October 12, 2012

A Sears Kilbourne--Built in 2004

A question I am commonly asked is whether anyone is building Sears homes today. I haven't come across any new Sears homes in the Chicago area, but there is one in Pleasanton, California. 

In 2004, Emil and Marjorie Oxsen built a house based on the Sears Kilbourne from the 1921 Modern Homes catalog.


370 Peters, Pleasanton, CA. Photo courtesy of the Pleasanton Heritage Association.





In 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle featured an article on the house.

The 2-bedroom, 1-bath bungalow is 1,200 square feet. The Oxsens worked with local builder Bob Byrd, but Emil Oxsen did much of the work himself to keep the costs down. The house cost less than $200,000 to build in 2004 (compared to the cost of a new Sears Kilbourne in 1921 which was $2,785).

The Oxsens did make some modifications to the original Kilbourne layout. They enlarged the kitchen, bathroom, and closets. They also added a laundry room and a breakfast nook.

The Oxsen's house is lovely, but how many people are willing to build a 1,200 square foot house today, especially in a high-priced real estate market like northern California?

If you're interested in seeing some genuine Sears Kilbournes in our area, there are a few still standing in Park Ridge.


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