Saturday, March 30, 2019

Sears Oakdale In Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado
Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale bungalow in 1925 catalog
Sears Oakdale in the 1925 Sears Modern Homes catalog
It's definitely not every day that we run across a Sears house in Colorado. The majority of the Sears houses that we have found, are east of the Mississippi river, and we expect that that's due to shipping costs. Or something. Ha! We do find Aladdin homes, and Gordon-Van Tine homes in the upper midwest, and the far west, but a Sears house in Colorado is a rare find.

Andrew Mutch tends to peruse the Zillow listings pretty often. This house was an easy find, because it mentions the house being a Sears house, right in the listing. We've found that only sometimes is that true, when it's mentioned in a listing (usually it's from a different company, or simply not a kit house at all), but we're confident that this  house is a 1923-era Sears Oakdale.  It even has trademark Sears hinges inside.

The real estate listing says that this Oakdale was built in 1923, and that's the first year that we see it in the catalog. However, up until about 1918, there was another model marketed by Sears, with this name: a two-family structure. Here it is in the 1918 catalog:
Sears Oakdale 2-family structure
The first Sears Oakdale, a two-family building, marketed as the No. 149 in earlier catalogs.
The later Oakdale, the bungalow that we see here in Boulder, seems to have been a very popular model. We've found lots of them around the country-- 124 to date. As Andrew Mutch showed, in this Kit House Hunters blog post highlighting an Oakdale in Kansas, Sears also tweaked the design a bit in the last years of the Oakdale, in the 1930s:
Sears Oakdale bungalow • two versions over the years
See the Kit House Hunters blog post, here
The floor plan was the same over the years of the catalog:
Sears Oakdale floor plan from 1925 catalog

What might really surprise you, though, is the price of this lovely Colorado home: 
They're asking $1, 150,000.00. Yup. Over a million, for a nice Sears bungalow. Might just have something to do with the view. And the setting. So, let's take a look at a nice selection of photos from the listing
Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

The door hardware is the Sears Stratford design, and these door hinges are also found in the Sears catalog (and we've never seen them offered by any other company):
Sears Stratford door hardware
1922 catalog page showing Sears Stratford design door hardware, and the trademark Sears hinges we've come to know


Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

Sears Oakdale • 1315 Ninth Street, Boulder, Colorado

What a lovely home!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Sears Lakeland and Friends In Ohio and Massachusetts

B&W image of Sears Lakeland from 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Sears Lakeland model, in my 1918 catalog
Sears Lakeland or Sears No. 129 • 215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio
More on this Lakeland in Ohio, further along in the post!

You know how it is when you learn a new word, and then you start hearing it all over the place? Well, sometimes that happens with our Sears houses, too. You run across a model you never thought you'd ever see in real life, and were barely even aware of, and then you find three of them!

The Lakeland is one of those models. I won't call it a house, because it's a two-family building. And, these days, it's sometimes now a three-family building. Sears offered just a few of these multi-family structures... maybe six early on, and only two or three in later years? And, this one... well, we just didn't have it on our radar-- none of us. But, sometimes, when I'm looking through Houses By Mail, I see a model and think, "pfff, there's that odd looking model again... I wonder if anyone will ever find one of those"... and, the Lakeland was one of those. 

And then, one day, I was looking at a model in West Springfield, Massachusetts, that we had on "our list" as we call it (our National Database of Sears Houses In the U.S. ), and I wanted to see what it looked like. That was this amazing house, on North Boulevard, in West Springfield. It had been added to the list by someone-- Lara Solonickne, I think?-- who found it listed on this Massachusetts Cultural Resource page.
Sears No. 120 / 163 hybrid, at 82 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Sears No. 120 / 163 hybrid, at 82 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
This house is a hybrid of the No. 163 and No. 120 models. The 120 is described as a No. 163 without a sleeping porch in front (this has a sleeping porch in front, though), and with the addition of a big hip-roof dormer in front (this house has that). So, it's not quite a No. 120, it's really a No. 163 with a big dormer added.
B & W image of Sears No. 163 in my 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Sears No. 163 in my 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog
And, this one in West Springfield is what we call a "Built at" house: we know, from the catalogs, that one was built in West Springfield, so we assume this one is THAT one :)

Sears No. 120 / 163 hybrid, at 82 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Here's the other side of 82 North Boulevard 

