April 28, 2020

A Lonely Sears Lebanon in Westmont

Researcher Chuck Holtzen located a Sears Lebanon in Westmont through a mortgage record. (The original owners obtained their financing from Sears Roebuck.) 

I have never seen a Sears Lebanon in the Chicago area and had to confirm what the model looked like.

124 N. Adams, Westmont.

The Sears Lebanon.  On our real life house, the porch is enclosed and a garage is attached to the right side.

Another view with a glare from my car window. Hey, it was cold that day!

Lebanons are commonly found in other areas of the country, just not in Chicago. We see geographic preferences with other kit houses as well. Once someone built a model in a certain area, typically other customers would also purchase it. That makes sense--Sears sales representatives would often drive customers around to see the houses in real life and sometimes get tours from the owners. The most effective sales pitch was to see a constructed house.

So in the case of our lonely Lebanon in Westmont, James M. and Anna McMeen built it in 1921... and no one else in the suburbs followed suit.  Or perhaps people did see the McMeen's house and built other Lebanons nearby, but a) we have not located them, or b) they have been demolished.


Architectural Observer said...

I've never seen a Lebanon before... thanks! The brick veneer, vinyl siding, porch enclosure and garage addition have all conspired to effectively erase the charming details that had previously made this house cozy and appealing! The extra space to the left of the garage door likely contains a flight of steps leading up to the kitchen as seen on the catalog illustration of the house. I never would have pegged this place as a Sears house, but it clearly is. Judging by the garage door and the windows of the porch enclosure, the alterations were made long ago.

Mim said...

Sears home could have been modified to the buyers liking. Mr and Mrs McMeen could have modified it to brick vinyl, (as it was offered by sears) and modify it for a porch enclosure. I'm not sure about the Garage, but there is a possibility that the garage is original to the house. (Although there is a flight of steps leading to the kitchen in the catalog, many cheaper versions of 'The Lebanon' were built without a side door.

Post a Comment