August 23, 2016

A Tale of Three Additions

How many times have you seen a beautiful old house ruined by an unsightly addition? It takes a lot of planning--and restraint--to design and build an addition that integrates seamlessly with the original house.

Let's examine three kit houses in Glen Ellyn that have additions and see how they were designed.

Sears Vallonia

408 Phillips, Glen Ellyn.




Sears Vallonia.


There's no doubt that this house is a Sears Vallonia. Original porch pillars, railings, exposed rafter tails.

But what's that at the top?

August 9, 2016

Sears Ardara in Elmhurst

266 N. Clinton, Elmhurst







Sears Ardara.





The Sears Ardara was a Colonial Bungalow with an "artistic" porch and trellises. First sold in 1919, the Ardara actually offered an attached garage as an option--I believe this was the earliest Sears model to do so.

July 26, 2016

This is the Way a Sears Winona is Supposed to Look

It's so refreshing when you come across a Sears bungalow that hasn't lost its original charm after 90 years. This Sears Winona in Aurora exemplifies why Sears houses were so popular with American consumers in the 1920's.

228 S. Commonwealth, Aurora. Photo from Realtor site.


Sears Winona.


Photo from Realtor site.

July 16, 2016

A Sunny Sears Sunbury

Some residents of Griffith, Indiana report that their house was originally from Sears. I believe this to be a Sears Sunbury model--with a different interior floor plan than what was shown in the catalogs.
 
417 S. Broad St., Griffith, IN. Photo from Realtor site.
Sears Sunbury from 1940.

Another angle from Google Streetview. You can see the unique roof line of the Sunbury in this shot. The attached garage appears to be original and that component was sold by Sears as an add-on. You can find it on other Sears houses throughout the area.
 
Sears sold the Sunbury from 1932 to about 1941, almost a decade, but for some reason, this is the only one that has been found to date. Sears said that the Sunbury was "an American development of the famous Cotswold cottages of England".

Now the Sunbury in Indiana has a reverse floor plan, which Sears would typically change at no cost. But the chimney has also moved locations which indicates a change to the interior layout.
 
The Sunbury normally has a pushed out front living room and a recessed front bedroom. The fireplace would be on the outside wall.

 
The living room is where the front bedroom is on the floor plan. The triple windows are on the left side of the house. The fireplace was moved because the living room was. Photo from Realtor site.


A dining room, which did not exist on the original floor plan, is now where the living room was supposed to be. Photo from Realtor site.

 

This Sunbury was built in the spring of 1941.  The original owners were Ervin A. and Clare Fiebelkorn. Ervin worked as an art teacher in the public schools. Ervin's brother was a carpenter, so he might have assisted with the home construction.





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