With its original detailing, the Westly looks like a Swiss chalet. It has grouped wooden pillars, decorative railings, a balcony on the front dormer, an asymmetrical roof line, and exposed rafter tails under wide eaves.
Unfortunately, over time, many of the Westlys had those details unceremoniously removed. In many cases, the top balcony has been removed and the wide front porch has been enclosed. These changes turn the Westly into a bland single dormer bungalow.
In the catalogs, Sears succinctly stated that the Westly was: "Built everywhere. Every customer satisfied." They were right about that--a Westly can be found in almost every Chicago suburb. Today we'll feature five nice examples.
|3917 Johnson, Western Springs. Photo from Realtor site.|
|The Westly was a center entry house. That cutout is not original. Photo from Realtor site.|
|A unique feature of the Westly is a corner fireplace in the dining room. Photo from Realtor site.|
|One of the Westly floor plans from the 1923 Modern Homes catalog. You can see the corner fireplace in the dining room. The Westly also had a first floor library/music room.|
|The upstairs bedroom that shows the door that leads out to the sleeping porch. Photo from Realtor site.|
|1905 Curtiss, Downers Grove. This house has the original railings, pillars, and brackets.|
|28W355 Main Street, Warrenville. Photo from Realtor site.|
|11960 S Keeler, Alsip. Photo from Realtor site.|
|5919 W. Elm St., Berkeley. This house is an authentic Sears Westly that was verified from stamped lumber. Photo courtesy of Jan and Greg Montalbano.|
We don't know who the architect of the Westly was. The model may have been based on a farmhouse designed by Gustav Stickley.