June 30, 2015

The Sears Osborn--"Where Will You Find Its Equal?"

The Sears Osborn was a popular model for Sears and, in my opinion, one of their most attractive bungalows. It was moderately priced ("neither extreme nor extravagant", according to the catalog), had three porches (front, side and rear), and had gorgeous built-ins and woodwork inside. "Where will you find its equal?" asked the catalog.

You'll find Sears Osborns throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Sears sold the model from 1916 through 1929.

317 Hamilton, Elgin. This house was built in 1928 and it still has the original built-in radio.

Sears Osborn.

The Osborn as delivered was a one-story bungalow. Sears claimed it was designed in the Spanish Mission architectural style, but I think it has Japanese elements.

The house has a low-pitched roof with distinctive front and side porches. There is an upward sweep of the ridge boards on the roof--in the 1910's and 1920's this was sometimes called a "pug nose" gable. (One Sears home website uses a racist outdated architectural term to describe the Osborn's roof line; I'll stick with calling it a pug nose.)

You don't have a problem with the term "pug nose", do you? Photo courtesy of Gigi Swanson.

315 S. Summit, Villa Park. This house was built about 1923 by Henry Shepherd, an agent for a glove factory. 

That's not a Sears garage; it was built in 1933 to match the house. Photo courtesy of Debbie Krone.

Leaded glass from the Villa Park Osborn. Photo courtesy of Julie Larson.

1493 Maple, Des Plaines. This house was built in 1929. The original owner was Claran Fullmer, a teacher at Roosevelt High School in Chicago. The second story has been expanded, and the front door moved. Sorry about the pole. 

I found some great photos of the inside of a Sears Osborn in St. Marys, PA. 

How awesome is this? This Osborn was up for auction in 2014. Photo courtesy of Higgenbotham Auctioneers.

The bookcases with the leaded glass were standard. Photo courtesy of Higgenbotham Auctioneers.

722 Grant, Joliet. I have this house labeled in my files as "Mystery House". Is this house from Sears or did a builder just steal the porch style from the Osborn? The house was built in 1922 and it is adjacent to the railroad tracks. The house is not an Osborn, but we can say it's the Osborn's bigger brother. Photo courtesy of Realtor site.


SearsHouseSeeker said...

Such wonderful photos! It's always a treat to see a beautiful interior, along with these great exterior photos. I guess I can see where the "Mission Style" moniker comes from, for the bottom half of the house, but it clearly has that Far-Eastern, Tibetan Buddhist Temple look in the top half.

Great reporting, Lara!

Anonymous said...

OMG, I just learned that the house I just bought was a Sears Catalog house, the Osborn! It's in Suffolk, VA and still has a lot of the same architectural elements. I'm so excited!

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