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Posts Tagged ‘rosemary thornton and virginia’

Another One Bites The Dust?

December 20th, 2015 Sears Homes 1 comment

Several folks sent me a link about a kit house in northern Virginia that is being offered for sale with one very substantial condition: It has to be moved from its existing location.

Color me jaded, but in the last 15 years, I’ve seen this happen time and time and time again. Something (a college, government agency or corporation) wants to expand beyond its current borders, but an old house is blocking “progress” (a word I’ve come to hate), so to appease the crazy local historians, the bungalow-eating entity offers to “sell” the house in question.

But alas! No one comes forward and offers to buy the old house, so the onus is no longer on the bungalow-eating entity (hereafter called “BEE”); rather it’s the “lack of interested buyers” that have killed the home’s second chance at life.

It’s a win-win for the BEE, and a lose-lose for anyone who loves history and/or old houses and/or reducing waste at landfills and/or anyone who abhors waste.

Generalizations are only generally true, but generally speaking, moving a bungalow from Point A to Point B in a metro area is going to cost $75,000 - $100,000 and sometimes more. There are many other hassles and headaches involved in modern-day house moving. Let’s just say that it’s not something the average Joe has the financial resources and/or experience and/or ability to undertake.

Nonetheless, I’ll try to be hopeful during this holiday season that this house will prove to be the exception. We’ll know - by April 2016 - how this plays out.

Here’s the blurb from the site.

Historic Lewis House - Haymarket, Virginia The Town of Haymarket, Virginia is selling a historic house manufactured by Lewis Manufacturing of Bay City, Michigan, transported as a kit home by rail in about 1926 and erected at 14710 Washington Street, Haymarket Virginia. The identification of the house as a Lewis Manufacturing product is based on site findings such as the eaves bracket type, window and door trim taper treatments, pillar design and handwritten numbers in grease pencil in the attic. This house is the La Vitello model Craftsman-style bungalow. The Town of Haymarket, Virginia is accepting offers on the house in an effort to preserve it by having it relocated off site. All offers must be submitted to the Town Manager at 15000 Washington Street, Haymarket, Virginia 20169. Offers should include the purchase price and plan for relocation off site. The house must be moved by the end of April, 2016.

To read more about how homes were moved 100+ years ago, click here.

One more reason old houses should be preserved, not destroyed: The quality of lumber.

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The house being offered for sale in northern Virginia is the Lewis La Vitello (1924).

The house being offered for sale in northern Virginia is the Lewis La Vitello (1924). Lewis was a kit home company based in Bay City, Michigan (as was Aladdin).

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Nice floor plan, but the house in Haymarket, Virginia has had a massive addition globbed onto the side.

Nice floor plan, but the house in Haymarket, Virginia has had a massive addition globbed onto the side. That's a busy little hallway behind the dining room. And that "breakfast room" is quite massive!

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Maybe if it gets moved, theyll leave this unappealingappendage behind.

Maybe if it gets moved, they'll leave this unappealingappendage behind.

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It looks a lot better from the front.

It looks a lot better from the front.

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house

That decking is unfortunate. The stonework is stunning. That will go bye-bye if the house is moved. It'll also go bye-bye if the house is destroyed. It's all such an egregious waste. As mentioned in a prior blog, about 40% of everything in our country's landfills is construction debris.

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From

The view down the side. One of the lovely features of this old house is that it still has its original siding, and the eaves - those magnificent eaves - have not been chopped into bits and encased in aluminum.

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And

Those oversized eaves make me swoon. What a house. What a pity.

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Inside the La Vitello

Inside the La Vitello

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house

Another view of the La Vitello from the 1924 Lewis Homes catalog.

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Heres a La Vitello in Bowling Green, Ohio. Photo is copyright 2012 Dale P. Wolicki and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

Here's a La Vitello in Bowling Green, Ohio. Photo is copyright 2012 Dale P. Wolicki and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

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To read more about how homes were moved 100+ years ago, click here.

One more reason old houses should be preserved, not destroyed: The quality of lumber.

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My Little Pretties in Richmond, Virginia

August 2nd, 2010 Sears Homes 1 comment

In July 2010,  I ventured to Richmond to look for Sears Homes. I knew there were several in Colonial Heights and only three in Petersburg, but I’d never really scouted out Richmond - until this trip.

People often ask me how I find these houses. The answer: Lots of practice. Years ago, I specifically worked on memorizing hundreds of housing designs offered by Sears, Aladdin (another kit home company), Montgomery Ward, Gordon Van Tine and more. Now I can drive the streets and find the houses that match these early 20th Century designs. It’s a whole lot of fun.

Here were my best finds from our search in Richmond. All these houses were found within the city limits of Richmond, Virginia. If you know of any kit homes in Richmond, please send me the address.

BTW, if you like what you see, please email this link to a friend.

Read about The Sears Homes in Hampton Roads here.

Sears Strathmore, from the 1936 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Strathmore, from the 1936 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Heres a Strathmore - in perfect condition - in Richmond

Here's a Strathmore - in perfect condition - in Richmond

Catalog Image of Sears Modern Home #190

Catalog Image of Sears Modern Home #190

Sears Modern Home #190.

Sears Modern Home #190.

This is not a Sears Home, but a house sold by another kit home company, Harris Brothers.

This is not a Sears Home, but a house sold by another kit home company, Harris Brothers.

Close-up of the Harris Brothers kit home J-181

Close-up of the Harris Brothers kit home J-181

And here it is, in living color. Nice match, too.

And here it is, in living color. Nice match, too.

Again - a perfect Avalon in perfect condition on Brooks Street in Raleigh. Even has its original casement windows.

The Avalon from the 1921 catalog.

Sears Avalon in Richmond, in beautifully original condition

Sears Avalon in Richmond, in beautifully original condition

Sears Westly

Sears Westly

Sears Westly on Fauquier Avenue in Richmond

Sears Westly on Fauquier Avenue in Richmond

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To learn how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

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