September 23, 2014

The Beauty of Verona (the House, That Is)

6800 N. Oriole, Chicago.

Sears Verona from the 1924 Modern Homes catalog.

The Sears Verona is a big, beautiful Dutch Colonial Revival. The plan is traditional, with a formal reception hall, large rooms, and bay windows.  Sears said in its catalog that the Verona was "built many times in exclusive suburbs of New York, Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and other large cities. This proves it is no experiment." 

The architect of the Verona is M. Walter, according to the building permit. I couldn't find out much about him except that his office was at 127 N. Dearborn. 

The design of the Verona changed over the years. Early incarnations featured a bay window in the bathroom on the second story (above the front door).

This Verona in Edison Park was built in the summer of 1924. It's surprising that there is a Verona in the Chicago city limits.The house is almost 45 feet wide--well beyond the typical city lot size. This Verona sits on a huge oversized  lot. The original windows were replaced and the original wood siding was removed and replaced with Hardie board. The original hood over the front door has been lost and the side porch has been enclosed.

Despite the exterior changes, the interior of this house still matches up to many of the catalog illustrations.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.


Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

I believe the original homeowners were George M. Wright and his wife, Ruth. He was a salesman of stocks and bonds, according to the census. They sold the house around 1934 and moved to Lockport.

By 1935, the house was owned by Dr. Kinsey O. English ans his wife, Marzuela. After Kinsey's death, Marzuela lived in the house until her death in 1977.

Still More Veronas!

2815 Colfax, Evanston. This version of the Verona has the bay window in the second floor bathroom. Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

66 Euclid, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. The porch overhang is a standard Sears part that was typically sold with the Sears Martha Washington model. Photo courtesy of Jeff Alterman.

September 20, 2014

Harris Brothers Roselle

110 N. Prospect Manor Ave., Mount Prospect

Harris Brothers Roselle from 1928.

Yet another Roselle model from Harris Brothers, with an added dormer. Harris Brothers had a sales office in Des Plaines, so that explains why there are so many of their houses built in this area.

Is this an original garage from Harris Brothers? Sure looks like it.

The building permit for the house was issued in September 1927. This would make it one of the first houses built in the Prospect Manor subdivision. The first owners were Valentine Frank Weber and his wife, Florence. Valentine was a land surveyor for the village.

The Webers moved out in 1949 and sold to the H. J. Nieman family.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

This Dutch Colonial was recently listed for sale as a "charming Sears and Roebuck kit home in Deerfield, IL."

Unfortunately, it's not from Sears, Roebuck.

834 Forest Avenue, Deerfield.

Harris Home No. 2012 from the 1923 catalog.

The house is a perfect match to model No. 2012 from Harris Brothers. (The name changed later to the Richmond.) The exterior dimensions, 32x24, precisely match the dimensions of the Harris home. The floor plans are also identical.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

The house was built sometime between 1922 and 1929 by George and Ida Stanger. George was a foreman for North Shore Gas. He was also a village trustee.

Harris Homes No. 2012 was on sale in January 1926 for $2695. 

George and Ida first moved to Deerfield in 1907. In 1933 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the house. George died in 1939 and Ida died in 1946.

George and Ida both came from pioneering families.

George's father, Daniel Stanger, was born in 1810. He walked from Warren, Pennsylvania to Illinois in 1834 to establish residence as one of the first white settlers in Wheeling.

Ida's grandfather, John George Rockenbach, came to live in Deerfield in 1841. His family and four other families journeyed from Chicago that year in search of farm lands. The Rockenbachs settled on land near the Des Plaines River and built a log cabin. At that time, most residents of Deerfield were Native Americans. It took six hours to reach Chicago using horse and wagon. The Deerfield Area Historical Society has a collection of information about the Rockenbach family.

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

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