October 5, 2021

The Most Memorable Montgomery Ward Homes

Some kit house models are so generic and boring it makes it difficult to identify them out in the wild.

The Wellington from the 1929 Montgomery Ward homes catalog. No wonder nobody has ever identified one. There are thousands of houses that look like this. Scan courtesy of Daily Bungalow.

However, some of the Montgomery Ward models are unusual looking--unusual enough that if you ever came across one you would likely remember seeing it.

Here are five of the most distinctive Wards models. Have you seen any of these? Email me!

1. No. 136

Wards sold the No. 136 from 1911-1914. You can see the diamond muntin windows in the illustration, but did you notice instead of wood siding, there are logs?

The reason Wards recommends this house for customers who live by a lumber supply is because the logs were not included in the purchase price. The customer had to source those.

The No. 136 had an odd floor plan. Giant living room, six tiny bedrooms, one bath, and a library. You had to walk through the porch to access the kitchen.

2.  The Drexel
The Wardway Drexel was sold in 1930 and 1931. The model was likely named after the most exclusive of the Chicago south side boulevards, and there are several of these homes in the Chicago area. It appears that the front entrance does not match the rest of the house. Additionally, the house is oddly asymmetrical for the time.

524 E. Calhoun, Woodstock. This Drexel is authenticated and was built in 1930. Photo from Realtor site.

3. No. 177

No. 177 was sold only in 1914, and maybe you can see why. There are three dormers: one crammed in the bedroom above the porte-cochère, one with a sleeping porch, and a third thrown in next to the sleeping porch in the front. There is a lot going on here, and a No. 177 has never been located.

4. The Whitmore

The Wardway Whitmore was sold in 1930 and 1931. It has unique architectural details like the large pointed dormer, the deck above the garage, and half-timbering in various places. It appears that there is a decorative railing in front of the inset dormer.

There is only one Whitmore in Illinois at 304 S. McKinley Dr. in Belleville. Photo from Realtor site.

5. No. 165
No. 165 was sold from 1912 to 1914. It is a tall house with timbering! And tons of windows! And pillars! And giant chimneys! Wards called it Elizabethan architecture. This house has never been located.

I don't know why, but I think of this when I see the No. 165. Photo from Disney Parks

1 comment:

Architectural Observer said...

These are all fun and memorable! The log house, No. 136, is especially captivating and the odd floor plan makes it even more intriguing. I'd guess that any survivors of this design would be heavily modified... I hope examples will come to light.

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