GVT #605: Exceptionally Well Planned!

From 1995-2006, I lived in Southwestern Illinois, specifically Elsah, Alton and later, Godfrey.

While I was living in this area, I became enchanted with the topic of Sears Homes, and I spent countless hours of my life driving around Southwestern Illinois, staring at the pre-1940 architecture, hoping to find (and identify) a few kit homes.

One of my favorite finds in Alton was this Gordon Van Tine Model #605. Gordon Van Tine was another company that (like Sears) sold entire kit homes through a mail-order catalog. Number 605 was one of their more popular models. There are three of these houses in Alton. If someone in Alton could get me photos of the other two, I’d be very grateful!

To learn more about Gordon Van Tine, click here.

Gordon Van Tine #605 as seen in the 1922 catalog.

Gordon Van Tine #605 as seen in the 1922 catalog.

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The testimonial at the bottom of the page gives an address for Model #605 in California! My kingdom for a picture of THIS house!

The testimonial at the bottom of the page gives an address for Model #605 in California! My kingdom for a picture of THIS house!

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Floorplan for #605

Floorplan for #605

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And heres my favorite #605 - in Alton, Illinois. What a beauty!

When I first started doing research in Alton, several people told me that *this* was a Sears kit house. As I started to learn about these other kit home companies, I finally realized that it *was* a kit house, but it was a kit home from Gordon Van Tine. In my experience, this is a common mistake. About 80% of the people who THINK they have a "Sears Home" are wrong. The majority DO have a kit home, but it's from another company.

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To read the next fascinating blog, click here.

To learn more about Gordon Van Tine, click here.

Need to buy a house in Southwestern Illinois? Click here.

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7 Comments

  1. naomi g.

    Rose,

    I looked up that address and saw pictures of a different house. I think that he lived at that house while the Gordon Van Tine was being built.

    But it’s interesting to see that other houses on that street because some of them look like kit built homes.

  2. Rachel Shoemaker

    I am afraid that it is gone 🙁

    I looked in the directories and his address is the same as above in 1924 and 1926.

  3. ShariD

    Unfortunately, the link to Gordan Van Tine at the top of this page no longer goes to an active site. That’s a shame, because it surely would have been nice to add that to the marvelous amount of information on kit homes that you have provided!

  4. Tony Goodwin

    I’m happy to say we are renovating a #605 here in Portsmouth VA and there is a mirrored image of one in Norfolk VA at the corner of 37th St and Colonial. I finally found the catalog of our house.

  5. ShariD

    This link below works, and is an active Gordon Van Tine site page by Dale Wolicki!

    http://www.gordonvantine.com/

    Then there’s always the Antique Home Style page about Gordon Van Tine – which guides you to Dale’s page as well as showing a couple of year’s catalog pages……

    http://www.antiquehomestyle.com/plans/gordon-van-tine/index.htm

    Also found this page in my internet trekking over time…..

    http://www.historichousecolors.com/documents/GordonVanTine.pdf

    And if you’re still digging on Gordon Van Tine homes – here’s one more, with more links provided……

    http://www.arts-crafts.com/archive/kithome/gordonvantinehomes.shtml

  6. Bulldog

    Hey Rosemary! That mystery house at 1727 Loma Street in Santa Barbara, California is a Gordon Van Tine #502.

  7. Ryan

    I live in the house pictured above ! 1809 state st Alton il

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