Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sears Elmhurst in Secane, Pennsylvania

Authenticated Sears Elmhurst • 827 Green Lane, Secane, Pennsylvania • circa 1932

Color depiction of the Sears Elmhurst from the 1929 Brick Supplement catalog, found on
Sears Elmhurst as shown in the 1929 brick models supplement
of the Sears Modern Homes catalog. 
Another Sears Elmhurst ! This makes number 17 on our national database of Sears homes in the U.S.  This one was shared with us by Lara Solonickne ( Sears Homes of Chicagoland ), who learned of its existence when she was contacted by the daughter of the previous owners.  

The build date given for this house, according to Delaware County, Pennsylvania Real Estate Assessor records, is 1935.  As we so often find in these tax records in Pennsylvania, that number is surely not accurate.  The Elmhurst was offered between 1929 and 1932, so it couldn't have been built in 1935. It's highly doubtful that anyone would have ordered the supplies to build their home, and then left them in storage somewhere for a few years, before building. As a general rule of thumb, in Pennsylvania (at least in Pittsburgh, anyway), if the build date given ends in a 0 or a 5 , it's likely only a rough guesstimate.

EDIT, May 19, 2021: Thanks to research in the historic mortgage records of Delaware County, by researcher Cindy Catanzaro, we have learned that this house had a mortgage through Sears. The original owner took out his mortgage in February of 1932. His name was Fernald M. Willey, who is listed in the 1940 census as an executive with a Drug company laboratory. The street, at that time, went by a different name than it does now-- Summit Ave.

This house is in the small township of Secane, Pennsylvania, in Delaware County, which, I have learned, is sometimes confused with Clifton Heights, because they share the same zip code.

827 Green Lane, Secane, PA Sears Elmhurst
This is what Lara commented on an earlier blog post of mine, about a North Carolina Elmhurst she shared with us.... and... sure enough! Another Elmhurst!  Lara blogs exclusively about the Chicago area, so she generously allowed me to present this new find. She also does walking tours, classes, and presentations on Sears Homes.

I don't have anything new to tell you about this particular Elmhurst, and I don't have history on who may have lived here and ordered it from the Sears Modern Homes catalog. But... I do have Real Estate photos to show, so we get to see the interior! 

Three pointy dormers on the side of the authenticated Sears Elmhurst in St. Louis, MO.
It was recently on the market, and went under contract almost immediately.
One thing that differs on this probable Elmhurst in Secane, Pennsylvania, is that it has an addition on the "three-dormer" side of the house.  Normally, the Elmhurst has three clearly-visible pointy dormers on one side of the house, as you see in the image above of an authenticated Elmhurst in Saint Louis, Missouri. Below, however, you see our Green Lane Elmhurst, with only two of those dormers visible, and the addition of a great office-space room on that side:

827 Green Lane, Secane, PA Sears Elmhurst Side Addition with two visible pointy dormers
It's quite possible that all three dormers are still here, just not visible from this vantage point.
Source: Google maps street view
Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA
This appears to be the additional room, with all of those great windows.
Let's take a look at the floor plan, and then I'll show you the rest of the interior photos:
Sears Elmhurst floor plan from the 1929 catalog, retrieved from
This, again, is from's listing of the 1929 brick supplement of the Sears Modern Homes catalog.
The living room is spacious, and has a nice fireplace, complete with a fireplace surround and mantel straight from the 1929 Building Materials Sears catalog:
living room of Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

Close up of fireplace and built-in glass-front cabinets in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

Sears colonial design fireplace surround from 1929 Building Supplies catalog
Source:'s upload of the 1929 Sears Building Supplies catalog.
Sears Elmhurst living room and entry way with Sears colonial fireplace surround
Here is the same Sears colonial fireplace surround, unpainted, in the authenticated Elmhurst in the St. Louis area, also shown above.  Beautiful interior photos are available here, from its recent listing.
In the living room, you can also see, to the left of the fireplace, some built-in bookshelf cabinets, with a leaded-glass design front offered by Sears.  We've seen this in a number of Sears homes, such as this Arlington, in Pittsburgh, PA, and this Ivanhoe/No. 200 in Normal, Illinois:
Sears leaded-glass-front design book cases in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

This is a lovely house, so let me get right to showing you the rest of the house.  All of these photos came from the listing, here

First, here is the floor plan again:
Sears Elmhurst floor plan from 1929 catalog

And, now, more interior photos (click on any photo, to enlarge it):
entry area of Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

entry area with stairway and front door of Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA
This is "the" Elmhurst photo we always see,
showing the standard wrought-iron stair railing, next to the curved-top door.
staircase in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

kitchen in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

Kitchen in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA
 Beautiful hardwood floors throughout the entire house, with spacious bedrooms:
bedroom in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

bedroom in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA

bedroom in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA
The tile work in this bathroom was also, it seems, the standard tile work design for the Elmhurst, as we have seen it (or a version of it, always in black and white) in other Elmhurst models, such as in this authenticated Elmhurst presented by Lara Solonickne... in the town of Elmhurst, in fact.  
bathroom with white subway tile with black tile trim in Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA
Here is the bathroom of our Elmhurst on Green Lane.
Sears Elmhurst examples of white and black tile in bathroom
And here are two other Elmhurst bathrooms -- the one, at top, in Elmhurst, Illinois, and the bottom one, from an Elmhurst in Reidsville, North Carolina (that you can read about here.)
We're excited to find this latest Elmhurst! As always, if you know of another Elmhurst, or any home you suspect to be a kit house, please tell me about using the "Contact Me" feature on the right side of the blog (be sure to leave me an email address, or give me as precise an address for the house as possible).
Front entry of Sears Elmhurst 827 Green Lane, Secane, PA
827 Green Lane, Secane, Pennsylvania


  1. You do good work. I enjoy reading all your posts.

    1. There is one at about 17th or 18th & Brigantine Ave, Brigantine, NJ Was the home of our former Mayor Spiro.

    2. Thanks, James Young! That's a lovely Sears San Jose model -- I decided to blog about it!
      Sears San Jose in Brigantine NJ

  2. I don't know if mine is one of the 17 you've found, but I just purchased Elmhurst in St. Louis and stumbled across this website. 1320 Midland Dr, 63130.

    1. Hi! Congratulations on purchasing that great Elmhurst!
      In fact, buried in one of my blog posts about a St. Louis area architect for Sears, is mention of your Elmhurst. It's a post on September 11, 2016: L. J. Steffens, St. Louis Architect For Sears


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