Friday, March 25, 2016

Lewis Stuyvesant in Yonkers, New York

Catalog image of Lewis Stuyvesant
Image courtesy of
My discovery of mortgages for Lewis houses in Yonkers, New York led me to several examples of Lewis kit houses. One of the houses is a Lewis Stuyvesant. The Stuyvesant was a large Dutch Colonial Revival model that was offered by Lewis in the early 1920s. The earliest catalog I've found that includes the Stuyvesant is from 1920. I have also seen it in the 1922 and 1924 catalogs that are available at and it's listed in the index for the 1925 catalog, which is the last year that Lewis featured most of the larger models in their catalogs. Starting in 1926, the catalogs from Lewis featured their "Liberty" line of homes that were primarily smaller, unadorned models that were sold on the basis of their affordability. It appears that there was no room in the Lewis product line for these grand houses that competed with the larger models offered by Sears and other kit house competitors.

This Lewis Stuyvesant is located at 77 Crestwood in Yonkers, NY. As you can see from this exterior view, the house still retains many of the original elements visible in the catalog image.

77 Crestwood - Yonkers, NY - Lewis Stuyvesant
Image courtesy of Bing Maps

The Stuyvesant was a fairly large house with a distinctive arrangement on the front with two sets of triple windows on both the first and second floors. Although hard to see in current day photos of the house, those windows are clearly visible in this historical photo of the house.

77 Crestwood - Yonkers, NY - Lewis Stuyvesant
Image courtesy of City of Yonkers
As you can see from the floor plans for the house, the first floor of the Stuyvesant had large open rooms on either side of a entry hall. A staircase led to the second floor, which featured a relatively large bathroom and three spacious bedrooms.

Catalog image of First Floor Floorplan - Lewis Stuyvesant (1922)
Image courtesy of
Catalog image of Second Floor Floorplan - Lewis Stuyvesant (1922)
Image courtesy of
A mortgage between "Bay City Lewis Homes" and Carl and Lottie Koch was filed in September 1924 for $1,675. According to this ad from the New York Times from October, 1923, "Bay City Lewis Homes" would finance up to 90% of the cost of purchasing and building the house.

Image of Ad for Lewis Homes - October 14, 1923 - New York TimesImage courtesy of
However, it doesn't appear that the purchasers in Yonkers financed their homes to that high of a percentage. Instead, the mortgages were roughly 1/3 the amount I've seen for comparable sized houses that were financed through Sears. It's unclear if the Kochs lived in this house. But the 1926 City Directory for Yonkers, New York lists Joseph Allen living at 77 Crestwood. The 1930 Census lists the residents as Joseph and Bessie Allen and their two sons and values their Lewis Stuyvesant at $15,000.

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