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Something For My “Wish List”

Updated! Jennifer found one!

Of the 370 models of kit homes offered by Sears & Roebuck, there are about 150 models that I’ve never seen. One of the most intriguing is the “Monterey.” It was very similar to the highly popular Sears Alhambra, but with a few minor differences, both inside and out.

The Monterey was offered only in the 1924 catalog, which is a fairly rare catalog. The Alhambra was offered for about a decade and proved to be highly popular and yet its “kissing cousin” seems to have never caught on. And of the two houses, I’d think the Monterey would be more popular.

One very commen complaint about the Alhambra is that roof leaks behind those dormers are very common (see image below), and “crickets” have to be added to deflect rain water away from the dormers. If you look at the photos below, you’ll see that the Monterey was designed with those crickets already in place. And the Monterey has a gabled roof over the staircase wing, rather than a flat roof (like the Alhambra).

I’m a big fan of the Alhambra but the Monterey’s dramatic parapet is snazzier and more appealing. And to think that I’ve never seen one in real life! The humanity!

Is there a Sears Monterey in your neighborhood?

If so, please let me know.

To read more about The Alhambra, click here.

Do you have a Sears Home? Learn more here.

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The Sears Monterey was offered only in the 1924 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

The Sears Monterey was offered only in the 1924 Sears Modern Homes catalog, which might be one reason why there aren't many of these (if any) in the world.

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In this image, you can see the cricket behind that dormer.

In this image, you can see the "cricket" behind that dormer, which deflects rain water and helps prevent leaks behind that dormer. Plus, that staircase wing has a gabled roof, instead of the flat roof present on the Alhambra.

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Its very close to the Sears Alhambra, and in the 1924 catalog, theyre on opposing sides of the same page.

The Monterey is very similar to the Sears Alhambra, and in the 1924 catalog, they're on opposing sides of the same two-page spread. The "interior photos" are apparently a fit for either the Monterey or Alhambra.

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A side-by-side comparison of the two floor plans show some minor differences of the two houses.

A side-by-side comparison of the two floor plans show some minor differences of the two houses. The Monterey is on the right. The most striking difference is that someone moved the baby grand piano.

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There are several differences on the second floor, too.

In this image, the Monterey is on the left side (oops), and the Alhambra is on the right. One curiosity is that bathroom. In the Monterey, the sink was placed in what seems to be a very awkward spot. Closets have also been shifted around a bit.

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That living room is just dazzling, and I love the chaise on the sunporch. That floor lamp with the fringe is pretty sweet too, and who doesn't love pink curtains? The 1924 catalog had several color images (such as shown on this blog) and yet it's a fairly rare catalog.

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tes

I wonder how often people followed the color suggestions for these homes.

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Sears

Now that is a fine-looking house! I'd love to find one - somewhere.

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To read more about The Alhambra, click here.

Do you have a Sears Home? Learn more here.

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  1. December 3rd, 2015 at 12:23 | #1

    Good morning Rosemary, thanks for your, always interesting blogs. From reports of family and friends there is a Monterey on a country road between Hawk Springs and Cheyenne, WY.

    The beautiful Monterey certainly is the Alhambra design with wider and different shaped parapets on roofline, stairway and porch (portico?).

    As you know, we live in the Triangle Ranch “Alhambra”, an historic property in South Dakota, deemed so because of it’s original state. My family had it built in 1923 from 1917 plans.

    Our grandchildren are the fifth generation to enjoy it. You and I have discussed the dormer issue in the past. Our blueprints include actual pitched dormer roofs which were original to the construction using ample flashing, etc. (I have sat astride said dormers many times to finish painting the trim on the outside and bumped my head while sorting inside the attic).

    We contend that the leakage (now solved, 10 years and counting) comes from where the eave cuts in to the dormer wall. The placement of the Alhambra dormer windows in all the house plans I’ve seen indicates the design did have a roofed dormer space behind them.

    In our case there is and the original windows were functional for ventilation.

    However, it certainly is possible there was some “contractor’s license” practiced on other poor Alhambras where the pitched dormer roof was left off. Thanks for this forum. Always interesting.

  2. December 3rd, 2015 at 15:11 | #2

    @Lyndy Ireland
    Lyndy, I do remember we had a brief discussion on that. How curious. One of the first Alhambras I found was in St. Louis, and a prior homeowner had actually removed the dormers because of the non-stop leaking issue.

    I’ve seen other Alhambras that did not have those small crickets behind the dormer window.

    It’s a real puzzler.

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