May 26, 2015

A Sears House with Proof of Provenance

It is unusual for an owner of a Sears house to have proof of its provenance--that is, hard evidence that the house originated from a catalog. After 90-100 years, typically all paperwork and receipts from Sears have been lost or discarded.

There is a Sears Americus currently for sale in Lafayette, Indiana, that comes with the original blueprints, materials lists, and correspondence from Sears. Thanks to homeowner Ryan Russell and his girlfriend Gene Ann Fausett, I am able to share this rare documentation with you!

Let's start with the house itself. (All photos courtesy of Ryan Russell.)

A twilight shot of 23 N 19th St, Lafayette, Indiana.

The Sears Americus. 

The house in Lafayette has a reversed floor plan from the catalog image. Typically, Sears would not charge extra to provide reversed plans.

May 19, 2015

Eet Resembles un Sears Château

The French-influenced Sears Chateau was sold only during the Depression (1934 and 1935), and only a couple of these houses have been identified. I might have found one in Riverside.

323 Southcote, Riverside.

Sears Chateau.

An identifying feature of the Chateau is the panels under the front windows.

May 12, 2015

An Unrecognizable Sears Hillsboro

626 Western, Glen Ellyn.

Sears Hillsboro, from the 1936 catalog.

When I first saw this house in Glen Ellyn, a couple features jumped out at me:
  • A batten front door with a nine-pane window.
  • Original diamond muntin windows.
  • A fragment on the right side of  the house that appears to be left over from a cat slide roof. 
I wondered, could this be a Sears Hillsboro?

Luckily, I uncovered a photo of the house before the disfigurement renovations.

Photo courtesy of the Village of Glen Ellyn.


A great match! The catalog illustration of the Hiilsboro showed a more severe, pointier front gable than the Hillsboros had in real life.

May 5, 2015

And Buyers Complain That Old Houses are too Small

I see many bizarre houses when I'm driving around taking photos of Sears houses. But this particular residence in Deerfield takes the cake.

970 Chestnut St., Deerfield.


May I introduce the "Skinny House" of Deerfield? This is one of the thinnest houses in the world. The house is three feet wide at one point.

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