October 17, 2017

The Surprising Sears House That Became a Unicorn

The surprising Sears Bryant was sold in 1938 and 1939. This design was revolutionary and dramatically different from any other model Sears sold. The Bryant was the first (and last) International style house that Sears Roebuck ever offered.



The International style is simple and industrial. The Sears Bryant has many characteristics of that style, including:
  • a box shape
  • a flat roof (that screams modern!)
  • an asymmetrical facade
  • unornamented walls (the Bryant has a mostly brick facade, however; most International style houses have smooth exterior walls)
  • large windows in banks
  • cantilevered porch overhangs over the exterior doors

October 3, 2017

From Old Madrid in Sunny Spain... the Wardway Barcelona

Montgomery Ward Barcelona.


The Barcelona from Montgomery Ward was one of the Spanish Revival style kit houses sold in the late 1920's. It featured:

  • a stucco wall surface 
  • a decorative tile vent
  • narrow casement windows
  • no overhanging eaves
  • an arch above the porch entry

A tile roof was also typical of Spanish Revival houses. Montgomery Ward couldn't offer a tile roof and keep the price at $1645.  However, they recommended that customers stain the cedar roof shingles red, for a slight additional cost.

3335 Phillips, Steger. Photo courtesy of  Jill Grusak.


This sweet Wardway Barcelona is in Steger.  Clearly this Barcelona has a brick facade, not stucco, but brick was an exterior option on most Wardway models.  The brick makes the house look less Spanish, but it's recognizable as a Barcelona even today.


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