March 19, 2019

A Sears No. 121 in West Pullman

Researcher Nigel Tate lives in Michigan, but he often surveys the Chicago South Side looking for Sears houses. On South Eggleston Avenue, Nigel found a rare Sears No. 121 model. Let's take a look!

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.

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 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!

Anonymous said...

Amazing to trip over my gandparent’s home at 11228 Eggelston in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago. I lived there for two years as a toddler with my mother when my WWII veteran father was recalled to active duty for Korean War and spent a lot of time there until I left for the Navy in 1969. Still living in the Greater Chicago area, I go a little out of my way occasionally to check the old place out and it was still in pretty good shape earlier this year. But it does look much smaller than I remember from my childhood ! My grandfather Jacob (Jake) and his brother John assembled the house almost by themselves after the pieces were delivered in horse-drawn wagons. It was just barely finished in time for Grandpa to move in with Grandma (Nettie VerHaar LeNoble) when they married. My mother and her older sister and brother grew up there and the extended family gathered there often until the early 1970s when Grandma finally moved into an independent living facility after Grandpa died. I’ve done a little research on Sears (and Montgomery Ward) kit houses but never came across this site before. It’s GREAT…thank you !

Sears Homes of Chicagoland said...

Fantastic information! I will update the page with your information about the family. If you have any photos of the house, inside or out, please email me at

Anonymous said...

Oh…and the photo is printed reversed. The porch is actually on the left side as you face it. Grandpa must have decided to flip the plan for some reason. I do have a few old photos of the exterior, front and back, and I will poll my family to see if there might be an interior shot or two out there.

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