Thursday, December 10, 2020

Model Homes - Sears Roebuck

Sears Maplewood
Lansing, Michigan
Image courtesy of Newspapers.com
Modern residential builders often advertise their model homes to help spur interest in their new developments. Staffed with sales people, these homes - often with all the bells and whistles included - are open to the public to explore in the hope of enticing prospective homebuyers. Things weren't much different in the kit house era of the 1920s - 1940s. In some cases, developers of new subdivisions of the era built and featured a kit house (or houses) as an example of the style of home that could or would be built in the new development. 

Kit house companies also teamed up with some of their customers who allowed their new homes to be used as model homes. Often times, this meant opening one's new house to visitors from near and far, sometimes thousands in number, over a period of a couple weeks. Presumably, once the tours were done, the house would be made like new. Not as common but also done were models that were built without a prospective customer in mind. These model homes are notable because they often pop up in searches about the kit house companies in historic newspapers. Let's take a look! 

Since the articles that accompany these houses often provide a lot of interesting facts and background information about the houses, I've decided to put together a list of model homes that have been documented. While this isn't necessarily comprehensive, I will try to include as many as possible. I've grouped these first by year and then by state. I've tried to limit the houses to examples that were specifically called out as a model house versus houses that were featured for one reason or another but were not open to the public to tour. If you know of other examples, feel free to share them in the comments so I can add them to the list! 

1928

Ohio
  • Bexley: Tarryton at 303 N Cassingham Rd

1929

Ohio

  • Silverton: Dover at 6777 Siebern Ave
  • Silverton: Willard at 6773 Siebern Ave

1930

Illinois
  • Rockford: Mitchell at 311 N Johnston Ave
Indiana
  • Centerville: Lewiston at 5180 W US 40 Highway
  • South Bend: Dover at 1316 E Calvert St
Michigan
  • Lansing (Delta Township): Maplewood (customized) at 623 Harriet Ave
Missouri
  • University City: Elmhurst at 7260 Northmoor Dr
New Jersey
  •  North Plainfield: Lewiston at 261 N Jackson St
New York
Ohio

1931 

Indiana
  • Munster: Wardway Yorkton at 1425 Ridge Rd (Yes, Sears built a house that matched a Wardway model for a model house!)
Michigan
  • Lansing: Maplewood (customized) at 919 Durant St
Washington DC
  • Bedford at 4923 Massachusetts Ave NW
Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee: Bellewood at 3707 S 19th St
  • Milwaukee: Custom design at 3757 S 19th St

1932

Illinois

1937

Wisconsin
  • West Allis: Custom design at S 76th St

1938

Pennsylvania
  • Glenshaw: Custom design at 105 W Glenn Ave

1939

Indiana
  • Indianapolis: Mayfield at 1509 N Gladstone Ave
  • Muncie: Amherst at 225 N Alden Rd
Kentucky
Michigan
New Jersey
  • Highland Park: Custom at 100 Woodbridge Ave
  • Raritan: Lynn at 8 Bell Ave
  • South River: Dover at 54 James St
New York
Pennsylvania

1940

Indiana
  • Indianapolis: Cape Cod at 5406 Shelby St
  • Indianapolis: Ellsworth at 5824 E Michigan St
  • Indianapolis: Lewiston at 8181 Rosemead Ln
  • Indianapolis: Wilmore at 4017 Brookville Rd
  • Rockford: Cape Cod at 2016 Ridge Ave
New Jersey

1941

Michigan
  • Lansing: Parkside at 2437 S Washington Ave
Pennsylvania
  • Bethlehem: Falmouth at 2129 Glendale Ave

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