Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Berkley, Michigan Kit House Tour - September 30, 2023

Here's your chance to tour a half dozen kit houses in person! Six homes from Sears, Aladdin and Montgomery Ward will be open to tour. Berkley, Michigan is home to over 50 kit houses so there will be plenty more to see along the way. Advance tickets are $25 and can be ordered online

Friday, March 31, 2023

Sears Clyde in Northville, Michigan

The "Sears" Clyde was a popular model for Sears Roebuck. First introduced in 1920, it continued to appear in the "Modern Homes" catalog through 1929. There are over 200 examples of this model in the National Database of Sears Homes, testifying to both its popularity and distinctive design. This example of the "Clyde" is located in Northville, Michigan and it was one of the first Sears houses I located in the city thanks to its distinctive Craftsman-style elements. It's a good example of what to look for when identifying the "Clyde" model. Let's take a look! 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Sears Langston in The Bronx, New York City, New York

In January, I shared an example of a Sears "Rodessa" that was built in New York City, specifically in The Bronx. I wanted to share another example from The Bronx, this time a larger two story model, the "Langston". This house helps highlight some of the ways that we're able to track down Sears houses built in New York City. It also highlights some of the challenges in finding  and identifying homes that in some cases were built over 100 years ago! Let's take a look! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Where are the Sears Houses - February 2023 Edition

Sears Americus - Temple, PA
It's been about 3 months since the last update of "Where are the Sears Houses?" With the winter weather and the holidays, the pace of discoveries slowed down a bit compared to the last two updates but not by much! Over the past 7 months, we've added over 1,500 new houses to the National Database of Sears Homes. It's been a pretty impressive pace. We'll see if we can keep it going into 2023. Meanwhile, let's see what all these new houses have done to the line up of places where Sears houses have been located. Let's take a look! 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Sears Rodessa in The Bronx, New York City, New York

One of the last places that most people would think to find Sears houses is in New York City. "New York City?!" Yes, the home of skyscrapers, subways, brownstones and Central Park is also home to Sears houses - almost 150 of them identified to date. While many of us picture Times Square as the quintessential New York City setting, the reality is that New York City is a geographically big city - over 300 square miles in size. Large swaths of the city were developed as the "suburbs" of the high rises of Manhattan, particularly during the years when kit houses were most popular, and on these streets, we've found quite a few Sears houses. Let's take a look! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Aladdin Pomona in Wheatland, Wyoming

Before this month, the national database of Aladdin houses didn't include any houses in Wyoming. We knew that houses (and garages and a barn!) had been sold to customers in Wyoming from the years of the sales index that we've reviewed. But no specific houses had been located either from searches based on the sales index or in searches we've done looking for houses from other kit house companies (it's not unusual to run across houses from one company while you're looking for houses from another). But that changed when I started looking specifically for houses in Wyoming that were listed on the sales index. While I didn't find all the houses on the list, I found several including an Aladdin Pomona in Wheatland, Wyoming. Let's take a look! 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Aladdin Pomona in Fenton, Michigan

Back in 2016, while doing research for a kit house presentation at the Jack R. Winegarden Library in Fenton, Michigan, I came across this house in Fenton at 894 North Leroy Street which looked to be an Aladdin "Pomona". I took some pictures of the house to include in the presentation and added it to our national list of Aladdin homes. At the time, I didn't have any reason to think that it wasn't a Pomona. But without any information to confirm that it was one, I couldn't authenticate it as the real deal. This is often the case with houses that we find "in the wild". But recently, I had the good fortune of being able to confirm its authenticity. Let's take a look! 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Aladdin Pilgrim in Le Roy, New York

January has been a good month for finding Aladdin homes. After I finished documenting the Aladdin homes in the Cabbagetown neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, I returned to searching for homes on the Aladdin sales index. So far, I've found over 20 Aladdin homes in states across the country. Those have included both popular models like the "Pomona" and lesser known models like the "Norwood". This Aladdin "Pilgrim" in Le Roy, New York is one of those homes that I found. Let's take a look!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Making Lists - January 2023

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my kit house-related projects is contributing to a national database of Sears catalog and kit houses. As I shared in 2016, the database grew out of the need to have a centralized listing of Sears houses. Started 10 years ago in January 2013, the Sears database has grown to almost 16,000 documented homes with over 40% of those authenticated through various methods. 

While the Sears database is the largest in number of homes, it's not the only database we're working on. Just as there was a need to document houses from Sears, the same is true for homes from the other major kit house manufacturers. We now have databases for 9 regional and national kit house companies. Let's take a look!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

The Aladdin Kit Homes of "Cabbagetown" - Atlanta, Georgia

Happy New Year loyal kit house readers! I thought I would start off the year by sharing one of my more interesting discoveries from 2022 - a collection of Aladdin homes built in 1919 in Atlanta, Georgia. Located in Atlanta's "Cabbagetown" neighborhood, these are the first documented examples of Aladdin homes I've been able to locate in the city of Atlanta (and the first kit houses I've found in the state of Georgia). These homes represent a side of the kit house story that isn't often told - homes sold not to individual homeowners but to companies seeking to provide housing for their workers. Let's take a look!