Sears No. 120 / 163 hybrid, at 82 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
...and, the back and left side of the No. 163 at 82 North Boulevard
Here's another Sears No. 163, this time in Taylorville, Illinois, that Lara Solonickne is also responsible for recognizing, and adding to our list:
Probable Sears No. 163, 541 S. Washington Street, Taylorville, Illinois (click to enlarge)
Of course, I thought I'd look around a bit, and this big, boxy "4-Square" house caught my eye... again, it was one that I had just found an example of for the first time, just recently. It's the No. 102, later called the Hamilton (the Hamilton name was, in turn, later given to a bungalow model that was very popular). This house is just a couple of houses away from the magnificent No. 163:
Sears No. 102 (Hamilton) model, at 104 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Sears No. 102 (Hamilton) model, at 104 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts

Sears No. 102 (Hamilton) model, at 104 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Sears No. 102 (Hamilton) model, at 104 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts
The No. 102 has an open porch in the back on the right side, that we usually see has been enclosed over the years.
Our First Sears No. 129 / Sears Lakeland
Then, I started "driving" (on my Google map) down in the other direction.... and wow! There was my first Sears Lakeland (earlier, it was the No. 129), right across the street from the No. 163! It's a little worse for the wear, but it sits at No. 75 North Boulevard... though, since it's now a 3-family structure, it's actually got three addresses attached to it. Let's take a look at the first Sears No. 129 / Lakeland to make it onto our list:
75 North Boulevard West Springfield MA • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129
Probable Sears Lakeland / Sears No. 129 • 75 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts

75 North Boulevard West Springfield MA • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129
Probable Sears Lakeland / Sears No. 129 • 75 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts

75 North Boulevard West Springfield MA • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129
Probable Sears Lakeland / Sears No. 129 • 75 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts

B&W image of Sears Lakeland from 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Yes! It's a great match, all around, except for the top of that left-side dormer... we expect to see a closed pediment (closed at the bottom of the triangular shape), but, this was a "Not Cut or Fitted" model, so it wasn't pre-cut, and builders sometimes simplified things, or asked for small changes at the time of ordering the model (or, bad things happen when a vinyl siding job is applied). Honestly, this one in West Springfield is a little dreary looking, but I have a couple of beauties in Ohio to show, too!
I excitedly announced to Andrew Mutch, on July 3, 2018, that he could now cross through the Lakeland,
on his blog post listing The Missing Models -- Sears models that haven't yet been located
The other two kit houses we've run across in West Springfield, Massachusetts, are another old Sears model, and an old Gordon-Van Tine model, right by it. Let's take a look:

Sears No. 113
Sadly, the current real estate listing for this beautiful old house, says that it is now a U. S. Bankruptcy approved short sale listing. Such a shame, and so sad for the family that owned it. It sits at 20 North Boulevard, so several blocks away, but on the same street as the West Springfield houses above.
20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113
20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113

20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113
The house looks a little wider than what we see as the front, in the catalog listing, but we're confident it's a No. 113

B & W image from 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog, showing Modern Home No. 113

B & W image from 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog, showing Modern Home No. 113
The Sears No. 113 in my 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Inside, we see that the floor plan follows well, and there is lovely, original detailing, and woodwork and hardwood floors to be found:
20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113

20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113

20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113

20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113

20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113

20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Sears No. 113
Here's the back of our Sears No. 113 at 20 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts. Paint peeling, yes, but good original wood.

Interestingly, there is also some thought that this may be the "testimonial" house of a man named Fred G. Phimery. But, all we know about Mr. Phimery, is that he wrote in to Sears to say that the house that he bought from Sears was great. His testimonial appeared somewhere in a publication in 1915, according to Rebecca L. Hunter's book, Putting Sears Homes On the Map, page 40. She noted the address, 20 Boulevard Street, but we're not sure if that was added from her own research of locating this Sears house, and assuming it might be the Phimery house, or if the testimonial included the address. Because... the book only lists that his testimonial said, "house". A bit of newspaper research, and research on Ancestry.com, finds absolutely nothing for Phimery, let alone, Fred G. Phimery. So, it's possible that his testimonial "house" could be one of the others on North Boulevard in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
color photo of Putting Sears Homes On The Map--by Rebecca L. Hunter
Putting Sears Homes On The Map, by Rebecca L. Hunter, at www.kithouse.org
Gordon-Van Tine No. 107 (Standard Built)
On the lot next door to this Sears No. 113, is what looks to be a Gordon-Van Tine No. 107. That model is from the 1916 Standard Homes Gordon-Van Tine catalog, meaning that it is not pre-cut. The wood was shipped in standard lengths, and still needed to be cut at the building site (just as all Sears homes were sold, also, before 1916). You can't see much of this house, and it also sure needed a good paint job, at the time of this last Google maps streetview drive by, but you can see enough of the right side to be confident that it could well be a GVT No. 107, with the reverse floor plan (so the bumped-out bay window is on this side of the house):
12 North Boulevard, West Springfield, Massachusetts • probable Gordon-Van Tine No. 107

Gordon-Van Tine No. 107 in the 1916 Standard Homes catalog, page 14

(click to enlarge)
Sears Lakeland: Two More, In Ohio
But, I digress! This is meant to be a post especially about the Sears No. 129, the Sears Lakeland. I just didn't want to post these three Lakelands, and leave out the wonderful other kit houses we noticed, right near by. But, let me finish up with the two most recent finds of the Lakeland -- both found last night, both very much by chance.

