Stuyvesant

It's not every day that you discover a new model of Sears kit house. But that's what happened the other day while researching Sears kit houses in Hampton Manor, New York. Hampton Manor is located in upstate New York, near Rensselaer, which lies across the Hudson River from the state capitol in Albany. Hampton Manor isn't even an incorporated town and is only a few hundred acres in size. But within the borders of Hampton Manor, you'll find dozens of Sears houses including many familiar models, like the Barrington, the Hampton, the Vallonia and the Winona. But you'll only find one example of this house - the Sears Stuyvesant.


Sears Stuyvesant - 271 Spring - Hampton Manor, New York
Image courtesy of Google Maps

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sears Twins - The Hampton and the Crafton

As I noted in the introductory article in this series, it wasn't unusual for Sears to change the names of models, even though the houses remained almost unchanged. One of the more popular models that went through a name change was the Sears Hampton. First offered in the 1924 Sears Modern Homes catalog, the Hampton was an unassuming house with only a hint of Arts and Crafts style detailing. The Hampton didn't look like a large house from the outside but actually contained a living room, dining room, kitchen, bath and three bedrooms on the same floor. The Hampton appeared to be aimed at the budget-conscious home buyer who needed more than two bedrooms but couldn't afford the larger models offered by Sears that had 3 bedrooms.


Catalog image of Sears Hampton (1925)
Image courtesy of Archive.org

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sears Houses of Massapequa Park, New York - Pacific Street

One street west of Grand Boulevard in Massapequa Park is Pacific Street. While not home to as many possible Sears houses as found on Grand Boulevard, there's still several examples of homes that may have come from Sears. As on Grand Boulevard, this list starts on the south end of Pacific Street and heads north.


Sears Glen Falls- 52 Pacific Street - Massapequa Park, New York
Image courtesy of Nassau County Land Records Viewer


Catalog image of Sears Glen Falls
Image courtesy of Sears Archives

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sears Houses of Massapequa Park, New York

Like many kit house hunters, we scour the Internet looking for leads for locations of Sears houses. During one Google search, this article about the Sears houses of the Village of Massapequa Park, New York popped up in the results. The most intriguing part of the article was this:
"One of the largest single sales, according to Sears records, was 100 homes to a developer in East Massapequa, N.Y., which was incorporated as Massapequa Park in 1931. In the Lomeles' neighborhood, there are dozens of homes that were bought in the 1920s from the Sears Modern Homes Department."


Sears Lexington model on the cover of the Sears Modern Homes catalog
Image courtesy of Archive.org

Sears Houses of Massapequa Park, New York - Grand Boulevard

As I outlined in my introduction to the Sears houses of Massapequa Park, New York, the following is a basic list of possible Sears houses located in the Village. There are 14 identifiable Sears houses on Grand Boulevard. These are basic identifications and I have not personally authenticated any of these houses as Sears houses. I'll do updates as more information becomes available about these homes. This list starts at the south end of Grand Boulevard and heads north.


Sears Verona - 57 Grand Boulevard - Massapequa Park, New York
Image courtesy of Google Maps


Catalog image of Sears Verona (1925)
Image courtesy of Archive.org

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sears Houses of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Wendy and I recently spent a couple of days in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Michigan's second largest city after Detroit, Grand Rapids has long been known for its role in the furniture industry. These days, Grand Rapids may be better know for its craft brews and ArtPrize, an international art competition that Wendy's been a part of three times. Grand Rapids and its surrounding suburbs are also home to a large number of homes that were built during the era when kit houses were in demand.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Sears Sherburne Testimonial house in Fulton, New York

Although the focus of our blog is on kit homes in southeast Michigan, occasionally we'll feature kit houses from outside our part of the Mitten. One of the reasons we created this blog is to help document kit houses wherever we may find them. From time to time, we'll share examples of kit houses outside our area that are worth documenting. We hope by sharing information about a kit house or neighborhood of kit houses, we'll raise awareness about these houses and hopefully lead owners and communities to recognize the history and value of those homes.


Image from Sears Modern Homes catalog (1921)
Image courtesy of Archive.org

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sears Houses of Ferndale, Michigan

Ferndale, Michigan is located in southeastern Oakland County, sharing a border with the City of Detroit along 8 Mile Road. Ferndale was the first of the streetcar suburbs to develop in southern Oakland County. Bisected by Woodward Avenue, the Detroit to Pontiac interurban line of the Detroit United Railway and the Detroit to Pontiac railroad line of the Grand Trunk Western Railway, Ferndale was directly in the path of the City of Detroit's northwest expansion. By the time Detroit's borders reached 8 Mile Road in 1916, Ferndale's identity was well-established. Ferndale incorporated as a Village in 1918 and a City in 1927. The 1920s were a period of tremendous growth with the population increasing by 690%, going from a little over 2,000 residents to over 20,000 by 1930.


Downtown Ferndale
Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sears Twins - The Maplewood and the Ridgeland

One of the quirks of researching Sears houses is the fact that Sears would, from time to time, change the name of house models for no apparent reason. A house that was offered under one name in this year's catalog would appear in the next year's catalog under a new name. I've yet to see an explanation for any of these name changes. For those unfamiliar with this practice, it can be confusing to see what appear to be two identical models listed under two different names.


2812 Griffith - Berkley, Michigan - Sears Maplewood