December 12, 2017

The Top 5 Articles of 2017

Once again the holiday season is approaching and with it, the end of another year. You saw a lot of houses on Sears Homes of Chicagoland in 2017, but these were the most popular.

Five Most Viewed Articles

1    The Waltons -- In this article, we saw a couple examples of the sunny Sears Walton. The reason it came out on top was because it was shared on Facebook by actress Kami Cotler, who played Elizabeth Walton on The Waltons.

Remember Kami?

2    There's a First Time for Everything -- It seemed to me that all the people who purchased kit homes were white. Until I started looking in Evanston.

3    Secret Rooms Did Not Come Standard -- We reveal an adorable secret playroom in a Sears house in Elmhurst.

4    Introducing the Sears Malden -- There has been one Sears Malden identified in the United States to date--and it's in Rockford.

5    A Sears Osborn That Will Make You Say "Wow" -- Was it the Buzzfeed-esque headline that drew readers to this article, or the fact that the house was stunning inside and out?

We invite you to join us in 2018 and see even more Sears homes in Chicagoland. Happy Holidays!

4812 Elm St., Downers Grove. Photo courtesy of Catherine Barnett.

Sears Conway.

For the Sears house connection to "A Christmas Story", click here!

November 28, 2017

A Happy Ending for a 1950's Sears House

We're closing a chapter in the research of Sears kit homes, which were sold from 1908 to 1942. The original owners of the homes are gone now. It's 2017, and most of the children who were raised in the homes and remember them being built are gone as well. Soon we will lose all firsthand accounts of where the Sears houses are located.

So it's unusual for me to get a report from someone who remembers a Sears Honor-Bilt house being purchased and constructed.  Luckily, there have been a handful of houses I have discovered this way--a Sears Cape Cod in Arlington Heights, a Sears Skywater in Crystal Lake, a Sears Stanford in Painesville, Ohio.

However, I often hear from people who said they were raised in a Sears house built in the 1950's. How is that possible?

After WWII, Sears sold a line of homes called Homart Homes. Unlike the Sears pre-cut kit houses of the past, Homart Homes were mostly prefabricated. They consisted of factory-built wall panels with windows and doors already installed. Roof gables, front door canopies, roof panels, and basement stairs were also pre-assembled at the factory.

Edward and Lorraine Fik bought a Homart Home in 1951 and built it in Oakbrook Terrace. Today, that house was preserved and is the home of the Oakbrook Terrace Historical Society.


17W245 16th St. Oakbrook Terrace. Photo courtesy of the Oakbrook Terrace Historical Society.

1950 ad showing the Fiks' model. They had the six-room floor plan.

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