Posts Tagged ‘sears colonial’

Finding the CUSTOMIZED Houses That Sears Built, Part III

February 13th, 2016 Sears Homes 1 comment

Updated! We have some beautiful photos now!!


Click here to see the new pictures!


Thanks to a remarkable and rare document that came into my life, Rachel Shoemaker and I have been able to find several customized Sears Homes. One of these is in Glen Ellyn (a Chicago suburb) and it’s a real beauty.

Absent this document (which wholly authenticates this as a Sears House), I’d never have known that this was a “Sears kit home.”

As with the other customized Sears Home we found, this house in Glen Ellyn was also owned by a high-ranking Sears employee, who started at Sears in the 1910s and remained with the company for many years.

According to city records, it was built in 1930 (which is probably about right) and has almost 4,500 square feet. Apparently, it hasn’t been offered for sale in many years, for there is no record of recent sales.

The photos below aren’t very good quality, and if anyone in the Chicago area would like to snap some better images, I’d be grateful!

To read about the other customized Sears Homes, click here.

Sometimes, Sears Homes look a lot like plan book homes.


Yes, this is a Sears kit house.

This beautiful Colonial Revival is a Sears kit house, ordered by a long-time Sears employee. The bay window has a copper roof and the primary roof appears to be slate (although it is hard to be sure). Thanks to the county assessor for providing such a lovely photo!


Located in Glen Ellyn.

It's hard to tell from these low-resolution images, but I suspect that those are copper gutters and it appears to be a solid-brick home. This was (and is) a very well-built home, and spacious, with almost 4,500 square feet.


Front door is intriguing Jefferson

Shown here is a Sears Jefferson in Carbondale, Illinois. Take a look at that entrance. It is a match to the house in Glen Ellyn - right down to the details. The Jefferson in Carbondale was built in the late 1920s.


Match front door

Here's a close-up of that front door on the Jefferson.



The customized Sears House in Glen Ellyn is also a little reminiscent of the Sears Preston.



The Preston was pretty fancy inside.


Houses 1921

It's likely that the interior of the Glen Ellyn house has a few of these extra touches, too.


Do they know

I'd love to get some bettter images of this house in Glen Ellyn, but for now, these will have to do! And it sure would be fun to know if the home's current owners know that they have a "Sears kit house"!


To read about the other customized Sears Homes, click here.

Sometimes, Sears Homes look a lot like plan book homes.


Warning: Graphic Imagines (Sears Verona)

January 13th, 2012 Sears Homes 2 comments

The photos below are not for the weak-kneed. And if you have a special affinity for Sears Houses, well, please look to the right of the screen and click on something else. Fast.

Still with me?

The Sears Verona was a big fancy Colonial and and in my travels, I haven’t seen too many of them. The Verona had about 2,000 square feet and featured many spacious rooms and fine accoutrements, such as coffered ceilings, a breakfast nook, a butler’s pantry, grand entry hall, large sunporch and a living room that was 375 square feet, or about half the size of many of Sears best-selling bungalows. This was one of their best homes.

To read about the large collection of Sears Homes in Northern Illinois, click here.

To read about my great Aunt’s exhumation in Lake Mills, click here.

Verona too 1921

Not a bad price for 2000 square feet!


Close-up of the Living Room shown in the 1921 catalog.

Close-up of the Living Room shown in the 1921 catalog.



The dining room shown above looks a little spartan (1921 catalog).


Sears Modern Homes were sold from 1908-1940

The Verona was featured on the cover of the Sears Modern Homes catalog in 1923.


And it was a happy home

And it was such a happy home!


And this is actually a testimonial for the house shown below.

And there's a Verona in Cleveland, too!



Even the flower boxes still remain on this beautiful Verona in Cincinnati, Ohio.



One of my favorite finds of all time: This perfect Verona in Norwood, Ohio. The photo was taken in 2003.


Verona floor

The Verona was an incredibly spacious home.

And here’s where it gets ugly. And graphic. There was a Sears Verona built at Grayslake sometime in the early 1920s. Grayslake was the site of Richard Warren Sears summer estate. In 1906, the Chicago architecture firm of Nimmons and Fellows was commissioned to build a home for Mr. Sears. From what I can glean, this Verona was built on the estate in the early 1920s, to serve as a caretaker’s home.

Thanks to the magic of Facebook, Bob Brown (of Chicago) contacted me and shared an amazing story, shown below.

The long driveway leading into the estate was “Sears Boulevard.” This Verona was the home of John and Ruth Mogg, and they were the caretakers of the Sears Estate.

The Moggs took care of the property, which included the large horse stables, the grounds, and the boats on the docks of Gages Lake. The Country Squire Restaurant was located on the southwest corner of the property and recently closed. Mrs. Mogg passed away sometime in the 70s but was very active with the Grayslake Historical Society. John Mogg was a volunteer fireman with Grayslake.

From 1975 - 1984, I was a member of the Grayslake Fire Department. In the summer of 1980, this Verona was offered for sale. The price was $1.00, but the buyer had to move the house. No one came forward.

Rosemary, this old house was in great shape. It was used for the Jaycees Haunted House in October 1980, and then, I’m sorry to say, we used it for practice fires for our fire department. If I’d known then what I know now, we would have found a way to save it.

Many thanks to Bob Brown for providing this history on the property and also for the amazing photos below (from 1980).

Bob Brown Wildfire

Sadly, this grand old Verona, located on Richard Sears summer estate, was burned down in 1980. The property owners attempted to sell the house for $1, but there were no takers. (Photos are copyright 1980, Bob Brown and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.)



Poor Verona. Poor old house. (Photos are copyright 1980, Bob Brown and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.)



There are no words. It's a sad, sad sight. (Photos are copyright 1980, Bob Brown and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.)

To hear Elvis Presley sing “Burning Love” click here.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To read about Addie Hoyt, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

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