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Posts Tagged ‘prefab garage’

The Aladdin Shadowlawn: A Mass of Lights and Shadows

January 3rd, 2012 Sears Homes 4 comments

Did you ever see a more beautiful picture of its kind than the one shown here? A mass of lights and shadows, softening the greens, browns and grays of the foliage; shingles and cobbles delight the eye. You can almost feel the touch of the sunbeams patterning the lawn, and you just want to stroll up the steps and into the inviting shade of the porch.  (From the 1919 Aladdin Homes catalog)

So reads the promotional text for the Aladdin Shadowlawn. And it is a beauty. That Shadowlawn was probably one of Aladdin’s top five most popular designs.

Aladdin, like Sears, sold kit homes through a mail-order catalog. Aladdin started business in 1906, and Sears started two years later in 1908. Sears closed their Modern Homes Department in 1940, but Aladdin continued on until 1981!  To learn more about Aladdin’s history, click here. Thanks to Dale Wolicki for info on Aladdin!

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

The Aladdin Shadowlawn as seen in the 1919 Aladdin catalog.

The Aladdin Shadowlawn as seen in the 1919 Aladdin catalog.

Probably my favorite Shadowlawn, and its right here in Hampton, Virginia. I wonder if these people even know they have an Aladdin Shadowlawn. If theyre like most people Ive encountered, theyre convinced its a Sears Kit Home because theyve never even heard of Aladdin.

Probably my favorite Shadowlawn, and it's right here in Hampton, Virginia. I wonder if these people even know they have an Aladdin Shadowlawn? If they're like most people I've encountered, they're convinced it's a Sears Kit Home because they've never even heard of Aladdin.

Another favorite Shadowlawn, and this one is in Tarboro, NC. Aladdin had a big mill in Wilmington, NC.

Another favorite Shadowlawn, and this one is in Tarboro, NC. Aladdin had a big mill in Wilmington, NC, so it's not surprising that there are many Aladdins in North Carolina.

This Aladdin has had some additions, but it still looks good. Its in Rocky Mount, NC which also has an abundance of Aladdin kit homes (and a couple Lustrons, too).

This Aladdin has had some additions, but it still looks good. It's in Rocky Mount, NC which also has an abundance of Aladdin kit homes (and a couple Lustrons, too).

This Shadowlawn is close to home, and its in Portsmouth, VA (my home town). Its in a section of town known as Port Norfolk (yes, its in Portsmouth), not to be confused with West Norfolk (also in Portsmouth) or South Norfolk (which is in Chesapeake). I live in Norfolk. Period.

This Shadowlawn is close to home, and it's in Portsmouth, VA (my home town). It's in a section of town known as Port Norfolk (yes, it's in Portsmouth), not to be confused with West Norfolk (also in Portsmouth) or South Norfolk (which is in Chesapeake). I live in Norfolk. Period.

Another beautiful Shadowlawn and this one is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo is courtesy of Rachel Shoemaker, and may not be used or reprinted without permission.

Another beautiful Shadowlawn and this one is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo is courtesy of Rachel Shoemaker, and may not be used or reprinted without permission.

Another Shadowlawn close to home, this one is on Elm Avenue in Portsmouth.

Another Shadowlawn close to home, this one is on Elm Avenue in Portsmouth.

The fake Shadowlawn shown in the planbook has a much higher pitch to the roof. Look at the position of the eave brackets here.

The "fake Shadowlawn" shown in the planbook has a much higher pitch to the roof. Look at the position of the eave brackets here.

Is this a Shadowlawn in Maryland?

Is this a real Shadowlawn in Maryland or another fake?? Porches come and go, and sometimes, they're never built in the first place. The windows sure look right, but look at that roofline. It's much higher and steeper than a true Shadowlawn. I'd have to say it could be the planbook house (shown above). To be sure, I'd have to go inside the house and measure the rooms.

This house in Lombard, Illinois is definitely NOT a Shadowlawn. The roof is way too steeply pitched, the eaves are too small, and the brackets are in the wrong place.

This house in Lombard, Illinois is definitely NOT a Shadowlawn. The roof is way too steeply pitched, the eaves are too small, and the brackets are too small and not placed where they should be. This is a "faux" Shadowlawn. There was also a plan book design that looked a lot like the Shadowlawn. It's possible that this house came from a planbook.

Is this an Aladdin or Plan Book house? Id lean toward Aladdin, mainly because Ive found so many Aladdins in this part of Norfolk (Lafayette/Winona).

Is this an Aladdin or Plan Book house? I'd lean toward Aladdin, mainly because I've found so many verified Aladdins in this part of Norfolk (Lafayette/Winona section).

Located on Alby Street in Alton, IL, this probably is a Shadowlawn, despite the slightly different window arrangement. The brackets are right, the roofline is right and the house just looks like an Aladdin Shadowlawn. The living room stretches across the entire front of the house, so changing the windows around a bit wouldnt be too problematic.

