Archive

Posts Tagged ‘bloomington Il’

The Crescent: “For Folks Who Like a Touch of Individuality”

January 28th, 2013 Sears Homes 19 comments

The Crescent was a very popular kit house for Sears, and I’d venture to guess that it was one of their top ten most popular designs.

It was offered in two floorplans (Mama-sized and Papa-sized) and with an optional extra-high roof (Grandpapa sized).

Because of this, Crescents can be found in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the pitch of the porch roof was changed to be more proportionate to the primary roof. Today, this results in all manner of confusion about whether or not a Crescent is the real deal.

Below are several examples of Sears Crescents from all over the country.

House 1

Sears Crescent, as seen in the 1929 Modern Homes catalog.

*

House 2

"Interior Views" of the Crescent (1929).

*

kitchen 1929

Close-up of the Crescent's kitchen (1929).

*

LR 1929

Nice looking living room, too!

*

Bed

The bedrooms weren't' this big but why let details get in the way of a nice story?

*

The Crescent was offered with two floorplans.

The Crescent was offered with two floorplans, C33258A (shown here).

*

And this

And this C3259A (the larger floorplan). Note it has THREE columns on the front porch.

*

Adding a dormer to the optional finished second floor would have created a lot more space.

Adding a couple dormers (on the front) to the optional "finished" second floor would have created a lot more space. The finished second floor was only offered with the smaller Crescent. But that does not mean that someone couldn't finish off the 2nd floor on their own!

*

Glen Ellyn

Glen Ellyn (Illinois) has a Crescent with three dormer windows.

*

Ypsilanti Andrew Mutch

This dormered Crescent is in Ypsilanti. Photo is copyright 2013 Andrew and Wendy Mutch and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

*

Ypsilanti Andrew Mutch

In Ypsilanti, they like their Crescents with dormers! Photo is copyright 2013 Andrew and Wendy Mutch and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

*

Godfrey

A sad little Crescent waits for death in Godfrey, IL. Again, note the unique angle of the porch roof. This has also been authenticated as a Sears Home.

*

Raleigh

A picture-perfect Crescent in Raleigh. The dormers were original to the house.

*

West Point

Some Crescents have very steep porch roofs and some have very shallow. This Crescent in West Point has been authenticated by Rose as the real deal.

*

Atlanta Crescent

This Crescent look-a-like is in Atlanta. I suspect it is NOT a Crescent.

*

Crescent Wheaton

A Sears Crescent in Wheaton, IL.

*

Eastern Shore MD

Hubby and I found this Crescent on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

*

Elmhurst IL

Is this a Sears Crescent? It's in Elmhurst IL.

*

Crescent Elgin

This poor Crescent in Elgin, IL has had a hurting put on it. Rebecca Hunter has authenticated this house as a Sears Crescent.

*

Elgin

It's been remodeled, but you can still see it's a Crescent. (Elgin, Illinois)

*

Elgins also

This Crescent is also in Elgin, IL.

*

Elgins also

Elgin Illinois has the largest known collection of Sears Homes in the country. They have a lot of Sears Crescents, too!

*

Crystal Lake

Not surprisingly, the Chicago suburbs are full of Sears Homes. This one is in Crystal Lake.

*

Champaign

Another beautiful Crescent. This one is in Champaign, IL.

*

house Charlotte

I stalked this house for 30 solid minutes, but the young woman on the porch never did hang up the phone, so in desperation, I snapped a photo of the house, phone caller and all. This beauty is in Charlotte, NC.

*

Chharlotte

A perfect Crescent in Charlotte, NC.

*

Bloomginton

This Crescent also has the less-steep pitch on the porch roof, but it's most likely a Sears Crescent. Notice the medallion inside the front porch (on the wall).

*

Bloomington

This photo was taken in 2003 (and it was scanned from an old slide) and it's in Bloomington, IL.

*

Wood Riiver

Is this a Crescent? The pitch of the porch roof is much less than that of the traditional porch roof in other Crescents, but I'd be inclined to say it probably is a Crescent. This house is in Wood River, Illinois.

