|Sears Norwood • 24 Massie Avenue, Paris, Kentucky|
|The Sears Norwood in a 1918 catalog|
I don't think I've ever posted about the Sears Norwood model... and here, we have one that was recently for sale, and in really nice, renovated condition, in, of all places, Paris! Paris... Kentucky. Last August, I featured a Sears Silverdale in Paris, Kentucky, and the only other two Sears houses that we had on our national database, in Paris, were two Norwood models, side by side, on Massie Avenue... both in original, but rather tough condition. Now, sadly, only one remains. But, it has been nicely renovated, keeping much of the remaining detail. Care to see?
The Norwood was first offered in 1918, and I should note that we have come to realize that the Norwood had a slight change to the floor plan, beginning in 1921. In 1925, an additional window was added to an upstairs bedroom. Here is a comparison between the 1918 and 1925 layouts:
|The Sears Norwood was offered from 1918-1928, with only a slight change to the layout.|
We can tell by this, that the Norwood here on Massie Avenue is from 1921 or later. The added fireplace puts a chimney right about where the side window on that upstairs front bedroom would be, so we can't tell whether the house is pre-1925, or post-1925.
One thing I love about the Norwood, is the placement of two nice, big windows, on either side of the front door. Several Sears models include this design element (the Conway/Uriel, the No 126 ) or even a pair of windows on each side of that door (the Oakdale bungalow--here's another one, in Kansas). The Wardway homes Florence model is a little, straight-line bungalow that is opened up nicely by the addition of that feature, too.
|And, here's what that looks like, from the inside.|
One of the changes shown on the floorplan, between 1918 and 1921, was a difference in the amount of steps leading up to the first landing of the staircase. The earliest floor plan shows only one step, and the later version has three, as you see on this house. The staircase newel is one that we see in the early building supply catalogs, but that we don't encounter regularly in Sears houses that we find:
|This is a snippet from my 1918 Sears Building Supplies catalog.|
|Living room, looking into dining room, and into the kitchen, where you can also see that an enclosed back porch has been added.|
|Here, we also see a plinth block used to connect two different sizes of floor moulding, which is a trick that Sears suggested to their home buyers who were building on their own, and not comfortable with making tricky angle cuts to connect moulding.|
This side of the Massie Avenue Norwood, shows how it matches the window and back-porch we see, shown on the 1928 catalog image of this model:
|Sears Norwood model as offered in the 1928 Sears Modern Homes catalog, its last year in the catalogs.|
|The window configuration is correct for this side, but the house was not built with the side entry door here.|
|While we're at it, here is the Google maps Streetview of this house, before it was renovated for re-sale. |
On this side of the fence, stood another Norwood, which was torn down.
Let's take a look at the rest of the real estate listing's photos. If you compare them to the catalog's floor plan, you'll see that doorways to closets and staircases, as well as openings between rooms, and windows, all follow the second version of the floor plan. While it's always sad to see original wood flooring replaced with laminate, we are still really pleased to see that so many original features are still in place: original doors, original Stratford model door handle hardware, original craftsman style trim from Sears, and even original Sears butterly-style half-mortise butt hinges!
This is known as the Molded Cap craftsman trim, and here it is in the 1929 Sears Building Supplies catalog:
|That would be the doorway to the pantry, which also opens to the doorway to exit through the back.|
|This butterfly-shape half-mortise butt hinge was only offered by Sears, as far as we have seen.|
|There should be a side exit door off of the side where the staircase is, but this house has it over here, off of the back porch. All of this trim, and the door, look original, so this must be original to the house.|
The 1928 catalog mentions that back-band craftsman-style trim (which this is not) is standard with the Norwood model, and it also mentions it coming with 2-cross panel doors... but this house has neither of those. Other years say that it will have 5-panel doors, "and trim to match"... and, this house has 5-panel doors.
|This is from the description in the final year that the Norwood was offered, 1928.|
|The 1923 catalog (see the page, here) describes 5-cross panel doors, which this house has.|
And, here are options that were available, as listed in the 1928 catalog:
|Options for a slight up-charge. Heating, plumbing, wiring, and electric fixtures (and shades!) were part of the kit, but, as there were different options for those, they were an add-on cost.|
The 1928 catalog has a lengthy description of the house:
|The Sears Norwood model, as described in its last year in the catalogs, 1928.|
Another thing that we are thrilled to see still in place on this original Sears Norwood model on Massie Avenue, is the Sears five-piece eave bracket. The tracery on top is fabulous, too-- that is usually gone by now, on these old models.
|This is the explanation of why we call this bracket a 5-piece bracket (from this previous blog post about a Sears Sunbeam in Turtle Creek, PA).|
A Few Other Norwood Examples
We often find that existing Norwoods have been vinylized, even covering the brackets with vinyl, but here are a few that we've found that still look original.
|This one is actually a 1940 tax photo-- it looks quite a bit different, now.|
4531 Carpenter Avenue, Bronx, NY
|Andrew found this one, through historic mortgage records. |
38 Fairmount Ave, Yonkers, NY
|Andrew found this one -- it has been completely opened up and modernized.|
310 3rd Avenue, Pelham, NY (listing photos)
|All opened up inside (310 3rd Ave, Pelham, NY)|
|Nigel found this one, and Cindy has connected it to a couple who built various Sears houses around Cincinnati. 4357 Virginia Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Nigel came across this one in Muskegon, Michigan, at 230 Strong Avenue.|
|The interior of this one in Muskegon, on Strong Avenue, shows original wood floors, and a staircase of the post-1920 floor plan. (Listing photos)|
|Andrew ran across this one in the real estate listings. It has been vinylized on the outside, but still holds a good bit of charm on the interior. 53 Parkview Avenue, Newport, Kentucky|
|Original wood flooring, original staircase newels, and original trim and doors, on the Newport, Kentucky, Norwood.|
|More nice interior photos (from this listing) for 58 Parkview Avenue, Newport, KY.|
|Lara located this Norwood through a building permit which listed Sears Roebuck as architect.|
It has been added onto in the front, by creating a fully-enclosed front porch that is integrated into the main living area, and also added onto in the back. 1034 S Elmwood Avenue, Oak Park, IL (listing)
|1034 S Elmwood Avenue, Oak Park, IL (listing)|
|1034 S Elmwood Avenue, Oak Park, IL (listing)|
That's it! Of course, if you know of a Sears model, please contact me (be sure to include a return email address, so that I can get back to you).