October 7, 2014

The Only Sears Croydon Ever Built?

Normally I feature only kit houses in the Chicago area. However, I do make exceptions, and the house featured on the website today is a particularly rare Sears model.

Sears Homes of Chicagoland reader Jeff Alterman recently sent me a list of Sears houses in his hometown of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. One of those houses was of a Sears Croydon model. It is the only Croydon listed on the national database of Sears homes and the only one identified to date. 

42 Clunie Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Photo from Realtor site.

The Sears Croydon, from the 1939 Modern Homes catalog.

The Croydon in real life does not look exactly like the catalog illustration. The projecting, asymmetrical catslide entrance bay does not match. The roofline on the front gable does not go all the way to the ground the way it appears in the illustration.

An undated photo of the Croydon, where you can see the original side porch and a better view of the catslide. Photo courtesy of Hastings-on-Hudson.

The Croydon was sold only in 1939 and 1940. This Croydon in New York was built in 1940 by Charles Hegenauer and his family. Charles was an engineer for the Burndy Engineering Company of Norwalk, Connecticut. 

This house is an authentic Sears Croydon, and the original construction notes state that the building materials were delivered as needed over a three-month period.

Charles died in 1977, and his widow, Anna, lived in the house until at least 1993.

The Hegenauers in 1970.

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