Monday, April 18, 2016

Sears Elmhurst in Silver Spring, Maryland

As I previously shared in my post about the Sears mortgages of Montgomery County, one of the Sears houses that I located through mortgage records was a Sears Elmhurst. Similar to the Elmhursts I've authenticated in the New York City area, this house had a substantial mortgage of $11,000. The mortgage between Edwards D. Ford and Allen H. Gardner was recorded in September 1930 which means the house was likely constructed in either late 1930 or early 1931.

Allen H. Gardner was an well-known attorney in the Washington DC area with the firm of Morris, Pearce, Gardner and Pratt. He was also active in the effort to establish home rule government for Montgomery County, Maryland. Perhaps the story of Gardner's Sears Elmhurst being assembled from a kit inspired his law firm partner, George Morris. In the mid-1930s, Morris had a historic 1750s house in Massachusetts disassembled, shipped by six freight cars and reassembled in Washington DC, making it the oldest house in the city.

1515 Dale - Silver Spring, Maryland - Sears Elmhurst
Photo courtesy of Catarina Bannier
As you can see from the photo of the Sears Elmhurst in Silver Spring, this house includes all of distinctive elements of the Elmhurst model, all the way down to the decorative shutters on the first floor window.

First Floor Window Shutters

You can also see from the photo that the house appears to have been expanded beyond the original floor plan. Although we don't know the original layout of the house, the rear portion of the house was probably a later addition although you can see that an effort was made to match the Tudorbethan stylings of the original design. Overall, it's a fine example to add to the growing list of Sears Elmhurst houses.


  1. "Tudorbethan", eh?

    Great find, and interesting bit about the 1750s house :)

  2. Nice story and I never noticed those shutters before!