For many years, I’ve wondered what it would be like to see a Magnolia in original condition.
Now, I know.
The Sears Magnolia in South Bend was recently listed for sale, and the Realtor kindly sent me a few pictures.
It can be described in one word: STUNNING.
Or maybe two: Original!
These photos give us a rare opportunity to step back in time almost 100 years, and see what the Sears Magnolia looked like when built.
If I was queen of the world (and it shouldn’t be long now), I’d insist that the potential buyers of this rare, historically significant home be required to do a proper, thoughtful and historically sensitive restoration (which is radically different from a remodeling). I’d demand that they find a way to preserve the home’s original features.
As my buddy Bill Inge says, “The first commandment of preservation is, ‘Thou shalt not destroy good old work.'”
The 3,895-square foot home is listed at $320,000. Situated on 1/3 of an acre, it has four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half-baths. The listing says it was built in 1927, but we know that that’s not right. The Magnolia was offered from 1918-1922.
This house is a rare treasure. I hope its next owners “catch” the vision and see what a remarkable property it really is.
Ready to see some photos? You should get ready to be dazzled!
To buy this fine old house, click here.
To learn more about the history of the Sears Magnolia kit home, click here.
Interested in reading more about how these homes were built? Click here.
All photos are copyright Steve Matz, 2014.
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The Sears Magnolia is now for sale in South Bend, IN.
The Magnolia was offered from 1918-1922 in the Sears Modern Homes catalog.
The Magnolia in South Bend is remarkable because it's in original condition.
A view from the inside.
This Magnolia still retains its original mouldings and trim but the inglenook and columns are not in place. It's possible that the house was built without these built-ins.
I suspect that this is the fireplace in the den.
The den (right rear) was very small (only 8'9" deep). It's unusual to see the den in its original shape and size. It's also unusual to see a house from this vintage with a half-bath on the first floor (next to the den).
The Realtor had the good sense to photograph the staircase from the same angle as the original catalog image!
Nice match, isn't it? Check out the French doors at the rear - both upper and lower level.
Nice, huh? 😀
There's something about these old nooks that just makes my heart skip a beat.
This is the very best picture of all. And perhaps the home's finest feature: A built-in nook, completely untouched by time, with the original tile floor, white hexagonal tiles with a blue flower center. This pattern is a classic feature found in early 20th Century Sears Homes. You can see the three original wooden windows behind the nook.
Fun comparison, isn't it? It's so rare to see these nooks still in place.
Not only does this house have its original Butler's Pantry, but it has the original sink, wooden surround and fixture. This house is such a rare find, and to think that it's a Sears Magnolia!
Upstairs, just off the Master Bedroom, is a surprisingly large dressing room. The fact that even the dressing room is original is a real testament to the home's prior owners, who had the wisdom to follow the #1 rule: "Thou shalt not destroy good old work." And this cabinetry was incredibly good work. In the corner, is the Magnolia's original sink, light fixtures and medicine chest - unpainted! If you look closely, you'll see the original cabinet pulls.
It's true that I am nutty as a fruitcake, but seeing this century-old Magnolia - wholly untouched by time - sends me. Original sink, original fixtures, original medicine chest, and an original light fixture (porcelain sconce). Just incredible. I'm a big fan of old plumbing but I've never seen a three-sided sink before.
Close-up of the upstairs floorplan, showing that small sink in the dressing room.
And the sunporch has its original wooden casement windows.
A view from the upstairs 2nd floor balcony.
To buy this fine old house, click here.
Interested in learning more about the Sears Magnolia? Click here.
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It truly is wonderful to see the interior of such a fine house remain untouched by “modern” hands.
I LOVE breakfast nooks, so happy to see it in its original state.
I would buy it if I could, or if I lived in that state 😉
Look at page 13 in the book Houses by Mail for a letter from the owner of this house.
I have always admired this house! My in-laws almost bought the house in Irwin, Pennsylvania.
Rose, I wanted to let you Know that the Magnolia in South Bend has been sold today to a very nice couple.
The future looks bright for our Maggie.
Thank you for your knowledge and inspiration and to all the fine people that follow you for their pictures and enthusiasm.
I may have found another Magnolia in my college hometown of Brookings, SD!!!
I hope the new owners are enjoying this grand house, and restoring her to her original glory. http://realtyfortwayne.com/