Orlando in Nebraska

Last year, I was watching the movie “Nebraska” with my daughter Corey, when I asked her to hit pause for a moment. I jumped up, grabbed a camera and took a picture of the tv screen.

My daughter quietly asked, “Sears House?”

Montgomery Ward,” I replied.

We continued with our movie.

As mentioned in a prior blog, I can’t just watch movies or television like normal people. I’m forever looking at the architecture. Doesn’t matter if they’re Sears Homes or not, I like looking at houses. When I was single, I kept hoping to find a dating site that featured pictures of men’s homes, rather than their faces. Some things are so much more important than looks. And then I ended up marrying a guy who lived in a concrete filing cabinet for people.

And then we moved to a fine home after we got married.

Shown below is the house I spotted in the movie “Nebraska.”  As movies go, it was okay, but pretty slow.

However it did have a nice house. Looks like it might be a Montgomery Ward “Orlando.”


To read more about how to identify kit homes, click here.



This foursquare was featured in the movie "Nebraska" with Bruce Dern


Dare I hope

Is it a Montgomery Ward Orlando? Might be.



Montgomery Ward and Gordon Van Tine were one in the same. Montgomery Ward relied on GVT to handle all facets of sales, from catalog publication to order fulfillment. What's the difference between a Montgomery Ward house and a Gordon Van Tine house? Not much. Image above is from the 1918 catalog.



I love reading this stuff.



Classic foursquare, with one difference: No entry foyer. Instead, that extra space is used for a small den or first-floor bedroom. Notice also that it has "good-morning stairs" in the kitchen. Nice touch!



This is the only Orlando I've ever seen, and it's in Beckley, West Virginia.



My friend Ersela found this house in Beckley. For years, people had said it was a Sears House. They were close!


To learn more about Gordon Van Tine, click here.

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  1. Dale Wolicki

    Oh I know for a fact you did not quietly ask your daughter to pause the movie …

    I have no doubt you jumped to feet and screamed “STOP! STOP THE MOVIE!”

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