*

Alton

This Crescent has a dramatically raised second floor. To compensate for the extra steep pitch of the roof, the porch roof was also raised a bit. This beauty is in Alton, Illinois.

*

Ypsilanti

Yet another dormered Crescent is in Ypsilanti. Photo is copyright 2013 Andrew and Wendy Mutch and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

*

And one of my favorites: A beautiul and well-loved Crescent in Webster Groves, MO (near St. Louis).

A beautiful and well-loved Crescent in Webster Groves, MO (near St. Louis). Again, look at the variation on the pitch of that porch roof, and yet this is an authenticated Sears Home.

*

house Wilmette, IL Rebecca

Now this house has some dormers! It's in Illinois, and was discovered by Rebecca Hunter. Photo is copyright 2013 Rebecca Hunter and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

*

The Crescent was a perennial favorite aand was offered from 1919 to 1933.

The Crescent was a perennial favorite and was offered from 1919 to 1933. It's shown here in the 1933 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

*

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

*   *   *

A Crowning Jewel of a Bungalow: The Corona

July 5th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

One of the most interesting stories I ever heard came from a man who grew up next door to a Sears Corona in Gillespie, Illinois (about 70 miles northeast of St. Louis).

It was 2003, and I’d just finished a talk on Sears Homes in Bloomington, Illinois. A nice fellow approached the podium and told me that he’d grown up in Gillespie, Illinois, next door to the Sears Corona. He now lived in Chillicothe, Illinois (about 60 miles away), and he thought I should come out to Chillicothe and see his house, for it was really special.

“Oh brother,” I thought to myself. “Another nut job.”

But he continued.

All of his life, he’d appreciated the fine craftsmanship and beauty of the Sears Corona in his hometown, and he vowed that when he grew up, he’d live in a house just as beautiful and well-built.

He’d recently finished his own home in Chillicothe, and his beautiful new home had been built as a modern-day replica of the old Sears Corona.

Now it was getting interesting.

The next morning, I delayed my trip home to Godfrey, Illinois and detoured to Chillicothe. It was well worth the trip, and it was a beautiful home.

In my many travels, I’ve only seen three Coronas, and two of them were within 20 minutes of each other. The third was the reproduction Corona in Chillicothe.

By the way, “Corona” is Latin for the word “crown.”

To learn more about kit homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

Sears Corona as seen in the 1919 catalog

Sears Corona as seen in the 1919 catalog

The reproduction Corona in Chillicothe

The reproduction Corona in Chillicothe. It's a beautiful house, and he did a first-class job! This photo was taken in 2003, shortly after the house was completed. I'd love to get an updated photo.

And from the 1921 catalog

In this catalog picture (1921), you can see that the gabled dormer is centered on the roof. This is a pretty distinctive feature of the Corona.

The original Corona in Gillespie that provided the inspiration for the house in Chillicothe

The original Corona in Gillespie that provided the inspiration for the house in Chillicothe. This Corona in Gillespie, IL is one of the most perfect examples of a Sears house that I've ever seen. The fact that the original pergola is intact is remarkable.

This Corona is a little different with that supersized dormer. Its in Benld (pronounced Benn-eld), Illinois. The town was named for Ben L. Dorsey (some famous guy in Illinois). There was already a town named Dorsey, so the townfolk decided on Benld, which is an abbreviation of Ben L. Dorsey.

This Corona is a little different with that super-sized dormer. It's in Benld (pronounced Benn-eld), Illinois. The town was named for Ben L. Dorsey (some famous guy in Illinois). There was already a town named "Dorsey," so the townsfolk decided on "Benld," which is an abbreviation of Ben L. Dorsey. One of the unique features of the Corona is the cross-gabled porch roof. That always catches my eye. Perhaps the most unique feature is that dormer, centered squarely on the roof.

Another angle of the Corona in Benld.

Another angle of the Corona in Benld.

h

And you can see how much the Benld house looks like the original catalog image.

Floorplan

The Corona is a spacious house, measuring 49.6 by 26'.

And theres more space upstairs.

And there's more space upstairs.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

*   *    *