September 1, 2015

A Sears Maytown in Distress

There is an old Sears Maytown for sale in Naperville that is in rough shape, and I'm afraid it soon may be a victim of a tear down.

32 S. Columbia Ave., Naperville. Photo from Realtor site.

Sears Maytown. The Maytown was a popular early model for Sears. It is a Queen Anne style, which was a holdover from the late 19th century.

 
I believe this house was built between 1912-1914 and that the original owners were Charles and Juniata Shumaker. Charles was a foreman for the Kroehler Manufacturing Company. Juniata lived into the house until her death in 1942.

 Photo from Realtor site.



 Photo from Realtor site.




 The front parlor. Photo from Realtor site.



 Photo from Realtor site.



 The house retains the original front door. Photo from Realtor site.



The dining room. Photo from Realtor site.



 Photo from Realtor site.



 Photo from Realtor site.



The front bedroom with the turret windows. Photo from Realtor site.






Update!
I heard from the new owner, Mark Urda. He is renovating the Maytown and here's the progress from the outside.

Photo courtesy of Mark Urda.


Photo courtesy of Mark Urda.


Photo courtesy of Mark Urda.


Photo courtesy of Mark Urda.










5 comments:

Mark Urda said...

Property was purchased and has completed first phase of repair and update. Please feel free to contact me to learn more the current status
and future plans for our lovely May town.

Lara Solonickne said...

Mark, excited to hear from you. Congrats!

Kit House Hunters said...

Great to see an old house coming back to life!

artworks said...

The home where I grew up in Westminster, Colorado was built in 1910 by Ellsworth Horne, the Dean of Westminster University, a beautiful castle like building with a large campus, that was designed in the late 1800's, and opened early 20th century as a coed college, to be known as the "Princeton of the West". The Dean liked the design of a nearby home called the O'Gorman House, that was used as a boarding home for students of the University, that he had one built for his family. Both homes were built in 1910.
My grandparents bought the home in 1927 that the Dean built, and my family has owned it ever since. I was always intrigued by the house down the street, for it's looks and historical significance. Twelve or so years ago, an acquaintance of mine purchased this house, and I researched it and felt it was a Sears Maytown. The city of Westminster recognized it for it's historical presence at a council meeting, and a Sears representative was also present.
I had noticed the similarity of our home to this home for several years, and according to the Sears Maytown floor plan, our house had an almost identical floor plan, minus the front turret, and different placement of a side bay window. What really stood out to me was each room in our home was longer and wider by two feet.
I assumed that Dean Horne just added more material for a larger house to accommodate his family, and probably stockpiled the material that would have been used for the missing turret. This summer, I introduced myself to the new owner of the O'Gorman Home. He was aware of the home's history, but said he believed it was a Harris Home, due to the different roof turret design, and information from other catalogue researchers. Looking at a description of a Harris J-6 home, which has an almost identical floor plan to the Sears home, a note on the page referred to a J-16 house that had two foot longer and wider dimensions in each room, thus possibly explaining the larger size of our home. Therefore, I am fairly certain that both homes were manufactured by Harris, not Sears. I will have to update our Westminster Historical Society of my research.

Lara Solonickne said...

The Sears Maytown was first offered in the 1911 Modern Homes catalog. If the Colorado house was built in 1910, it's not a Maytown. For more information on the Harris J-6:

http://www.sears-homes.com/2014/07/the-leader-harris-home-no-j-6.html

The Harris model was first sold in 1907.

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