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. Wards also called this house the Van Dyke in certain years. 
The house on Fremont first appeared in the census and telephone directories in 1930 and was initially occupied by renters. 

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

Original front door.

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.


Unknown said...

Hi there! I am the new owner of the 121 W Fremont Essex and love reading about the history of the house! Where did you find that ad from 1938? Can you give me any information on how I can get a copy of the ad and any more information on the house?

Thank you!!

Sears Homes of Chicagoland said...

The ad ran in the Daily Herald throughout August 1938 in the real estate section.

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