Located on Alby Street in Alton, IL, this probably is a Shadowlawn, despite the slightly different window arrangement. The brackets are right, the roofline is right and the house just "looks" like an Aladdin Shadowlawn. The living room stretches across the entire front of the house, so changing the windows around a bit wouldn't be too problematic.

Another favorite Shadowlawn, this one is in Concord, NC.

Another favorite Shadowlawn, this one is in Concord, NC.

Another favorite, this is in Baton Rouge, LA. For years and years and years, everyone thought this was a Sears House, but no one knew the model name. When they drove me out to this house and said it was a special Sears House, I couldnt help but giggle. Way too often, Aladdin kit homes are called Sears Homes, just because Sears was a more well-known name.

Another favorite, this is in Baton Rouge, LA. For years and years and years, everyone thought this was a Sears House, but no one knew the model name. When they drove me out to this house and said it was a "special" Sears House, I couldn't help but giggle. Way too often, Aladdin kit homes are called "Sears Homes," just because Sears was a more well-known name.

And this Shadowlawn in Baton Rouge had a matching Aladdin Garage.

And this Shadowlawn in Baton Rouge had a matching Aladdin Garage.

The Peerless Garage, offered by Aladdin as a match to the Shadowlawn.

The Peerless Garage, offered by Aladdin as a "match" to the Shadowlawn.

The Aladdin Shadowlawn was very spacious.

The Aladdin Shadowlawn was very spacious.

A precursor to the Aladdin Shadowlawn was the Massachusetts.

A precursor to the Aladdin Shadowlawn was the "Massachusetts." (1914)

To learn more about Aladdin, click here.

To learn more about identifying kit homes, click here.

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Sears Pre-cut Kit Garages: A Dandy Place for Your Automobile

October 17th, 2011 Sears Homes 1 comment

Sears sold kit homes, and they also sold kit garages.  In fact, in the late 1910s, they offered a specialty catalog of nothing but their pre-cut kit garages.

Identifying a “Sears kit garage” is far more difficult than identifying kit homes, because they’re such simple structures.

Two of the “Sears garages” shown below are probably custom-built structures, designed (and built) after the house, and intended to mirror the design elements of the existing home.

Enjoy the photos below.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

The Sears Osborn was a unique home with its oriental peak on the roofline.

The Sears Osborn was a unique home with its "oriental peak" on the roofline.

And God bless these dear owners who had this garage custom-built to match their beautiful Osborn. Sears didnt offer this design in their catalogs, but it sure is a nice match to the original Sears House!

And God bless these dear owners who had this garage custom-built to match their beautiful Osborn. Sears didn't offer this design in their catalogs, but it sure is a nice match to the original Sears House!

Sears

This could be an original Sears garage. It sits on the same lot as a Sears Fullerton in Olmstead, Illinois and has several distinctive features that suggest it certainly could be from Sears.

Is this a Sears garage?

Is this a Sears garage? I'd guess that it may be a "super-sized" Sears garage. It shares living space with a Sears Newbury in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. This house is sized to accommodate a post-WW2 sedan. Since Sears stopped selling kit houses (and garages) in 1939, it's more likely to have been added after the fact. Nonetheless, it was beautifully done and it's precise age stumped the expert! (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

In the back pages of the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog, youll find a page devoted to their garages.

In the back pages of the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog, you'll find a page devoted to their garages.

Notice that one of them is designed to match the Sears Alhambra.

Notice that the lower left garage is designed to match the Sears Alhambra.

Close-up of the Alhambra garage.

Close-up of the Alhambra garage.

The appearance of their kit garages had changed quite a bit by the 1938 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

The appearance of their kit garages had changed quite a bit by the 1938 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

A second page from the 1938 catalog.

A second page from the 1938 catalog.

And from the 1940 catalog.

And from the 1940 catalog.

This early 1920s specialty catalog was devoted to the kit garages sold by Sears.

This 1919 specialty catalog was devoted to the kit garages sold by Sears. The one featured here is actually a prefab garage, which was shipped in sections, and could be assembled in under six hours (according to Sears).

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For reasons I don't understand, these were called "Star Garages."

Close-up of one of the models

Close-up of one of the models. Notice the five-piece eave brackets which match the Olmstead garage (above).

If you preferred ugly and cheap, they could help with that, too.

If you preferred "ugly and cheap," they could help with that, too.

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Less cheap, but still. Ick. I love how these graphics are flashing a little bit of fender. Kinda sexy, isn't it?

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A pedestrian garage with an ever more pedestrian name.

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"The Manor" even sounds expensive (because it is).

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This is a "simplex" garage, which means it is prefab (shipped in sections, and bolts together pretty darn fast). "Pre-cut" means the house is shipped with pre-cut framing members. A "pre-cut" house (or garage) is similar to a stick-built structure, but the framing members are already cut to the right lengths, so the time-consuming chore of measuring and sawing is already taken care of.

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Another "Simplex" prefab garage. Look at the size!!! 9x12.

To learn more about Sears barns, click here.

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