September 22, 2015

The Sears Whitehall--Not Your Everyday Kit House

The Whitehall is an American Foursquare that was sold by Sears for over a decade. Sadly, there are only a few Whitehalls left in the Chicago area.  

Lake Forest
Researcher Cindy Catanzaro recently was in the Chicago area, and we did a super-fast tour of Lake Forest, on a hunt for Sears houses. Our big discovery was a Sears Whitehall.

1203 Griffith Road, Lake Forest.

Sears Whitehall from the 1922 Modern Homes catalog.

You might think the Whitehall would be easily recognized by its two-story bay window. However, the Whitehall is a model that is often re-muddled over time, with residents enclosing the front porch and removing the bay windows on the lower floor. 

Based on the catalog illustration, I thought the Whitehall wold be a big, imposing house. It's not. It's only 22 feet wide and not particularly tall either.

The county says the Whitehall in Lake Forest was built in 1914, which is in the realm of possibility.  The house is a local landmark in Lake Forest.

Downers Grove

4706 Highland, Downers Grove.

The Downers Grove Whitehall is a rarity--it has the front porch intact!

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