February 21, 2017

A Clandestine Sears Newark

Even in towns that have conducted architectural surveys, some Sears houses remain hidden or are consistently overlooked.

Sometimes there might be one aged Sears farmhouse hiding in a neighborhood of 1950's ranches where no one thought to look before. Sometimes a Sears house has undergone such changes over 100 years that it is unrecognizable. Sometimes there is a Sears house at the end of a little-known cul-de-sac where no one has checked before. Sometimes there is a Sears house on a busy four-lane highway that no one has noticed because everyone speeds by at 50 miles per hour.

Sometimes there is a Sears house hidden behind a wooden fence and so many trees that no one could see the structure clearly enough to make the identification. Everyone in Highland Park missed this little gem, but I discovered it through mortgage records. Even from the front sidewalk, the house is difficult to see.

No wonder this one was missed!

A closer look from the front reveals a Sears Newark.

2787 St. Johns Avenue, Highland Park.

Sears Newark from the 1929 Modern Homes catalog. Scan courtesy of Daily Bungalow.

Is this an original light fixture?

This cutie is on the far northern border of Highland Park. Including this one, there have been five Sears Newarks located to date (one in Gurnee).

The house was built in 1932. The buyer was Carrie Gail, a widow who took out a mortgage for $5600 from Sears Roebuck. Carrie already lived in a house three doors down on St. Johns Avenue. I'm not sure if she built this for herself, for her kids, or as an investment, but by 1935 she had moved to Chicago and renters were in the Newark and also in Carrie's residence.

1 comment:

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

What a great find! I didn't remember at all about the trim above the door area, with little circles. Nice work!

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