Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lookalikes With Lights • December 2016

Lookalike to the Sears Lynnhaven, Kirkwood, Missouri
Here is this year's collection of some lovely old homes with winter lights! You'll recognize a couple of them as lookalikes to models offered by Sears, but, there is one kit home: a Harris No. 1517, in Detroit's Minock Park (thanks, Delisa Fields!).  Other than that one, these homes are all in the beautiful St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, Missouri.

Merry Christmas
best wishes for a wonderful new year in 

Lookalike to the Sears Mitchell

Harris No. 1517, Minock Park, Detroit 

And my favorite find of the year: A Sears Elsmore, in Overland, Missouri.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sears Sherwood in Bound Brook, New Jersey

sears sherwood
Authenticated Sears Sherwood • 1929 • 730 Hawthorne Avenue, Bound Brook, New Jersey
Another Sears Sherwood ! We now have three on our National Database of Sears Homes, two of them authenticated (including this one), and we know of another in New York State.... we just haven't found that one yet :)   
sears sherwood
Sears Sherwood model from my 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog.
This Sherwood in Bound Brook, New Jersey (Bridgewater Township), was bought by Victor and Helen Blake, through a mortgage with Sears. It is because of this mortgage that I was able to authenticate this as a Sears home, thanks to a mention of a "real estate transfer" between Victor M. Blake and Sears trustee F. C. Schaub.
sears trustee f c schaub
From a 1934 issue of Courier-News
Victor and Helen were married in 1926, and the 1930 census shows them both as bank workers-- she, a stenographer, and he, a bank analyst.
victor m and helen blake bound brook nj 1930
1930 U.S. Census
1930 U.S. Census showing the Blakes' occupations
The Blakes are still listed at this address in 1942, in the city directory for Bound Brook, New Jersey. Sadly, however, by 1948, the Blakes were divorced, which was announced in the newspaper.
April 9 1948, Courier-News

The Sherwood Model
The Sherwood was offered only in 1929 and 1930, and offered three 2nd-floor bedrooms, two baths, a dining room, spacious living room with fireplace, and a kitchen in the back corner of the house.

sears sherwood
Sears Sherwood 2nd-floor plan from my 1930 catalog.
sears sherwood
Sears Sherwood first floor plan, from my 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog.
For the past few years, this lovely home on Hawthorne Avenue has been listed for rent a few times, and so I was able to find a Zillow real estate listing with interior photos. Let's take a look (click any image to enlarge):

sears sherwood interior

sears sherwood interior

sears sherwood interior

sears sherwood interior

sears sherwood interior

sears sherwood interior

sears sherwood interior

More information:
• To see a Sears Sherwood in the Chicago area, visit this blog post at Sears Homes of Chicagoland

• To see a Sears Sherwood in Pennsylvania, visit this blog post at American Kit Homes

• To see a recently discovered Sears Elmhurst visit this blog post at Kit House Hunters

• To see a Gordon-Van Tine #140 (with blueprints!) that I identified for a family in New York (it was pretty easy, really... after all, they sent blueprints! LOL), visit this blog post of mine, published on Thanksgiving morning! (And, for a chuckle, you can also visit this blog post by another blogger, who blogged about the exact same home, a few days later, using the exact same photos! Oh boy. She's pretty excited about blueprints ;)  To read more about that blogger, who is an admin on a Facebook group about kit homes, read this blog post about a brick Sears Maplewood model.  ) 

To my hard-working researcher friends, and fellow kit-home bloggers: Keep up the great work, digging up authentic examples to share! 

Hey! Melania Trump is at it again, but this time, in Oklahoma! (That's an inside joke ;) ) 


We Are Honest Bloggers

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Two Pittsburgh Mail-Order Homes: Sears Arlington and Aladdin Pomona

206 Waldorf Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania • 1922 Sears Arlington (not authenticated)
This week, my researcher friends and I did a little bit of searching in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Andrew Mutch, of Kit House Hunters, ran across another Sears Elmhurst, and I came across this probable Sears Arlington.  In addition to Sears, Aladdin Homes were represented, as I came across a real estate listing for a cute little dark blue Aladdin Pomona, and the newest member of our research group, Sara, brought an Aladdin Shadow Lawn to our attention. I'll save the Shadow Lawn for another day, but let's take a look at the Arlington, and the Pomona!

