|Andrew Mutch is one of the researchers in our group, and he loves crunching numbers with the list.|
Our national database of Sears houses, which now lists just shy of 7200 houses, has reached a milestone for Pennsylvania: we have now found over 800 Sears houses in that state, the majority of which are in the greater Pittsburgh area. To celebrate, I thought I'd showcase a few recent finds.
Now, when I say, "we", I mostly mean our cracker-jack, Google-driving, Sears-House-Finding group member, Karen D. Karen herself lives in a Sears Hamilton in Pittsburgh, and has developed a love of finding us Pittsburgh houses to add to our list. And, man, is she good at it! Let's look at a few that Karen has found: A Sears Osborn, a Sears Wilmore, and a Sears Hillsboro.
|Sears Osborn • 5242 Towers Terrace, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
The Sears Osborn model was first shown in the 1916 catalog (according to our very favorite Sears house reference source, Houses By Mail), as model No. 264P244, and was renamed the Osborn when Sears began giving names, instead of numbers, to its house models. It was offered through 1929. We love the look of it! This one, in Pittsburgh, has a matching garage, too. The catalog image to the right here, is from the 1918 catalog (available here, on Archive.org). The image above, shows that our Osborn in Pittsburgh is the reverse floor plan -- the covered side porch is on the other side from that shown in the catalog.
|Here's the side porch of our Osborn on Towers Terrace.|
The catalog also shows a few images of what you could expect your Sears Osborn to look like, on the inside:
And, here's the floor plan, as shown in the 1921 catalog:
And, the matching garage!
The Wilmore was first offered in 1930, but was called the Jewell that year. In 1931 and 1932, it was called the Jewel (with one l ), and then from 1933-40, it was called the Wilmore, so that's what we usually call this model when we find it, unless we have a verified build date before 1933. It's a great-looking house that was very popular, and several other kit and plan-book companies had competing lookalike models. We've found many Wilmores, especially, it seems, in New York State and New England. This one is in Natrona Heights, a community in the greater Pittsburgh area, that lies within the township of Harrison, in Allegheny County. It's about 24 miles northeast of Pittsburgh (source).
|Probable Sears Wilmore • 1213 Fairmont Avenue, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania|
|Here's the same model, offered in the 1932 Sears Modern Homes catalog, as the Jewel.|
|Here's the same model, its very first year, 1930, the only year it was sepelled with double-l at the end: The Jewell.|
|Floor plan for the Jewell, which did not change when the name changed to Jewel and Wilmore. You can see where a re-modeling to turn the dining room area into a living space off of the kitchen, would work well.|
|1940: The last years of the Wilmore, and the last year of the Sears Modern Homes catalogs.|
|And one last photo of this very attractive house.|
This brick-veneer model, offered by Sears from 1932-1937, is another of Sears English-cottage-influenced models with a pointy front gable. It has a nice, large front porch, big front chimney, and is one of the very few models that Sears offered with an attached garage. This house in Pittsburgh, however, looks to have a separate attached garage, tucked under the side porch, so perhaps they turned the original garage space into living area.
|Probable Sears Hillsboro • 118 Poplar Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
Everything looks to be in place in this Pittsburgh Hillsboro, including the decorative stone work around the door, and on the big front chimney. The space that you see on the back of the house, above, is normally an attached garage. I wonder how it is being used in this house, which is, by the way, the reverse floor plan to what is shown in the catalog.
The floor plan and catalog image, both from the 1935 catalog, were made available by our friends at AntiqueHome.org.
The floor plan for the Hillsboro shows that it usually has two side doors, one going into the kitchen area, and one leading into the garage. That second side door into the garage space is missing on the Poplar Street house, lending more credence to the supposition that the garage space was turned into extra living space.
If you'd like to see an authenticated Sears Hillsboro, I wrote about one that I found a mortgage for, in the city of St. Louis (MO), here, in an earlier blog post.
|There's that added, tucked-under garage.|
Our research group's thanks go out to Karen for providing us with so many interesting finds in Pennsylvania!