The Sears Magnolia was the biggest, fanciest and prettiest home. According to legend, there were only a few Magnolias built in the country, and heretofore, only six have been found (Benson, NC., South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana). The sixth was in Nebraska, and has since been torn down.
Everyone loves Sears kit homes. People are enchanted and intrigued by the idea that you could order a kit home out of a mail-order catalog and have it shipped (via train) to your building site. These were true kits, arriving in 12,000-piece kits (including a 75-page instruction book). Sears promised that a man of average abilities could have one assembled in 90 days.
But there’s another reason we love these homes: They’re beautiful. They’re well-designed and thoughtfully arranged, with nice profiles and proportions and lines.
Recently I was driving through a 1990s neighborhood and spotted this house (second photo below – with beige vinyl siding). If the Sears Magnolia were built today, it might look something like this. However, in my humble opinion, this is not an attractive home. It lacks those nice profiles and proportions and lines. It is, to be blunt, uninspiring and boring.
Then again, I’m just biding my time here until they figure out this time travel so I can get back to where I belong: The 1920s.
A Sears Magnolia in Benson:
Contemporary Magnolia Maybe Sorta Kinda