January 30, 2023

A Vibrant Sears Americus in South Holland

14956 Riverside Dr., South Holland. Photo from Realtor site.

The Sears Americus.

The Americus is one of the most distinctive models that Sears ever sold, which makes it easy to identify "out in the wild". The house, with low-pitched hipped roofs and an asymmetrical facade, is loaded with Craftsman details. Sears sold the Americus for more than a decade--from 1920 to 1931.

The vibrant green Americus in South Holland has the original pillar supports and decorative railing, but is missing the eaves brackets.  

The Americus is 26 feet wide and 26 feet long. Photo from Realtor site. 

A swing is almost mandatory on a front porch like this. Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

The illustration of the living room from the 1923 Modern Homes catalog is not an accurate depiction of the dimensions in the South Holland house. The closet "mirror door" is not that far to the left, and there isn't enough room to put a sofa on that wall. Additionally, the dining room opening has been shifted. I have seen other Americus houses that do accurately match the illustration and others that look like the South Holland house.  I haven't done enough research to confirm this, but I suspect Sears slightly altered the floor plan sometime after 1923. (Cook County says this house was built in 1927.)

Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

The Americus sits very close to the Little Calumet River. I bet the building materials were delivered affordably by barge

A stretch of the Little Calumet by the house.


The Americus is less vibrant these days. The kitchen and bathroom were remodeled.
Photo from Realtor site.

Goodbye pink tile. Photo from Realtor site.


1 comment:

Architectural Observer said...

The Americus is one of my favorite offerings from Sears; it has a wonderful porch and a sensible floor plan. While not original, the mid-century kitchen and bath were by far more imaginative and preferable to the lackluster, sterile, "big box store" interpretations seen now. Hopefully the next owner will value the many remaining historic elements this house retains.

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