As mentioned in a prior post, I went through Rocky Mount, North Carolina several months ago and found a handful of kit homes, but apparently (without my handy dandy Garmin), I missed the good stuff. Today, I returned to Rocky Mount and this time (thanks to Garmin), I found all kinds of treasures in neighborhoods that I didn’t even know existed. (Read Part I here.)
All of the houses (below) are located in Rocky Mount, and most likely, the people living in these early 20th Century homes don’t realize that they have a kit home that came from a mail-order catalog.
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The Aladdin Pasadena was a popular house, and a distintive one, too!
This Pasadena has seen a few changes, but still retains the "look" of its original design.
The Aladdin Pomona was one of Aladdin's most popular houses!
The siding people have had their way with this Aladdin Pomona, but fortunately it still retains its original railings!
The Aladdin Shadowlawn was another very popular house for Aladdin. The eaves on this house are quite spectacular. Notice also the diamond muntins on that small second-floor window.
Despite a pretty substantial addition to the side, this Shadowlawn is still easily recognizable!
Through the years, the Shadowlawn went through some changes! Is this an earlier model Shadowlawn? I'd say - probably it is. But it's not a spot-on match like the house above.
The dark colors hide its true beauty, but this Aladdin Plaza is in wonderfully original condition.
This Aladdin Plaza is NOT in wonderfully original condition yet it retains some of its original features.
Aladdin Sherburne from the 1931 Aladdin catalog
Beautiful Aladdin Shelburne on a beautiful lot!
Aladdin Detroit, as seen in the 1919 catalog.
A nearly perfect Detroit in Rocky Mount!
Aladdin Winthrop from the 1919 catalog.
Slightly hidden behind a tree, this Aladdin Winthrop is still easy to spot with those small windows in the gabled bay, the four porch posts (two of which have no columns atop them) and the four windows across the front.
And finally, my two favorite finds of the day!
The first is the Aladdin Williamette. This house was offered only in the 1920 Aladdin catalog, and this Williamette in Rocky Mount is the only Williamette I have ever seen. And it’s just a perfect match.
Aladdin Williamette from the 1920 Aladdin catalog
And here it is: The Aladdin Williamette in Rocky Mount, NC. More than 90% of the people living in these homes don't realize that they're living in a kit home!
The second house is the Sears Elmhurst. This was also a very rare house and looks nothing like a typical “kit” home. This neo-tudor is both spacious, grand and ornate, and has lots of fine features you won’t find on your average Sears House!
The Sears Elmhurst - a fine house!
Sears Elmhurst in Rocky Mount. This really is a beautiful match, and the only difference is, the house in Rocky Mount has had an addition put onto the both sides.
And here's a very sad little Lustron (post-WW2 prefab), suffering greatly from carbuncles of the flesh. Lustrons were made with 2x2 20-gage metal panels, with a porcelain enamel coating. Painting a Lustron is exactly like trying to paint the top of a 1960s Lady Kenmore washing machine. Never a good idea. There are about 2,500 Lustrons in the country, and they really were ahead of their time. It's heart-wrenching to see one of these remarkable homes abused and abandoned.
Too sad for words.
I'd love to know what this building is! It's massive and appears empty. If you know its original (or current) purpose, please leave a comment below.
Enjoy the photos, and if you know of anyone in Rocky Mount who might be interested in learning more about these amazing and delightful discoveries, please share this link!
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To buy Rose’s book, click here.
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I believe I own a Shelburne, but mine has a finished upstairs, and one upstairs bedroom extends out over the dining room in front with a full window. My windows look different than the picture, being original to the house, they are metal multi paned, and open out from the center. Pretty much a dead-ringer for the catalog picture though. Can I send a picture and get your opinion?
Yes, please send a photo to email@example.com. Please put, “I love your book more than anything I’ve ever read” in the subject line so I’ll read the email. The great majority of my emails say, “Sears Home” in the subject line. 😉
I believe the photo of the building at the railroad tracks use to be the railroad shops located on Arlington Street until they closed it and move the operation to another part of the state. Sorry I can’t supply anymore details about it. I think they might have closed it sometime in the 70s or early 80s.
That large abandoned building was part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Emerson Shops, the ACL’s primary shop where passenger cars were rebuilt and repaired. It employed as many as 2,200 workers through the 1950s.
This is a part of/one of of the Emerson Buildings. It is located on the CSX yard.
The address for the railyard is on Sutton Rd on the south end of Rocky Mount, NC.
They actually built train cars in there. It was a city containing many more buildings than you see there.