Home > Uncategorized > An Aladdin “Colonial” in Lynchburg!

An Aladdin “Colonial” in Lynchburg!

Years ago, I did a survey of kit homes in Lynchburg but apparently, I missed a couple.

Earlier this week, I was in Lynchburg for other reasons, and on my way to an appointment, I made a wrong turn and stumbled upon two beautiful Aladdin kit homes, literally across the street from each other.

The houses are on Brevard Street, and prior to yesterday’s “excursion,” I’d never been through that neighborhood.

While Sears Kit Homes are more well known, Aladdin was actually a bigger company. Sears started selling kit homes in 1908, but Aladdin began two years prior. Sears was out of it in 1940, but Aladdin remained in the kit-home business until 1981. As a newly married woman, I remember studying the pages of the 1978 Aladdin catalog, dreaming of building my own home with my handy husband.

These kits came by boxcar (usually) in 12,000-piece kits, and the instruction books were more than 70 pages long. Sears promised that a “man of average abilities” could have the house completed within 90 days.

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

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1916

The Aladdin Colonial, as seen in the 1916 catalog.

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FFF

Located on Brevard Street, this house has been through a lot of insensitive remodeling, but it's still standing. I don wonder who thought it'd be a good idea to remove the porches.

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ffffsss

And just on the other side of the street is this Aladdin Pomona (complete with a 1980s trash can in the front yard). The house is in wonderful condition, but I was heartsick to see that the original windows - with diamond muntins - were tossed out at some point. What a pity.

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fffff

The Pomona, as seen in the 1919 Aladdin Homes catalog. Those windows are what make the house.

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Crying

Here's an Aladdin Colonial in Kinston, NC.

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Roanoke

Roanoke Rapids, NC is filled with Aladdin Homes, from the simple to the grand. This Colonial retains that distinctive half-round front porch.

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ffggg

Another view of the Aladdin Colonial.

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Learn more about Aladdin here.

Learn more about what I’ve survived here.

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  1. Gemma
    July 11th, 2018 at 11:53 | #1

    There you go, dear Rosie! These houses are out there, and the world awaits your rediscovering them!

  2. Jenny
    July 11th, 2018 at 12:23 | #2

    Why would one remove those porches? I think they are lovely and would be great for decorating.

    Red, white, and blue bunting for patriotic holidays, perhaps a rotating fully lit and decorated Christmas tree on the rounded porch roof at Christmas time.

    HGTV needs a show where instead of tearing up lovely old homes and fixtures, they tell homeowners: “Your pink bathroom is lovely and will be serviceable for another 75 years. You must preserve it!”

    Perhaps an expert could also suggest decorative touches or minor changes that would make a older home work better for a typical modern lifestyle while still retaining the historic value and charm.

  3. Dale Wolicki
    July 11th, 2018 at 18:35 | #3

    I have to speak up in defense of the people that removed the porch on the Aladdin Colonial.

    We forget that in 1918 they did not have the weather resistant materials we have today.

    The round porch was made of wood, and to get it to curve Aladdin sliced vertical groves in the back of the boards that made it weak and susceptible to rot.

    The roof surface was simple rolled roofing. The home builder had to fit the roofing around the rail posts, which was a bad idea.

    Over time leaks developed and most home owners and roofers simply patched the leaks with tar, which is the worst thing to do.

    After 80 or 90 years, building a new Aladdin Colonial porch would cost in excess of 20K or 30K, and that’s assuming you could find a carpenter to execute historic details.

    It’s doubtful the homeowner would recover the cost when they sold the house.

    I speak from experience, having spent the past two weeks repairing the heavily damaged eaves so a new roof can be installed on my 1952 suburban Detroit Ranch.

    Previous owners never made repairs; they merely poured tar and added another layer of shingles! I know no one will ever appreciate my exquisite carpentry hidden under a new shingled roof!

  4. Jenny
    July 12th, 2018 at 13:13 | #4

    Thanks for the perspective, Dale. It is easy to forget that the original builders probably didn’t have treated lumber available.

    I had a few more thoughts last night on my HGTV “Save a Pink Bathroom” show idea.

    1 A professional cleaning to make an old bathroom shine like new. (I think discolored grout would be a bigger annoyance than old tile).
    2 Instead of spending $8,000+ on a reno, give the homeowner(s) $8,000 for a dream vacation.

  5. Sabina Pade
    July 14th, 2018 at 06:29 | #5

    Me, on the pink bathroom show I’d campaign also for old-fashioned wooden storm windows, mounted internally or externally. They enhance, visually, rather than detract ; and they perform better, against both noise and temperature, than a conventional double-glazing. A set of them should be competitive in price with new vinyl, and far less disruptive to install.

  6. Gemma
    July 14th, 2018 at 08:16 | #6

    @Jenny; @Sabina Pade — It’s the age of the internet, ladies. Why not exchange email addresses; form a production company (Pink Bathroom Productions?); get a youtube channel; and get started!

  7. Jenny
    July 16th, 2018 at 12:24 | #7

    Storm windows are great! My grandparents had them. So much nicer that the double pane windows that so often seem to have condensation trapped in them.

    Pink Bathroom Productions would be a great company name.

  8. Ginger Woolums
    July 30th, 2018 at 12:55 | #8

    Rosemary,

    I used to read your Sears House posts much on Gardenweb and enjoyed them very much.

    There is a person that is selling a Sears Model Home that is the size of a doll house.

    It is interesting looking and I thought you may know it they even made a salesman size home.

    You can email for information if you would like.

    Ginger

  9. Emma Bullard
    October 26th, 2018 at 06:43 | #9

    I think my dad grew up in 1921 Pomona in Roseboro, NC. I remember hearing that the bathroom was added at the end of the hall sometime after construction. This Pomona is larger than most I’ve seen pictured. It was put together in 1921 when my dad was 5. House is in original condition as son of second owner lives in it.

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