January 31, 2012

Wardway Sovereign

445 S. Pine, Arlington Heights.

The Sovereign model from the Wardway Homes catalog.

445 S Pine Ave, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Another view that matches the catalog illustration. Photo from Realtor site.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. was not the only player in the catalog home market. Montgomery Ward also sold "ready cut" homes under the Wardway Homes brand name.

The Montgomery Ward houses were manufactured by another kit home company--Gordon-Van Tine. Gordon-Van Tine often sold the exact same models in their own catalogs. The Wardway Sovereign was also known as the Gordon-Van Tine No. 704.

Without hard evidence, how do we know whether this house in Arlington Heights is from Montgomery Wards or Gordon-Van Tine? We do know that the Arlington Heights Realty Company on West Campbell St. was selling Wardway homes, so if I had to make a guess I would go with Montgomery Ward.

Wards offered wood siding as standard on the Sovereign model, but a customer could also choose a brick veneer. So the fact that the Arlington Heights home has a partial brick exterior does not mean it is not a Sovereign. You can see that the holders for the window flower boxes are still intact.

This house was built about 1930. In 1939, it was the home of H. S. and Mary Brown and their two children. Mr. Brown was a film distributor.

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