Sears Lakeland in Hamilton, Ohio
Last night, I was looking at Zillow listings, for possible kit houses. I was checking out the listing of one house, when I spied what looks like a possible Harris homes L-2024, in Hamilton, Ohio. That's the model that was the lookalike to the early Aladdin Charleston, and I had just recently blogged about those two models... that's why it caught my eye. 
Harris Homes model No. L-2024 (the L just means that it was in the 1921 catalog).
This model was first offered by Chicago House Wrecking Company, the earlier name of Harris Homes.
393 Cleveland Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • possible Harris Homes L-2024
I'm not 100% sold on that house (and there was a twin on the same block), because it's missing the side two-story bay window, but finding it caused me to turn to our spreadsheet with our 11,000+ located Sears houses on it, to the section for Hamilton, Ohio. I thought I'd see what we'd found so far-- and, by we, I really mean Cindy Catanzaro-- ha! Cindy is a long-time Sears researcher, who also leads tours on Sears houses, and she is really the first person to have taken me under her wing in this crazy treasure hunt, looking for Sears houses around the country. She patiently led me along to learn to recognize models, dismiss models, and start to grasp the complexities of researching mortgages. Cindy focuses most of her research in Ohio, and writes the blog, Sears Houses In Ohio, where she showcases some of her finds. She has done mortgage research in Hamilton, Ohio, so she had found quite a few authenticated Sears houses in that town. 

I thought I'd just randomly plop my cursor down on a street in Hamilton, Ohio, and start looking around to see if I'd recognize anything. After a few "plop downs", I landed on Eaton Avenue, and started "driving" ... within a moment, there it was in front of me: Sears Lakeland number two for our list! The Lakeland is a pretty old model, so it's quite likely that this building was bought before Sears mortgages were a common way to buy a Sears house... that's why it would have escaped being located via the Hamilton, Ohio mortgage research. But, it's found now, and it was another very exciting find for me. Look at it! It's a fantastic match for the Sears Lakeland's catalog image, except for one issue that I'll explain.
Last night's comment in our private research group on FaceBook.
This 2-family building sits at 215-217 Eaton Avenue, in Hamilton, Ohio. Let's look at how it matches up to the details of the catalog image:

215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland / No 129
215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland
B&W image of Sears Lakeland from 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Sears Lakeland in my 1918 catalog
The one thing that doesn't match on this house, is that the Lakeland has a chamfered corner on each side of the front (that means that its angled), with two windows in it, upstairs and downstairs. But, the house in Hamilton has a flat front façade, and a flat side façade, so no chamfered corner. It looks like they decided to move those two windows into the rooms upstairs and down, on that side of the room, onto the left wall, instead of putting in a chamfered corner. Probably easier to build, too. Since it wasn't pre-cut, it was probably a design choice they made at time of purchase of the kit. 
B&W image of Sears Lakeland from 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog

215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129

Here is the Lakeland in West Springfield, Massachusetts, again, with its chamfered corners in place:
75 North Boulevard West Springfield MA • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129
See the angled strips on each side of the front façade? Chamfered corners.
We usually are careful about explaining away differences... we like our houses to match the catalog image perfectly. But, that's a mighty high order for these very old models, especially the non pre-cut models. Still, we won't add a house to our list, unless it has a whole lot going for it that's right. And, this house does! Other than the corners, it matches perfectly. It has every window and door in perfect place. The dormers and the bumpouts and the little peak thing at the top of the building... all of that is spot on. Even the original leaded-glass in the windows -- including the dormers!-- is still in place, not to mention that the doors match the style shown in the catalog image, as does all of the white trim areas painted on the house, including the white diamonds in the dormers and on the front porch overhang.
B&W image of Sears Lakeland from 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog


215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129


wooden many-panel storm doors from Sears 1915 Building materials catalog
These are exterior wooden storm doors from Sears, from the 1918 building supplies catalog, I believe. They may well be the doors shown on the front of the Lakeland, in the catalog.
215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129

We don't have any interior photos of this Lakeland, but here is the floor plan, and two other views of the exterior:
B&W image of Sears Lakeland from 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog

215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129

215-217 Eaton Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio • probable Sears Lakeland /Sears No 129

Sears Lakeland In Hartwell (Cincinnati) Ohio
But, wait... there's one more! And, this last Lakeland was also found as a total instance of happenstance. 

