February 2, 2016

A 1910 Sears Avoca in Woodstock

This year I'm trying to focus on the old Sears houses in the Chicago area (pre-1914). The problem is that they are not easy to come by.

There is a Sears Avoca in Woodstock that was built in 1910. (If you've never been to Woodstock, it's an idyllic town where they shot the movie Groundhog Day.)

325 Ridgeland, Woodstock.

  
Sears Avoca.





The bay window in the front is gone, but it may not have been there originally. In the early days of the Modern Homes department, Sears sold the customer all the materials needed to build the house, but the lumber was not pre-cut. This meant that changes to the standard floor plan were easy to accommodate.

January 26, 2016

"The Sears House" in Chicago

5637 N.Nottingham, Chicago.

Sears Hamilton from the 1923 Modern Homes catalog.

Another shot of the house.


Neighbors in Norwood Park call this house "The Sears House". And the moniker is a correct one!

This picture-perfect, authenticated Sears Hamilton was built in the fall of 1927. Old-timers say they remember the building materials being delivered by truck to the site (in the Chicago area, Sears delivered materials by truck, rail, or boat).


The original owners were Elsie and Albert Sandrock. He was a bill collector for a utility company. Albert built the house with the help of his father, and they began work on Labor Day 1927.  Today, the house is still owned by the Sandrock family.








January 18, 2016

Sears Modern Home No. 111 in Itasca

Really old (1908-1913) Sears houses are rare finds in Chicago and its suburbs. 

Part of the reason is that Sears simply didn't sell as many kit houses in that time period, as the Modern Homes business was still getting off the ground. I think another reason is that houses built from 1908-1913 in the older suburbs tended to be located in areas that were part of of suburban downtown redevelopment efforts and were consequently razed. I've found pre-1913 Sears houses in places like the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago, Des Plaines, Woodstock, and now, Itasca.
 

516 N. Arlington Heights Road, Itasca.


Sears Modern Home No. 111 from the 1908 Modern Homes catalog. In the old days, the Sears homes had model numbers rather than names. Scan courtesy of Sears Archives.




Sears Modern Home No. 111 was offered in the first Sears Modern Homes catalog (1908). In later years Modern Home No. 111 was renamed the Chelsea. Sears sold this model all the way until 1924.

January 12, 2016

A Testimonial Montgomery Ward House in Barrington

314 W. Lincoln, Barrington.

The Montgomery Ward Newport from the 1930 catalog.


This authenticated Newport model from Montgomery Ward was built in the summer of 1930. The Newport was an English Cottage that was strikingly similar to the Sears Mitchell
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