The Montrose: A Rare Tribute to the Best of English Colonial Architecture

In Portsmouth, Virginia, there’s a neighborhood known as “West Park View.” Through the last 120 years, it’s seen its ups and downs, and on a recent drive through this enchanting riverfront neighborhood, the hopeful signs of progress and improvement greatly outnumber the signs of blight and trouble. And almost smack dab in the middle of West Park View is the prettiest little Sears Montrose that you ever did see.

I’d first discovered the West Park View Montrose  in 2002, when I was visiting family in the Portsmouth area. (I lived in St. Louis at the time.)  I contacted the home’s owners to let them know what a treasure they had. (Based on my experience, more than 90% of the people living in these homes didn’t realize what they had until I knocked on their door and told them!)

Now, ten years later, memory is a little fuzzy, but to the best of my recollection, the owners of the West Park View Montrose didn’t know what they had until I showed them the original catalog page in the 1928 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

And then today, when I drove to the Montrose to get its photo, I saw a little sign hanging in front of the house. That little sign made my day. It was a lovely reminder that there are many people who love these delightful little Sears kit homes just as much as I do.

To learn more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

To see more pictures of Sears Homes, click here.

Its a SIGN!

This little sign did my heart a world of good. Very nice to see.


Sears Montrose in West Park View (Portsmouth).

Here's the house that goes with the sign: Montrose in West Park View (in Portsmouth Virginia).


The Montrose appeared briefly in the 1920s and then disappeared.

The fancy vestibule on the Montrose makes it easier to identify .


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"The Montrose is modern throughout..."



Look at the size of the that living room!


send floor

The architects really liked bedrooms that were 12 feet x 9 feet.


Close-up of the front door details.

Close-up of the front door details.


Kirkwood, MO

This house (Kirkwood, MO) is pretty well surrounded by tall pines.


Montrose in Moorefield, WV

The Montrose in Moorefield, WV is undergoing some serious repairs.


Montrose in Raleigh

This Montrose in Raleigh is in beautiful shape.

On Saturday, May 19th, Rose will be giving a talk at the Rialto Theater in Raleigh. Click here to learn more.

Interesting in learning more about these remarkable early 20th Century kit homes? Click here.

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  1. Cindy Catanzaro

    I would have drove right past that one in Moorefield W Va, and never suspected it was a Montrose. The rest are awesome!

  2. Jan

    I adore the “Montrose” sign the owners put up on their house! I wish every kit home owner would follow this lead as it would sure make it easier for me to spot these homes!

  3. Julie

    May I email you some photos of the house my great great grandfather built in 1914? Supposedly it was a Sears kit, but we haven’t been able to find the plan for it. I’m sure you could look at the photos and solve this mystery quickly! I would appreciate it so much if you’d give your opinion.

  4. Sears Homes

    Hi Julie. Please send me a photo, and I’ll see if we can figure out which model it is. If it really is a Sears, it won’t be difficult to do.