When we were discussing my brown and white Lakeland find in Hamilton, Ohio, Cindy mentioned that she knew that one of the "Built at" places mentioned, for this model, was Hartwell, an area of Cincinnati, in Ohio. She jokingly said that maybe I could try to find that one, now. I laughed, too, because... well... what would the chance be of my just happening to stumble upon that one model, in the whole big area that is Hartwell?

Turns out, pretty good chances! Ha! 

Once again, I just opened up Google maps to Hartwell, Ohio...  I didn't have a specific address, so I just typed in Hartwell, Ohio. Google maps showed me this boundary, and provided an image of an area that is available to see with Streetview... must be, like, the very center of Hartwell.
Google map showing Hartwell boundaries in Cincinnati Ohio
Here's Hartwell, on Google maps
So, I clicked on that image, and saw that little green bungalow-ish house, with its 2-window dormer, and front porch. 
random non-Sears house in Hartwell, Ohio
And, so, to get my bearings, and start my searching on the streets of Hartwell, Ohio, I backed up a bit, and turned myself around on the map, to get to the actual street, so I could click on it, to move along the street. The second that I turned that map around, bam! I saw this:
Sears Lakeland / Sears No 129

What!?!? No way! But, yes... there was the "Built at" Hartwell, Ohio Sears Lakeland, sitting EXACTLY at the spot where I plopped down my Google-driving cursor on the map! I was absolutely amazed. What a fun moment for a treasure hunter, to land right in front of your prize!

This Lakeland, once again, has one difference: The front porch was enlarged to cover the whole width of the front of the building, on the first floor. But, other than that, it's perfect! Though it no longer has its original leaded-glass windows, or the decorative white-trim diamonds, it does have the chamfered corners. And, what it also has, is lovely landscaping, and lots of tree foliage that got in the way of the Google map car's camera. So, the best views are actually from the Hamilton County assessor's website. Take a look:
32-34 Hereford Ave Cincinnati Ohio: Sears Lakeland / Sears No 129

32-34 Hereford Ave Cincinnati Ohio: Sears Lakeland / Sears No 129

32-34 Hereford Ave Cincinnati Ohio: Sears Lakeland / Sears No 129
32-34 Hereford Avenue, Hartwell (Cincinnati), Ohio • authenticated Sears Lakeland / No. 129
And, to add icing to this yummy cake, there is a beautiful, creamy-yellow Sears Americus on the same street, originally found by Bea Lask, during her searching for her Masters Thesis on Sears houses in Cincinnati. It was Cindy Catanzaro, along with Andrew Mutch, and the late Donna Bakke, who helped put together this document, listing the many homes found through Bea's work.

To wrap things up here, let's take a look at the Sears Americus down the block, at 51 Hereford Avenue, Hartwell, Ohio. Cindy graciously shared with me her own private photos of this Americus-- thanks, Cindy. Of course, please don't use them for any purpose, without asking her permission. She can be reached through her blog.
Photo by Cindy Catanzaro: Sears Americus 51 Hereford Ave Hartwell area of Cincinnati Ohio
Sears Americus, 51 Hereford Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio
Personal photo by Cindy Catanzaro, not to be used without permission.

Photo by Cindy Catanzaro: Sears Americus 51 Hereford Ave Hartwell area of Cincinnati Ohio
Sears Americus, 51 Hereford Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio  
Personal photo by Cindy Catanzaro, not to be used without permission.


Photo by Laraine Shape: Sears Americus 51 Hereford Ave Hartwell area of Cincinnati Ohio
This last photo was taken by the late Laraine Shape, a Cincinnati realtor who passed away not long after taking this photo. Laraine was a friend of Cindy's, and had written a blog called Sears Houses In Cincinnati. Cindy faithfully re-stored the blog posts, which have wonderful interior and exterior photos of Sears houses. It can be seen here.
Finally, let me share this great 1912 advertisement for Sears Modern Homes, that was shown in the lumber catalog of that year. It includes the No. 129 (Lakeland), up in the top strip of houses being advertised. You can see it on the Daily Bungalow feed, on Flickr, here.
Daily Bungalow 1915 ad from lumber catalog--Sears houses
Click to enlarge, or go directly to the image, at Daily Bungalow (used with permission-- thanks, Daily Bungalow!)
While you're at it, you can take a look at the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog, from which this beautiful image of the Sears Americus, comes:
Daily Bungalow image: Sears Americus from 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Source: Daily Bungalow's 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog