Thursday, December 10, 2020

Model Homes - Sears Roebuck

Sears Maplewood
Lansing, Michigan
Image courtesy of
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!