June 19, 2018

An Actual Sears Roebuck House in Morton Grove

There has been one key lesson I have learned since I started researching Sears houses. Local lore is almost always wrong. When the neighbors report that a house is from Sears, it almost invariably is not. There are several reasons why people get confused, and unfortunately, once misinformation about a house has been put out there, it's impossible to correct.

Many residents of Morton Grove believe that some houses on Callie Avenue are from Sears Roebuck. None of them match Sears models, but the story is that they have been "modified".

Ironically, if people looked a couple blocks away, they would see an actual Sears house--right off Dempster Street.

8737 Narragansett Ave., Morton Grove. Sorry, I couldn't navigate around that sign.


Sears Garfield from the 1929 Modern Homes catalog.


The Sears Garfield in Morton Grove has had its porch enclosed and an addition put on the back, but it is still a close match to the catalog illustration.

The Garfield is a two-flat. Sears offered a few multi-family houses for people who wanted rental income. There were two private entrances--one door on the right side of the house (the door you can see in the photo), and another door is likely hiding behind the enclosed porch.



The entrance to the first floor unit is in the middle of the building, and the entrance to the second floor unit is on the right side.




This was originally the door to the upstairs unit. 


The second floor unit. Both the upstairs and downstairs units had five rooms. There was also a rear staircase that led to both kitchens.




The Sears Garfield was almost certainly named after Garfield Boulevard or Garfield Park. (Sears named the vast majority of their models after things in Chicago.) It is an uncommon model. Only three have been found in Illinois--this one in Morton Grove, one in Elgin, and one in Barrington.

The original owners were Anton and Elizabeth Schottluetner. They were immigrants from Grabow, Germany, who moved into the Garfield between 1926 and 1928. Anton was an automobile mechanic.







2 comments:

Architectural Observer said...

Historic multi-family dwellings such as this one are intriguing! I like the way the front was designed; the asymmetrical porch helps to give the appearance of a single-family house. The three mailboxes suggest that a third apartment has been squeezed in somewhere. I had not known that Sears houses were named for things in Chicago; thanks for that interesting bit of history!

Lara Solonickne said...

I didn't even catch the three mailboxes. They made a two-flat into a three-flat?! Wow

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