March 19, 2019

A Pair of Sears No. 121's in Chicago

Researcher Nigel Tate lives in Michigan, but he often surveys the Chicago South Side looking for Sears houses.

On South Eggleston Avenue, Nigel found not one, but two rare Sears No. 121 models. Let's take a look!

No. 121 in West Roseland

11228 S. Eggleston Ave., Chicago. Photo from Realtor site.

The No. 121 may be a "suburban favorite", but Nigel found them in the city of Chicago.

The No. 121 in West Roseland still looks very much like the catalog illustration over 100 years later. The house has a small front porch, a balcony off one of the bedrooms, and a tiny window with a shed dormer. It aso still has the original porch pillars.

The No. 121 is a six-room house.  A corner fireplace came standard, and there was a sliding door between the parlor and the living room (that could also be used as a dining room). There were three bedrooms and two closets. The house could be built on a lot 30 feet wide.

This No. 121 was built in 1914, per the building permit. The original owner was Jacob Henry Le Noble, a Dutch immigrant. Jacob was a letter carrier for the post office. The Le Noble family lived in the house until at least 1942. 

No. 121 in West Pullman
11739 S Eggleston Ave., Chicago. Photo from Realtor site. 

The house in West Pullman has had its porch enclosed, but is still easily recognizable as a No. 121.

It appears the porch was enclosed at build time. Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

This is the living room, with the closed staircase off the rear of the house. The door goes to a pantry. Photo from Realtor site.

This is the parlor. Maybe it's just the photo angle, but this room seems really small to me. It's supposed to be 11' x 14' according to the plans.

This is the front bedroom with the teeny window. It looks like the house was constructed with closets on either side that were not on the original floor plan. Photo from Realtor site.

This No. 121 was built in 1910, per the building permit. (Just a point of note: we've never found a Sears house in the city built before 1910, even though Sears started selling houses in 1908.) 

The original owners were Alois and Lydia Meyer. Alois, an immigrant from Bohemia, worked as a firefighter and later as a cabinet maker for the Pullman Car Company. Alois died in 1931, and Lydia died in 1940. The house was sold to the Boedeker family after Lydia's death.


SearsHouseSeeker said...

Ahhhhh! The Chicago No. 121 houses finally get their blog post! Funny-- I just checked when we first had the discussion about these, when Nigel found them, and it was March 18, three years ago!
Love this post, Lara. So glad to have these great photos.
Sears House Seeker blog

Sears Homes of Chicagoland said...

March 18--isn't that funny?!

My to-do list is so long I just lose track of some of the houses I intended to feature.

Architectural Observer said...

The closets added to the bedroom with the tiny shed dormer make sense since the floor plan shows none intended for that room. It's quirky details like that that make old houses so much more interesting than new ones! The living room seems a bit snug for a three-bedroom house; that is probably why the brown shingled house was altered with an enlarged and enclosed porch. Nice finds, Nigel!

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