Tuesday, February 28, 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!

Michigan Kit Houses
May 18, 2017 - 6:30 pm
Oak Park Library

Michigan Kit Houses
May 20, 2017
Okemos Library
Sponsored by the Friends of the Okemos Library

View a list of previous presentations.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sears Cinderella in Warren, Ohio

Catalog Image of Sears Cinderella
At the end of 2016, I shared a post about the "Missing Models", which were all the "named" models offered by Sears in the Modern Homes catalogs between 1918 and 1940 for which an example had not yet been located. In assembling that list of missing models, I managed to miss one - the Cinderella! But I didn't realize that I had missed it until I recently discovered what appears to be a Sears Cinderella in Warren, Ohio. It was only at that point that I noticed that the Cinderella hadn't made it on the list. I've since updated that post to add the Cinderella and note its discovery. The Cinderella is a rare Sears model but after we review some of the ways to spot one, perhaps you'll find one too. Let's take a look!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Where are the Sears Houses - February 2017 Edition

815 Loraine St - Ardmore, PA
Sears Alhambra
A few months ago, the national database of Sears houses passed the 5,500 house mark. On reaching that milestone, I took the opportunity to review some of the data available from the database including the locations, by state, where we are finding Sears houses. Today, the database passed the 6,500 house mark and I thought it would be a good time to revisit the breakdown by state to see if there had been any changes from the previous order or to see if we can spot we spot any new trends. Let's take a look!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Making Lists

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my kit house-related projects is contributing to a national database of Sears catalog and kit houses. As I shared last year, the database grew out of the need to have a centralized listing of Sears houses. Started four years ago in January 2013, the Sears database has grown to almost 6,500 homes. While the Sears database is the largest in number of homes, it's not the only database we're working on. Just as there was a need to document houses from Sears, the same is true for homes from the other major kit house manufacturers.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sears Yates in Boonton, New Jersey

Catalog Image of Sears Yates (1940)
Image courtesy of Archive.org
The 1930s were a difficult time for the Sears Modern Homes division. The effects of the Great Depression led Sears to close the division for a short time in 1934. But as the decade wore on and the United States slowly emerged from the worst of the Depression, the sales of Sears kit house business started to improve. In 1939, despite gathering war clouds in Europe, Sears introduced a number of new home plans, including the Sears Yates. Recently, I came across a house in Boonton, New Jersey that may be an example of this rare model. Let's take a look!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sears Sherwood in Chatham, NJ

Catalog Image of Sears Sherwood (1930)
Image courtesy of Lara Solonickne
The last time we visited Chatham, New Jersey, it was to see a Sears "testimonial" house from the 1932 Modern Homes catalog. Today, I want to share an example of a very rare Sears model that I came across recently in Chatham. The Sears Sherwood was only offered for two years in the Modern Homes Catalog - in 1929 and 1930. To date, only three examples have been located in North Chicago, Illinois, Bound Brook, New Jersey and Leetsdale, Pennsylvania. Due to the relatively short time period that the house was offered and the cost of the house, It's likely that Sears didn't sell very many of these models. The Sherwood has some distinctive elements that can help you identify it. Let's take a look!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

ID this house! Sears Priscilla

21 Oak St - Irvington, NY - Sears Priscilla
Image courtesy of Zillow
As I've been researching mortgages in Westchester County, I've been able to see several examples of houses from Sears Roebuck that I rarely see elsewhere in the country. One of those models is the Sears Priscilla. To date, I've located five different examples of the Priscilla in the County. That's notable as we have less than 20 Priscillas in the national database of Sears houses. Thankfully for us, one of the well-kept examples of the Priscilla was recently for sale and the real estate listing photos included many views of the inside and outside of the house. From these photos, I want to share with you some of the distinct characteristics of the Priscilla in case there's one in your town. Let's take a look!

Friday, February 3, 2017

ID this house! Sears Wayne

The Sears Wayne is a story and a half house that Sears Roebuck offered between 1925 - 1931. As I shared previously, the Wayne is almost identical to the Sears Delmar, which appeared in the Sears Modern Homes catalog for one year in 1924. The fact that the Wayne was offered for 6 years makes me believe that there are a lot more examples of this house than the dozen examples that are currently listed in the national database of Sears homes. Recently, I came across a fine example of the Sears Wayne that provides the opportunity to learn some of the key features of the Wayne. Let's take a look!