July 27, 2021

I Do Take Requests... Here's Highland, Indiana

Sears Homes of Chicagoland reader Traci asked if I could feature a Sears house in her town of Highland, Indiana.

U.S. Steel Corporation founded the city of Gary in 1906, and the population of Northwest Indiana began growing rapidly. Highland was incorporated in 1910, soon after Gary. 

Many builders and homeowners in Northwest Indiana turned to Sears Roebuck for building materials and kit houses. 
The vast majority of Sears houses in the state of Indiana are in Lake County, and Highland itself has 15 of them still standing.

I am going to spotlight a Sears Parkside in Highland.

8827 Carolina, Highland IN. Photo from Realtor site.

 

Sears Parkside from the 1940 Modern Homes catalog.

 

Photo from Realtor site. The Parkside had a side "service door". Photo from Realtor site.
 

Closeup of the original Sears front door. Capture from Google Streetview.
 

 


Hilarious catalog copy from the 1940 Modern Homes catalog. Four windows?!
 

There have been no additions to the Parkside in Highland. The only change they made to the original floorplan was combining the breakfast nook and the kitchen into one room.
 


Photo from Realtor site.


Photo from Realtor site.


Photo from Realtor site.


The two bedrooms in the Parkside were identically sized. Photo from Realtor site.


Photo from Realtor site.


Photo from Realtor site.

 
Elgin Tomorrow door hardware, sold by Sears.



I believe the original owners were Stephen and Barbara Verosik, and the Parkside was built in late 1940. They were Hungarian immigrants, and Stephen worked for--you guessed it--a steel mill. 







July 13, 2021

A Sears Westly in Downers Grove

1905 Curtiss, Downers Grove. Photo from Realtor site.

 

Sears Westly.


 Photo from Realtor site.

 

The Sears Westly is a Craftsman bungalow sold from 1912-1930. The house features grouped wooden pillars, decorative railings, a balcony on the front dormer, an asymmetrical roofline, and exposed rafter tails under wide eaves.

There is a large addition off the back, but the original house layout is basically the same. Photo from Realtor site.

 

Photo from Realtor site.

 

The Westly floor plan changed in 1925 with significant differences from earlier versions. The house in Downers Grove has had two modifications to the original first floor plan--the pantry was changed into a washroom and the wall between the living room and the music room has been removed. 



The center entry and hall closet. Living room is on the right; dining room is on the left. Photo from Realtor site.



This is the merged living room and music room. The fireplace and window above it are new additions, Photo from Realtor site.


That is an original leaded glass window from Sears facing the front porch, but you can't see the detail because of the window treatments. Photo from Realtor site.


The kitchen and the family room addition. Photo from Realtor site.


One of the cool things about the Westly floor plan of 1925 is that all three bedrooms have walk-in closets (and one bedroom has two!). 

 

Photo from Realtor site.
 

Photo from Realtor site.

 
This is the bedroom that has access to the second floor porch. Photo from Realtor site.



The Westly in Downers Grove was built in 1925. John Szydlowski got a mortgage from Sears Roebuck for $5,000.




June 29, 2021

Three Sears Kit Homes in Lansing

I am sometimes accused of neglecting certain Chicago neighborhoods or suburbs. Sometimes, it's not intentional neglect--just a matter of where I have visited recently and whether I had time to get house photos.

A few Sears Homes of Chicagoland readers requested that I cover more Sears catalog homes in Lansing. I haven't had a chance to visit Lansing lately, but luckily there have been a few Sears homes for sale with photos online. Let's take a look!


Sears Vallonia in Lansing @ Sears Homes of Chicagoland
18234 Burnham, Lansing. This is the Sears house in Lansing everyone knows about. Photo from Realtor site.



Sears Vallonia @ Sears Homes of Chicagoland
Sears Vallonia.



Sears Conway in Lansing @ Sears Homes of Chicagoland
3119 180th St., Lansing. Those are the original brackets. Photo from Realtor site.



Sears Conway @ Sears Homes of Chicagoland
Sears Conway.



Sears Rochelle in Lansing @ Sears Homes of Chicagoland
18135 Oakwood Ave., Lansing. Is this a Sears Rochelle? The owners say it is a Sears house. Build date of 1930 is right and a lot of little details match.  The interior doors have door hardware that looks like a style sold by Sears. A good sign! Photo from Realtor site. 



Sears Rochelle @ Sears Homes of Chicagoland
Sears Rochelle. Scan courtesy of Daily Bungalow.






Do you want to see a house in your town featured on Sears Homes of Chicagoland? Email me!