June 18, 2019

An Early Sears Americus in Glen Ellyn

188 N. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

Sears Americus.

This authenticated Sears Americus in Glen Ellyn was built in 1923. The Americus is one of the most distinctive models that Sears Roebuck sold, and it's usually easy to identify "in the wild".

A solarium has been added to the left side of the house. The house has the original pillar supports and eaves brackets.  The Americus as delivered had a decorative railing on the front porch, so this railing is likely not original.

The original owners were Joseph O. and Marie Fortin. In September 1923, Marie got a mortgage from Sears, Roebuck for $5,000 to build the Americus. 

Joseph worked as the Superintendent of Water and Sewers for Glen Ellyn. Marie died in 1939, and Joseph continued to live in the house with his new wife Alberta until they finally moved in 1951.

The current homeowners, who purchased the Americus in 1967, found original Sears blueprints in the house addressed to Marie Fortin.

Photo from Smithsonian Magazine, November 1985. The standard Sears blueprints were probably dated 1921, but the house in Glen Ellyn wasn't built until late 1923.

1 comment:

Architectural Observer said...

Nothing says "Sears kit house" quite like the memorable detailing of the porch on the Americus... it's just fantastic. I prefer the original balustrade design shown in the catalog illustration which, interestingly, is painted the same color as the adjacent piers. It's impressive to see that the detailing of the eaves was maintained in the later addition; the house is clearly loved.

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