As of last month, more than 260,000 people have visited this website. As a result, more and more folks are sending me beautiful pictures of the Sears Homes in their neighborhood, and one of those people is Catarina Bannier, a Realtor in the DC area. (Visit her website here.)
Every house featured below was found and photographed by Catarina.
If you have a bundle of beautiful Sears Homes in your city, please send me your photos. Just leave a comment below (with your email, which will not be publicly visible), and I’ll contact you!
To learn more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.
First, my favorite house in this bundle: The Sears Preston. The Preston was featured on the cover of "Houses by Mail," and yet it's a rare bird in the world of Sears Homes.
And here it is in Washington, DC, complete with its original shutters. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
The Sears Westly was a perennial favorite for Sears (1919 catalog).
This Westly is in wonderfully original condition. Even the original siding (shakes and clapboard) have survived several decades worth of pesky vinyl siding salesmen. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
The Sears Fullerton is a beautiful and classic foursquare (1925 catalog).
Even though the vinyl siding salesmen have "had their way" with this grand old house, you can still see the classic lines of the Fullerton. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
In addition to Sears, there were other companies that sold kit homes in the early 1900s, including "Lewis Homes." They were based in Bay City, Michigan. Catarina has found several Lewis Homes in the DC area.
The Ardmore is an easy-to-recognize kit home because of its many unique architectural features. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
The Sears Barrington was probably one of their "Top 20" most popular homes (1928 catalog).
This Barrington in DC looks much like it did when built in the late 1920s. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
And one of my favorites, the Sears Alhambra.
I've seen hundreds of Alhambras throughout the country but I have never seen one painted orange! Doesn't look too bad! It's a nice orange - kind of a "Popsicle Orange." And the house is in beautiful condition. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
And another Lewis Home, the Cheltenham (1922 catalog).
I have recurring dreams about a big beautiful 1920s Dutch Colonial that someone has left to me in their will. I'm a sap for a beautiful Dutch Colonial and the Cheltenham is one of the prettiest ones I've ever seen. Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Bannier and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.
In the 1930s, Sears listed the location of their "Sears Modern Homes Sales Offices." They placed these "Sears Modern Homes Stores" in communities were sales of kit homes were already quite strong, and once these stores were in place, sales (not surprisingly) became even stronger. In DC, the Sears Modern Homes Sales Office was on Bladensburg Road.
To learn more about Sears Homes, visit here.
To buy Rose’s book, click here.
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Have to admit that I have been almost obssessed with finding a Sears built home in my area. I believe I have found one in Hattiesburg, MS (have to get the photos onto the computer) and when driving through my area, I drive slowly and look at houses. Instead of a speeding ticket, my will be a ticket for going to slow and impeding the flow of traffic.
RITA! Send me photos, and lots of them!! Aladdin and Gordon Van Tine had MASSIVE lumber mills in Hattiesburg, MS!
We have to have them here in Westchester County as well since Sears had a sales office in New Rochelle.
Hi Rose, thanks for the “link love” and for getting so persistently getting the message out!
I have asked people on ActiveRain to send you their pics as well–hope they will. I’m looking forward to seeing them. 🙂
( http://activerain.com/blogsview/3026184/any-historic-sears-house-pictures-to-share- )
Hi 🙂 My husband and i are the proud owners of a Sears Westly in Fargo, ND. Before moving, i had never even heard about Sears houses (I’m from the Dominican Republic), but we fell in love with its character- despite the colors (let’s just say the former owner loved gray and white).
We want to renovate it to look as it is supposed to, for some of the features inside the home are gone (there used to be a pair of columns and a fireplace- we have the chimney- hiding under layers of sheetrock, but no fireplace, and they added arches at some point that look out of place). I discovered, by chance, that ours was one of those because i knew it was an old house, and being curious about its history and style, i posted it on a website- and someone directed me to a catalog.
The footprint of the house is still the same, except for a few additions (the kitchen is bigger and obviously added later- the siding is completely different to the rest of the house, there’s a little office over the addition, and the stoop is enclosed as a mudroom), but the siding and most of the woodwork is original.
We’d like to repair this house and remove some of the anachronistic details introduced by former occupants 🙂 like the acoustic tile in the dining room and the foyer, and the weird arches, and will be painting it outside this year, and repairing and/or replacing the gutters, to make it more period appropriate (and more beautiful).
I found a color scheme more suitable, that will highlight all the details (right now it’s hard to see, it’s all a sea of boring white)… I have pictures from last year, as well as of a fence we put up trying to be true to the style (we have kids and a dog- that had to go first). Let me know if you’d like to see them.
Julia, I would LOVE to see photos!!! I don’t have *any* photos of Sears Homes in North Dakota!
@Sears Homes I can’t find a picture of the front, but I promise to take some more recent ones. 🙂
At first they thought it was a Carlin, but after doing some research of my own, it was obvious it is a Westly. The dimensions of the rooms are close.
Here’s the link for the pictures (they were taken in 2010, when we bought it)
By the way, there’s a Carlin about half a block away from us.
Hello! Happened upon your site looking for more info on Lewis Kit homes. Love seeing the pics from the catalog next to the pics of how they look today.
My husband and I bought a Lewis Kit home in the NW ‘burbs of Chicago. Before we bought it, we just happen to see a picture of a house just like ours in an American Bungalow article on kit homes.
We’re lucky the family we bought it from in 2011, lived in it since 1948, so much of it is original, it just needs some love.
Would love to send you a pic of how it looks today!
Send me a photo! Please send it to Rosemary.email@example.com
I just wanted to check with you to tell me if the house I bought is The Glendale Sears House. It was built in 1935, sold in 1942 and the owner stayed there until 2005. I bought it in 2016.
Maya, that’s a very beautiful (and classic) bungalow, but I don’t recognize it as a kit home.
Oh! that’s an easy one!
I think she means the pattern home The Glendale from Standard Home Plans (which looks like a good match).
It’s a pattern home, that’s for sure.
Oh, my goodness, that looks a lot like the house I grew up next to in Bardstown, KY — 116 West Beall.
I grew up in a Dutch Colonial Sears house on Blair Road in DC, though I didn’t know it until I was in my 30s. My parents bought it in 1959 and and were the second owners. When I was living in Boston in the 80’s, a co-worker bought a house and when I visited it for the first time it looked vey familiar, inside and out. The tiles in the bathroom were exactly the same as my childhood home as were doorknobs, windows and other fittings. The layout of the rooms was slightly different. That night I called my dad and told him about this weird experience. That’s when I learned that ours had been a Sears house – he had found the bill of lading in the attic when they moved in. The Blair Road house is still there but the front door is different. I have no idea whether the current owners know its origins.