October 21, 2014

The Sears Lexington, "a Style That Will be Popular for All Time"

627 Euclid, Glen Ellyn.

Sears Lexington from the 1923 Modern Homes catalog.

A closer look at the side of the house. The Lexington has massive cornice returns, a door to the balcony with a window crammed next to it, and two lil' windows astride the chimney.

The Lexington, a Colonial Revival, was one of Sears's highest priced models. Sears always placed it towards the front of its Modern Homes catalogs. "The Lexington was designed by an architect whose specialty is houses of the true colonial type. This is his masterpiece in a style that will be popular for all time."

October 14, 2014

Two Sears Houses Still Standing in Northbrook

Northbrook still has a couple Sears houses that have not fallen victim to the wrecking ball.

1607 Techny, Northbrook.

Sears Hamilton, from the 1923 Modern Homes catalog.

This Sears Hamilton is largely untouched after almost 90 years. It is lacking the living room fireplace, but homeowners had the option to leave it out.

October 7, 2014

The Only Sears Croydon Ever Built?

Normally I feature only kit houses in the Chicago area. However, I do make exceptions, and the house featured on the website today is a particularly rare Sears model.

Sears Homes of Chicagoland reader Jeff Alterman recently sent me some photos of Sears houses in his hometown of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. One of those photos was of a Sears Croydon model, and I believe this is the only one ever found.

42 Clunie Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Photo courtesy of Jeff Alterman.

The Sears Croydon, from the 1939 Modern Homes catalog.

The Croydon in real life does not look exactly like the catalog illustration. The projecting, asymmetrical catslide entrance bay does not match. The roofline on the front gable does not go all the way to the ground the way it appears in the illustration.

October 2, 2014

The Long, Strange Saga of Downers Grove and their Sears Homes

I am asked regularly about Downers Grove and their Sears houses. Many people are under the erroneous impression that Downers Grove is the town with the most Sears homes in the Chicago area. (Actually, it’s Elgin with about 210; Downers Grove has about 25 from what I can ascertain using Google Street View from my home office.)

How did Downers Grove get this unwarranted reputation as the epicenter for Sears homes? They have fewer than Lombard, Glen Ellyn, and other neighboring communities.
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