Almost as Good as a Magnolia! (Sears Pennsgrove!)

My website recently hit 750,000 views. That’s a lot of people reading about Sears Homes. And with all those visitors, I also get a lot of “I saw a neighborhood just full of Magnolias” emails.

And yet tonight (Thursday night), someone left a comment, saying that there was a Sears Pennsgrove in their neighborhood. The Pennsgrove is one of those rare kit homes that neither I, nor Rebecca, nor Dale have ever seen. And we’ve been looking!

A Pennsgrove.

In Baltimore.

And much to my surprise, they were right. It was a Sears Pennsgrove. The Pennsgrove was only offered in 1931 and 1932, which is part of the reason it’s so rare. Those were not boom years for American real estate.

The Pennsgrove was truly a beautiful home, and fancy too. It’s spacious (about 2,200 square feet), has a two-car attached garage, and is full of unique features. Driving past this beauty, you’d never guess in a million years that this house came from Sears.

And yet it did.

Many thanks to Tom and Jada for telling me about this splendiferous Sears House in Baltimore. You can visit their website here.

Thanks also to the anonymous, gifted, talented and generous Realtor who so graciously permitted me to use her incredibly beautiful photos.

To learn more about identifying kit homes, click here.

*   *   *

Pretty fancy house for a kit, isnt it? (1932 catalog)

Pretty fancy house for a kit, isn't it? (1932 catalog)


I love the text in these old catalogs.

"Pleasing proportions, picturesque detail, contrasting surfaces and softly blended colors give the Pennsgrove that rare charm characteristic of the countrysides of Kent and Surrey across the sea."


Two car attached garage? Wow.

Two car attached garage? Wow. And the garage is big enough to store pine trees, too!



Small bedrooms, but look at all that busyness off the master bedroom.


Nice house.

The Pennsgrove, as it appeared in the 1932 catalog.


And the Pennsgrove as it appears today.

And the Pennsgrove as it appears today.



Gosh, what a house!


Inisde, the house has some delightful and quirky features.

Inside, the house has some delightful and quirky features, such as this opening onto the staircase. And look at that wood! It looks like the house is mostly in original condition.



Another view of the entry foyer.


A cute

This house has two full bathrooms, and in this bath, the original tub remains.


There is something charming about a bathroom tucked under a dormer.

There is something charming about a bathroom tucked under a dormer.




Beautiful dining room with original wainscoting.



Another dormer in an upstairs bedroom.


What have you got in YOUR neighborhood?

To contact Rose, please leave a comment below.

To read another really fun blog, click here.

*   *   *


  1. Mark Hardin

    The elevation and slope of that lot looks like it may have been the actual house from the catalog image.

    The trees are even positioned right.

  2. Sears Homes

    Mark, that’s an excellent observation! You’re right, it does have the same elevation. I’d love to get a photo from the same angle. Better yet would be a vintage photo from the same angle!

    And, the house on Drury Street in Baltimore has a slate roof. Looks like the house in the catalog has a slate roof too. Plus, look at the front entry. It has one low slab (stone?) for the entry way. And take a close look at the roofing shingles beside the fireplace chimney. It’s an unusual arrangement that’s replicated in that catalog image.

    Lastly, there was a Sears Modern Homes store in Baltimore, so that makes it even more likely (that this was *THE* model house for the Pennsgrove).

    UPDATED: Mark, look at the detail where that front gable meets up with the edge of the chimney. It’s a little bit different on these two images, so I’d say that it is NOT the same house.


  3. Mark Hardin

    I have to disagree. I would have to see a picture from the same angle as the catalog.

    Look closely at the stonework detail around the front door especially on the wall on the right side. The darker stones in the catalog image match the recent pictures.

  4. Sears Homes

    @Mark Hardin
    Mark, I’ve looked at this yet AGAIN and I think you’re right.

    What I *thought* was a slightly different arrangement by the front gable/chimney area was in actuality a piece of that goofy little first-floor dormer.

    So yes, I’ve changed my mind – again!

    It really does look to be THE model house.

  5. Josh

    This is my favorite of all the Sears Houses.

    And yes – this house in Baltimore – MUST be the original model home.

    The stone work on the front is the same, and that cannot be replicated.

  6. Josh

    I found another post on this site where it is clear they now know this is THE house.

    So pardon my lateness to the game 🙂 Beautiful house!

  7. Christina

    Rose I am writing a newspaper article about Sears homes in Baltimore.

    Would you have time to talk with me?

  8. Sabina Pade

    I’ve often reasoned that houses roofed with slate, as houses very commonly were in Baltimore, are almost certain not to be kit houses, because kit houses wouldn’t normally be designed to support the weight, and also because a homeowner seeking presumably to save money by building a kit home wouldn’t want to incur the added cost. Looks like I reasoned wrong!

    FWIW, a trolley line previously did run near Drury Lane.