In late 2006, my dear friend Dale Wolicki drove from Michigan to Norfolk, Virginia to watch me get married. After the ceremony, Dale mentioned that after the wedding, he was heading south to Roanoke Rapids, NC to check out a large collection of Aladdin kit homes in that small town. My newly married ears perked right up.
“Large collection?” I asked.
“No don’t go getting any ideas,” he said. “You have to promise me that you’re not going to make your new husband drive you around to look at kit homes on your honeymoon.”
“I mean it,” he continued. “Promise?”
I couldn’t make any such promise.
My husband knew what he’d signed up for when he married me. We went to Roanoke Rapids on the way home from our honeymoon. It was fabulous, and just as Dale had promised, the area was awash in Aladdin Kit Homes.
I returned to Roanoke Rapids several times in the next several years, and took many photos. Eventually, Our State magazine did a feature story on this dazzling array of Aladdins there in Roanoke Rapids.
Below are photos showing a few of the many Aladdins we’ve discovered in Roanoke Rapids.
Aladdin Brentwood (one of two in Roanoke Rapids)
Aladdin Villa from the 1919 catalog
Aladdin Villa on the main drag in Roanoke Rapids. It's a perfect example of the Villa, which was Aladdin's biggest and best model.
Aladdin Colonial, from the 1919 catalog.
One of the best features of Roanoke Rapids is they have three of Aladdin's biggest and best models, such as the Villa, the Brentwood and this house, The Colonial.
Perfect Sunshine, slightly obscured by unfortunate placement of utility pole.
I suspect the house above is an Aladdin Rochester. The details seem right -down to the bumped-out vestibule on the front. The porch has been enlarged a bit, but that's not a major modification.
One of my favorite houses is the Aladdin Pomona
And this is one of my favorite Pomonas - right on the rail road tracks - and in PERFECT condition!
From the 1919 catalog.
Roanoke Rapids has several blocks of these modest "worker's cottages," alternating the Aladdin Herford (above) with the Aladdin Edison (a couple pictures below). The streets are filled with these two styles of homes. The house above is for sale, but I'm guessing it needs a new central air unit.
Another Herford. In this image, it was the photographer that was slightly tilted. The house was fine.
The Edison was an incredibly modest house, as you can see from this close-up of the floorplan.
Aladdin Edison in the flesh! How 'bout those icicle lights!
Aladdin Edison - close-up
Aladdin Edison. As you can see, some of these houses need a little love.
In better shape, but it's a pity that its dormer windows were obliterated.
Another Edison in Roanoke Rapids
Perfect Marsden in Roanoke Rapids.
Another perfect Aladdin: The Plaza
To learn more about how to identify kit homes, click here.
To buy Rose’s book, click here.
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