In terms of actual sales numbers of kit homes, Aladdin was actually a bigger company than Sears, but these many years later, they’re not as well known. “Sears Homes” is to kit homes what Kleenex is to disposable tissues. It’s become a generic term, that is over-used and frequently wrong.
More than 80% of the people who think they live in a Sears Home are wrong, and yet the majority of these misinformed souls *do* live in a kit home, but it’s often a kit house from another company, such as Aladdin (or Gordon Van Tine, or Lewis Manufacturing, or Sterling, or Montgomery Wards).
Here in the Southeastern United States, most of our kit homes are from Aladdin, and that’s probably because of the proximity to Wilmington, NC where Aladdin had a massive mill.
One of my favorite Aladdin houses is the Brentwood. It’s a classic Arts & Crafts house with lots of flair. Best of all, it’s easy to identify because of its many unique architectural features.
Enjoy the pictures, and if you know of an Aladdin Brentwood near you, please contact me!
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Interested in learning more about Aladdin? Click here!
What's not to love? The Aladdin Brentwood as seen in the 1919 catalog. What a house!
I love it that the small balcony (second floor) is not off the "master bedroom," but the "owner's room." The guy who's making the payments on this joint gets the Romeo and Juliet balcony. Darn tootin'!
I love the last paragraph: "A Tennessee owner says, 'My Brentwood is the admiration of the town. It was ready for plastering two weeks after the first nail was driven.'" The first line of this ad also reflects this theme.
One of my favorite Brentwoods, right here in my neck of the woods. This house is in Hampton, VA and is in stunningly beautiful condition. My research shows that the home's original owner was an electrician. I wonder if he built the house himself? Often tradesman would do just that.
Another Brentwood in nearby Newport News. Sadly, this gorgeous old house is in East End, which is a very crime-ridden and unsafe area. Our local news is full of stories of shootings and stabbings in East End. Before long, this house will probably be another footnote of our local history.
Back to the happy Brentwoods: Here's a beauty in Chapel Hill, NC.
Roanoke Rapids, NC has a massive collection of Aladdin Kit Homes, including this Brentwood.
Scotland Neck, NC (near Roanoke Rapids) also is home to many Aladdin kit homes. This Brentwood needs a little love, but it's still in pretty good shape.
Years ago, I discovered this Aladdin Brentwood in Mattoon, IL. It's been rode hard and put away wet, but it's still solid and true. The hardest part about finding these classic old kit homes in the tiny towns of the Midwest is that they're often in very sad condition and/or neglected.
The Brentwood as seen in the 1914 Aladdin catalog.
To learn more about Aladdin kit homes, click here.
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Was it normal for the Brentwood to have that Sears Lebanon style dormer?
Some Brentwoods had that “through the cornice dormer” and some did not. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was the year offered, or just an individual request.
Another one is located at 2157 5th St. in Bay City, MI. It looks like they’ve added on to the living room side, giving the bedrooms upstairs each a sitting room, too. Such a cool house plan!
That address is, or was when first built, the home of Otto Sovereign. The catalog images shown in this blog are THAT same exact house. 😉
The house on Fifth Street is the original Brentwood built for Otto Sovereign in 1913. The lower level of the two “additions to the left is original porch; the upper “addition” was a sleeping porch added circa 1924 after Sovereign moved. The Brentwood was among Aladdin Homes most popular models and could be customized as needed.
I am currently in the process of purchasing the home that Nissua mentioned.
I believe it may be the original Brentwood (built in 1912 and two doors down from where the president of Aladdin homes lived) and possibly the subject of the drawing and the photo from those early catalogs. I would love any additional information that you have on this home.
I would also be willing to share photos of the interior once we take possession of the home.