Sears Arlington
Pittsburgh has many many many homes made of brick, so it's not surprising that we would find that our newest Arlington on the National Database of Sears Homes, is a brick veneer example.  

In January, I wrote a post about three wonderful old Arlingtons, all in a row, found by our young researcher friend, Nigel.  I explained a bit about the background of Sears' offering of this model:

The suspected Arlington at 206 Waldorf Street, is listed on the Allegheny county website as being built in 1925 (Pittsburgh seems to like to give their build dates ending in 0 or 5... they don't seem to be particularly reliable, though.) What I found, with a little bit of newspaper research, was that F. O. Wettach took out a building permit for this address in 1922, and he also put an ad in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that year, looking for a laborer at this address. 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 03, 1922, page 31
We can always recognize a Sears Arlington by its wide front dormer, with four full-size windows, and two ornamented peaks, looking a good bit like cat ears.  It also has a peak roof bumpout on the right side, with three long windows, as well as an exposed chimney on that side, with two connected full-size windows behind it. You can see all of that on our house on Waldorf Street, and then in the catalog image, below it:

sears arlington in pittsburgh pa
Craftsman-style tracery in the cat-ear dormer peaks,
is a wonderful part of the look of the Sears Arlington.

The left side elevation of the Arlington should have a side entry door, and a kind of complicated set of windows, looking not very evenly distributed... and this house has that:
Sears Arlington model
Left elevation of the Sears Arlington.
Though we don't have a Sears mortgage for this house, or blueprints, or any other documentation that this is a Sears home, inside, we do see a fireplace mantel that matches one offered by Sears, as well as a built-in china cabinet with leaded glass in a style also offered by Sears.
1929 Sears Building Material catalog
The 1929 Sears Building Materials catalog.

The cabinet on the right is shown in the Waldorf Street house.

Source: 1929 Sears Building Materials catalog on
And, though the brickwork design on the fireplace itself is different, this looks like the mantel offered by Sears. Two of our researcher friends have the same mantel in their Sears Hamiltons.
Here are a few more photos from the Zillow real estate listing (by the way, the house is currently for sale, if you're looking!). Click to enlarge:
Sears Arlington
Great for porching!

Sears Arlington
Such wonderful original woodwork, and spacious rooms.

Sears Arlington
What a beautifully well-kept back yard! Great back porch.
Aladdin Pomona
On another street, in a different neighborhood of Pittsburgh, I ran across this recently renovated little Aladdin Pomona!  I'm not quite sure of the build date, but the county website says 1920, if we can trust that.
Aladdin Pomona
403 Marshall Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania • probable Aladdin Pomona
Real estate images: source

Aladdin Pomona
From my 1918 Aladdin catalog.

Aladdin Pomona

Aladdin Pomona

Aladdin Pomona

Thanks to Daily Bungalow, we have this great image from the 1918 Aladdin catalog, showing the living room and dining room in the Pomona:
Daily Bungalow 1918 Aladdin catalog Pomona interior
You can click to enlarge, or go directly to Daily Bungalow's Flickr page, to see it full size.
The Pomona had two very similar floor plans, with the second one allowing for a staircase to lead up to two upstairs bedrooms. I believe that our Pittsburgh Pomona is plan number 2, and the real estate listing does show a finished upstairs.
Aladdin Pomona
Pomona plan No. 1

Aladdin Pomona
Pomona plan No. 2.

Aladdin Pomona

Aladdin Pomona

Aladdin Pomona
Surely an Aladdin garage. It matches the Peerless model nicely!
Aladdin Peerless garage, as shown in my 1920 Aladdin catalog.

For more information about the Aladdin Homes company of Bay City, Michigan, take a look at this previous blog post of mine, which also shows a Pomona in Greenfield, Illinois.

For more information on who we are, and what we do, visit our website: