April 4, 2017

The Real Deal: An Authenticated Sears Yates in Kankakee

The Sears Yates was sold from 1939-1942.  To date, only eight have been identified. One of them is in the Chicagoland area--Kankakee to be precise.

The Yates in Kankakee is authenticated, that is, proven to be from Sears Roebuck. The owner has the original blueprints, and those blueprints can provide much information about the history of the house.

675 S McKinley Ave., Kankakee. Photo from Realtor site.





Sears Yates.


Blueprints for the Yates in Kankakee. Front elevation, right side elevation, and the flower box detail. Photo courtesy of Joseph Cash.


The blueprints have the Sears Roebuck name on them. They were drawn in 1938 and the Yates was featured in the 1939 catalog that came out in the fall of that year. Photo courtesy of Joseph Cash.


Edward A. Tyrrell was the original owner of the house. He lived in the Yates with his spouse, father-in-law, and six kids. Yes, that's nine people in a four-bedroom house.  The Yates had an optional finished second floor and they definitely needed that upgrade!


This paper scrap was stored with the blueprints. It contains the name and address of the original owner. Ed Tyrrell and his family were renting on nearby Sycamore Street when the Yates was being built. Photo courtesy of Joseph Cash.


These stamps indicate the plans were sent to the Federal Housing Administration in August 1940. The FHA would underwrite a loan for the Tyrrells, but they had to approve the plans first. Typically, Sears would send the plans to the FHA and manage the correspondence because Sears was incentivized to get their customers' financing approved. Photo courtesy of Joseph Cash.



The house was completed sometime in 1941. The Tyrrells lived in the house until 1953 or so.

















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