When I first started researching Sears Homes in 1999, I was living in Alton, Illinois. By 2002, I had driven the city many, many times, finding all the Crescents, and Gladstones, and Starlights and Craftons and Westlys – in short, all the most popular, easy-to-identify models.
In my spare time, I’d alternately study the old catalogs and then cruise around town, hoping to discover something new.
In late 2002, I drove down Park Avenue in Alton and discovered the Sears Dundee. It’s the only one I’ve ever found and – thank goodness – as of March 2010 (when this photo was taken), it was still in beautifully original condition.
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"The Dundee" from the 1921 catalog.
By 1928, the house had undergone some changes. The square footage was increased by extending the home's length, and the price increased a mere $58 (from 1921 to 1928).
The floor plan in 1921 showed two wee-tiny bedrooms, with a small mudroom on the rear.
In the 1928 floor plan, the kitchen and the rear bedroom have increased by two linear feet.
The 1921 catalog showed a "front view" of the Dundee.
The Sears Dundee in Alton, Illinois. Between landscaping and hills, it was impossible to get a photo from the same angle as the catalog image.
The Dundee in Alton is a little larger than the Sears Dundee, but it's likely that this house was either customized when built or added on to, later in life. Because of the distinctive ornamental detail on the porch roof, I am confident this really is the Sears Dundee.
Had this house been covered in crappy vinyl siding, I would never have discovered it. That distinctive gable on the front porch was the item that caught my eye!
To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.
To read about a big fancy Sears House in New York City, click here.
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I live in a Sears “Dundee” in Indiana. It’s currently gutted and under renovations, but, in all its 90-year-old glory, it’s a Dundee.