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Those Crummy Little Kit Houses From Sears…

One of my #1 goals is to disabuse people of the notion that Sears Homes were extremely modest little houses.

Yes, Sears did have several designs that were very modest, but they also had a few designs that were quite grandiose. One of their most magnificent structures was the Modern Home #303. This model does not appear in Houses by Mail (a popular field guide to Sears Homes). In fact, Sears Modern Home #303 appeared only in the very rare 1910 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

As my friend Dale points out, several of the designs that appeared in the pre-1915 Sears catalogs were lifted right off the pages of popular pattern books of the day, created by the popular architects, such as William A. Radford, Victor Vorhees, and Henry L. Wilson. (There is a plethora of information on this very topic here.)

So it’s very possible that Sears Modern Home #303 was a pattern-book house that was “borrowed” by Sears, appearing in their 1910 Modern Homes catalog.

And yet, I’ve never seen a good match to #303. And if we ever do find a match, it might take some work to figure out if this house is the real deal (Sears Modern Home #303) or if it came out of a pattern book!

Sears Modern Home #303 appeared only one year - in the 1910 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

Sears Modern Home #303 appeared only one year - in the 1910 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

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As you can see from the catalog page, this was quite a house!

As you can see from the catalog page, this was quite a house! In the small print (just under the price), it's estimated that the house can be built for about $6,700 (which includes all construction costs).

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fine print

"A Mansion of Colonial style of architecture" and it has a Superba front door!

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First floor

This 2,500-square foot house has very spacious rooms on the first floor.

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All Sears Homes

This house has a front and rear staircase, five bedrooms and a trunk room.

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house house house

The exterior has many distinctive features.

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tower twoer

These small window sashes on the tower (third floor) are pretty distinctive.

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On the other side

And this tower has a railing on top!

Have you seen this house? Please send me a photo!

To learn more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

To read the next amazing blog, click here.

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  1. Ingrid
    January 28th, 2013 at 02:21 | #1

    I just saw this house in “The Notebook” movie’s extra features.

  2. January 28th, 2013 at 07:36 | #2

    Hi Ingrid, I’ll bet you 50 cents that it was not THIS house. :)

    You may have seen a house *like* this, but it’s not likely that you saw THIS house, Modern Home #303. However, I’d be grateful to see some screen shots.

  3. June 19th, 2013 at 13:34 | #3

    I bet this house is a George F. Barber design or modeled after one of his plans. Just speculation… no proof!

  4. Tammie
    January 17th, 2015 at 00:26 | #4

    I think there is a version of this house in Weatherford, Texas. It is called the Angels Nest Bed and Breakfast. It looks so much like #303

  5. August
    May 11th, 2015 at 20:29 | #5

    There is a very very similar variation of this house at 1206 W Louisiana St in McKinney, TX known as the Gough Houston House. It was built in 1898.

    I have seen the floor plan and it is basically a mirror of the one pictured above. It has similar leaded glass windows and and wood siding as seen on the circular tower. Look it up!

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