May 30, 2017

Secret Rooms Did Not Come Standard

Be honest. As a kid, you always longed for a secret room in your house.

Sears didn't offer secret rooms as an option on their kit houses, but during the last 80-90 years, most of their cottages have had their attics finished to be used as extra living space. Often the unusable space under the rafters can be closed off into a secret room.

Take this authenticated Sears Mitchell in Elmhurst for example.

343 Oaklawn, Elmhurst.

 
Sears Mitchell.


Photo from Realtor site.

 
Photo from Realtor site.

 
Photo from Realtor site.

 
Photo from Realtor site.

 
In the finished attic is the child's room containing a bookcase with The Cat in the Hat and other books and toys. This bookcase swings back to reveal...  

 
...a hidden playroom! That half-moon window is the one in the front of the house. This secret room is above the living room.

 
Did I mention this Mitchell is authenticated? The house was built in 1928 or 1929.  The original owner, Henry Bramstedt, wrote a letter to Sears about how great his home-buying experience was. 

Scan from the 1934 Sears Modern Homes catalog, courtesy of Andrew Mutch.

 
Henry was a clerk at a drug store. Henry died in 1938 and his wife, Adelaide, continued to live in the house.

Henry Bramstedt. Public photo from Ancestry.com.

 


1 comment:

SearsHouseSeeker said...

Love the hidden play room!
Pretty cool to have Mr. Bramstedt's testimonial and photo!
Judith
Sears House Seeker

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