November 25, 2014

Sears Verona in Oak Park

H.F. Meacham of Oak Park sent a letter to Sears in 1921 regarding his experience buying an Honor Bilt home and how much money he saved by doing so.

Testimonial letter by H.F. Meacham of Oak Park, Illinois. Scan courtesy of Andrew Mutch.

Meacham included a photo with his letter. Meacham did not live in this house; his brother lived in the Sears Preston shown. Meacham lived in the Dutch Colonial next door.

Photo of "The Preston" that Meacham sent into Sears. Meacham actually lived in the house next door, marked with the arrow. Scan courtesy of Andrew Mutch.

Meacham's house at 906 Fair Oaks, Oak Park.

Sears Verona from the 1921 Modern Homes catalog. Not a lot of houses have a bay window in the bathroom.

A better photo, courtesy of the Cook County Assessor. The side porch was made into a sun room.

Dr. Hubert F. Meacham and his wife Genevieve had the house built in 1920 or early 1921. Dr. Meacham and his brother/neighbor (Dr. William C. Meacham) were both physicians. They served as team physicians for the Chicago Cardinals football team, the Chicago Blackhawks, and Hawthorne and Sportsman's Park race tracks.

Dr. Meacham and his wife sold the Verona in 1938 to a Dr. Palmer Good.

Ad from September 1938.

November 18, 2014

A White... er... Red Beauty in Oak Park

Kit home researcher Andrew Mutch was kind enough to share a Sears home testimonial from a poster he recently bought on eBay.

Testimonial letter by H.F. Meacham of Oak Park, Illinois. Scan courtesy of Andrew Mutch.

Photo of "The Preston" that Meacham sent into Sears. Only one shutter has been attached at this point. Scan courtesy of Andrew Mutch.


November 11, 2014

Kit Homes of Palatine

On a recent drive through Palatine, I spotted some kit houses from Sears Roebuck and Harris Brothers.

111 S. Benton, Palatine. This Sears Mansfield was built between 1930-1933.

The Sears Mansfield from the 1929 Brick Veneer Honor Bilt Homes catalog.

November 4, 2014

A Innovative English Tudor That Would Grow with Your Family

International Mill & Timber Co. of Michigan started selling Sterling Homes about 1915. In 1916 the company came up with the idea for an expandable kit house. This "delightful" Tudor Revival plan consisted of three separate units. You could buy all three at once, or build your house in stages.

The base unit was the Manse. It was a small 18' x 26' two-story house. It consisted of a living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms.

If you added the second central unit, the house was now called the Mansion. To add this second unit, the windows on the right side of the Manse were turned into doors. The living room in the Manse became a huge dining room.

The Manse on the left. The Mansion on the right. Those four windows on the Manse become doors on the combined floor plan.
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