One of Sears most popular kit homes was the Westly. It’s an easy house to identify because it’s quite unique. The roof line on the rear of the house does not come down as far as the roof line in the front. That dormer on the front is also pretty distinctive, with a door flanked by two windows, and the small railing in front.
Often (not always) the Sears Westly has the five piece eave brackets. And it often has the distinctive columns found on about 24 of Sears most popular designs. Click here to learn more about those distinctive columns!
One of the distinctive features (inside) is that corner fireplace in the dining room! This is from the 1919 Sears Modern Homes catalog.
Close-up of the dormer on the Sears Westly, and a better view of the original railing.
A nearly perfect Westly in Oak Hill, WV. The lower railings are original, but the upper railing has been replaced. Also note the original columns and five-piece eave brackets.
This Westly is in Lynchburg, VA. See that little closet window on the upper right? That's another pretty distinctive feature of the Sears Westly.
Elgin, IL has the largest collection of Sears Homes in the country. This Westly is one of 210 Sears Homes in this northwestern Chicago suburb.
Is this a Westly? I'd be willing to bet $50 that it is. However, wrought iron is *not* this home's friend. The porch remodel was especially hard on the porch, as it made the front porch DISAPPEAR. This house is located in Virginia. There are no five-piece eave brackets because there are no EAVES to bracket. If this house were a human being, it'd be outlined in white chalk and we'd be hunting for the murderer.
This photo dates back to 2003, before the vinyl siding installers defrocked this house. Back then, this house was in stunningly original condition. The roof is Buckingham slate, which is unusual, but not unheard of for Sears Homes. In Sears Homes, the roofing joists were supersized, and collar-beams were added at each joist, to accommodate the extra weight of a slate roof. Buckingham slate (from Buckingham County) is one of the best slate shingles out there, and weighs in at 1,400 pounds per square. With minor maintenance every 100 years, the roof will last for eternity. This house is in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Sears Westly in downtown Suffolk (Virginia). It's been beautifully restored to its original glory and splendor, and has original siding and windows.
Superman slept here. Maybe. This Sears Westly is in Metropolis, IL.
This Westly in Lewisburg, WV has had its dormer extended. The flat spot in front of that dormer on the Westly is prone to leaks. Extending the front roof and nclosing the space is one way to solve that problem.
Perfection defined. Located in Raleigh, this Westly is one of my all-time favorites. Original everything. And beautifully maintained.
Close-up of dormer and original railing.
And in Oklahoma! It's had a lot of "improvements" but this Westly in Tulsa is still standing. Photo is copyright Rachel Shoemaker and can not be reproduced without written permission.
The rear of the Westly is also very distinctive with this short wall and through-the-cornice dormer. Photo is copyright Rachel Shoemaker and may not be reproduced without permission.
When I first saw this house in Ohio, I had an overwhelming urge to knock on their front door and demand that the homeowners surrender their Home Depot credit cards. If this were a dog, we'd test it for rabies and then put it down.
Sears Westly in Richmond, VA. If these walls could talk, this house would ask, "Do these railings make me look flat and dull?"
Lastly is this Westly in Northerly suburb of Chicago. Poor Westly has had an entire neighborhood built behind it. In Illinois, they call this a condominium. In many other states, this is call "hideous."
To read more about the Sears Homes in the Midwest, click here.
To buy Rose’s book, click here.
* * *