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.

730 Peters Ave., Pleasanton, CA. Photo from Google Streetview.

Sears Kilbourne. Scan courtesy of Sears Houses in Cincinnati.

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 the Chicago area, there are a few still standing in Park Ridge, Lombard, Elmhurst, Elgin, and St. Charles.


Unknown said...

I own an original 1923 Killbourne in Ohio. It is such an amazing piece of history.

Sears Homes of Chicagoland said...

Hi, Sandy! If you want to email me your address, I can enter your Kilbourne in the national database, if it's not already there. We have 18 in Ohio, the majority in the Cincinnati area. Thanks for writing! lara@sears-homes.com

Unknown said...

we live in a kilbourne in sugarloaf, Pa.

Sears Homes of Chicagoland said...

Hi, we know of two Sears houses in Sugarloaf, but not yours! You can email me with your address and we can put you on the national database of Sears homes. lara@sears-homes.com Also, I'm doing a post on the Kilbournes in the Chicago area that will go live on this site January 7!

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