April 18, 2012

Montgomery Ward Essex

121 W. Fremont, Arlington Heights

Wardway Essex from the 1925 catalog

Arlington Heights has a hidden treasure on Fremont Street--right across from the library. A one-and-a-half story California bungalow from the Montgomery Ward catalog--the Essex.

I never could have identified this one on my own. Author Rebecca Hunter had this in her master list of catalog home locations.

Gordon-Van Tine, a kit house company in Davenport Iowa, sold the exact same house and called it No. 504. (Gordon-Van Tine fulfilled all Montgomery Ward house orders.)  There was a Wardway Homes sales office in Arlington Heights, so I would guess that this house is from Wards, rather than Gordon-Van Tine.

The Essex was sold by Montgomery Ward in the years 1922-1929. The house on Fremont first appeared in the census and telephone directories in 1930 and was initially occupied by renters. 

The floor plan matches that of the Essex. 

In the Essex, the front door opens directly into the living room.

I could not dig up any information on the original owners. The only thing I found was this real estate ad from 1938, calling the house the "best buy in Arlington Heights". It was listed for $5,000.

There is only one Wardway Essex listed on the national database--this one in Arlington Heights.

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