Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sears Parkridge in Katonah, New York

6 Nightingale Rd - Katonah, NY
Sears Parkridge
Image courtesy of Zillow
"Houses by Mail" by H. Ward Jandl and Katherine H. Stevenson is the go-to book for Sears catalog house researchers. Published in 1986, it includes an image of almost every house that Sears sold through their mail order catalogs from 1908 - 1940. But due to the lack of availability of a few catalogs back in 1986, not every model made it into the book. One of the missing models is the Parkridge. Recently, while looking for Sears houses with mortgages in Westchester County, New York, I came across a very nice example of the Sears Parkridge and was able to identify it myself. Let's take a look!

Because it's not in "Houses by Mail", the first few times I came across the Parkridge, I had to go to my research group on Facebook to remind me about this model. The Parkridge appears in two of the original Sears "Modern Homes" catalogs that I own covering 1930 and 1931. Our group of researchers has had some lively debates about what time periods these catalogs cover. What we've learned over the years is that Sears often put out more than one catalog per year and different catalogs for different regions. Some models may have appeared in one area of the county but not another. In any case, the Parkridge was offered for only a relatively short period of time and when Sears rolled out the 1932 catalog, the Parkridge had been cut from the line up of homes.

Catalog image of Sears Parkridge (1930)
Image courtesy of Cindy Catanzaro
Despite its short run during a time when kit homes sales were starting to fall off as the Great Depression deepened, over 15 examples can be found on the national database of Sears homes. Several of these examples have been authenticated with mortgages. But once you've seen the Parkridge a couple times, it has some distinctive elements that make it fairly easy to identify. The  Parkridge in Katonah, New York is one of the nicer examples of this house that I've seen. A comparison to the images available from Google Streetview show that the home has recently been spiffed up for its Zillow listing.

The front of the Parkridge includes three distinct elements:

1. Twin entry gables with entry set back a couple of feet
2. Roundtop front door
3. Vent over paired living room windows
4. Cornice returns
5. Window shutters

Over time, these elements can disappear through residing and remodeling. But the Parkridge in Katonah still has all five!

6 Nightingale Rd - Katonah, NY - Sears Parkridge
Image courtesy of Zillow
Notice on the right hand side how the side wall of the front entrance doesn't extend all the way to the side of the house? It's a small detail but it's details like that which can help you separate the real deals from the wanna-bes.

The floorplan for the house shows that setback as well as the various rooms and window locations. When we are identifying houses, we look for windows to appear in the same location as in the floorplan.

Catalog image of Sears Parkridge (1930)
Image courtesy of Cindy Catanzaro
Again, over time, windows get replaced or covered up. We see an example of this in the side view. We expect to see a paired window for the front bedroom, a single window for the bathroom and a single window for the back bedroom.

6 Nightingale Rd - Katonah, NY - Sears Parkridge
Image courtesy of Zillow
From this view, you can see where the catalog image shows a full size window for the bathroom, it now sports a smaller window. If the bathtub is still in the original location, you can see why a homeowner seeking more privacy might seek this arrangement. Also, more cornice returns!

Although we can't see the other side of the house as well, we can see the arrangement of a single window in the living room with paired windows in the dining room and kitchen.

6 Nightingale Rd - Katonah, NY - Sears Parkridge
Image courtesy of Zillow
Finally, this real estate listing gives us a view of the rear of the house. We can see that it matches up to the floor plan. We don't often get to see the rear view of the houses but for some models, it's important to match up the layout of the back of the house to confirm our identification.

6 Nightingale Rd - Katonah, NY - Sears Parkridge
Image courtesy of Zillow
While the Parkridge is a relatively modest house, it has some distinctive elements that make it stand out from other houses of its size from the early 1930s. This Parkridge has an attractive interior too. Check out the Zillow listing to see more photos from inside the house. Cindy Catanzaro shared a nice example from Cincinnati, Ohio. Know of an example of the Parkridge or any other local Sears houses? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Another great find for you! And you're right. I'll bet there are more out there.......somewhere.....