The Paloma: A Two-Story Bargain

In 1919, The Paloma was indeed a “two-story bargain.” The very modest 860-square-foot, two-story house cost a mere $1,131 which was a sound value.  And all in all, it wasn’t a bad-looking little house. But it was little.

Upstairs, they managed to carve three bedrooms out of the 18×24′ footprint, but they were very small. Each of the three bedrooms measured eight by something, and that makes for some pretty cramped quarters.

In Spanish, “Paloma” means pigeon. But Paloma is also the name of a city in Illinois. So was it named for the city or the bird? I’m guessing the city.

Many thanks to Donna Bakke for supplying photos of the real life Palomas in Cheviot, Ohio, a neighborhood in Cincinnati.

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The Paloma

The Paloma from the 1919 catalog.

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"Profitable investment"? At least it will be a dignified investment.

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Now that's a small kitchen. Add some cabinets and you've got a kitchen so small that you have to step into the dining room to change your mind.

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Notice how that closet window on the 2nd floor is not centered. Also, look at how small these bedrooms were. Not one of them is bigger than eight-feet something.

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Apparently, it was fairly popular.

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The Paloma as seen in the 1919 catalog. Love the flowers! In this line drawing, it appears that the closet window (second floor) is centered between the two bedroom windows. That's not accurate. The floorplan (shown above) gives a more accurate rendering.

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A Paloma in Cheviot, Ohio. Notice how that little closet window is off center? That's one very distinctive feature of this simple little house. This Paloma's original porch columns were transmogrified into pillars of wrought iron - probably in the 1950s or 60s. Photo is copyright 2012 Donna Bakke and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

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The vinyl-siding salesmen have had their way with this poor little house, but at least the porch survived that experience (even if the window frames did not). And the little closet window on the 2nd floor got buried. Photo is copyright 2012 Donna Bakke and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

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Close-up of the detail on the front porch. Notice the classic Sears detail at the top of the column! Photo is copyright 2012 Donna Bakke and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

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5 Comments

  1. Rachel Shoemaker

    Wow! Those ARE small bedrooms. If you can grow up in a bedroom that small then going off to college and living in a dorm room for four years is a walk in the park! And, I see only three bedrooms, one of which doesn’t even have a closet.

  2. Sears Homes

    @Rachel Shoemaker
    You’re right – it’s three bedrooms not four. That’s what I get for writing blogs at four in the morning!! I changed the text so it reads correctly. 🙂

  3. lori vest

    Plus you have to realize also when these homes come about your kids did not *live* in their bedrooms, they used them to sleep and maybe study and that was about it.

    The family stayed together more in the common rooms and outside. Also most children left home when they became of age.

  4. Ahnah

    There is a Paloma in Lincoln NE. We almost bought it back in 2003. Awesome home, but oh so tiny!

  5. kellie knop

    I bought the Paloma in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2003. I live in it with my 2 kids and it IS TINY!

    I absolutely love it! It was remodeled to only have 2 bedrooms before I bought it.

    It’s a good thing the yard is big 🙂

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