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Posts Tagged ‘starlight’

The Dandy Dundee in Alton, Illinois

June 1st, 2012 Sears Homes No comments

When I first started researching Sears Homes in 1999, I was living in Alton, Illinois. By 2002, I had driven the city many, many times, finding all the Crescents, and Gladstones, and Starlights and Craftons and Westlys - in short, all the most popular, easy-to-identify models.

In my spare time, I’d alternately study the old catalogs and then cruise around town, hoping to discover something new.

In late 2002, I drove down Park Avenue in Alton and discovered the Sears Dundee. It’s the only one I’ve ever found and - thank goodness - as of March 2010 (when this photo was taken), it was still in beautifully original condition.

To read more about Sears Homes, click here.

The Dundee from the 1921 catalog.

"The Dundee" from the 1921 catalog.

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By 1928, the house had undergone some changes.

By 1928, the house had undergone some changes. The square footage was increased by extending the home's length, and the price increased a mere $58 (from 1921 to 1928).

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The floor plan in 1921

The floor plan in 1921 showed two wee-tiny bedrooms, with a small mudroom on the rear.

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Sears Homes

In the 1928 floor plan, the kitchen and the rear bedroom have increased by two linear feet.

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The 1921 catalog showed a front view of the Dundee.

The 1921 catalog showed a "front view" of the Dundee.

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The Sears Dundee in Alton, ILlinois.

The Sears Dundee in Alton, Illinois. Between landscaping and hills, it was impossible to get a photo from the same angle as the catalog image.

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porch

The Dundee in Alton is a little larger than the Sears Dundee, but it's likely that this house was either customized when built or added on to, later in life. Because of the distinctive ornamental detail on the porch roof, I am confident this really is the Sears Dundee.

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Had this house been covered in crappy vinyl siding, I would never have discovered it.

Had this house been covered in crappy vinyl siding, I would never have discovered it. That distinctive gable on the front porch was the item that caught my eye!

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To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To read about a big fancy Sears House in New York City, click here.

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Starlight, Starbright, First Kit House I See Tonight…

April 28th, 2012 Sears Homes No comments

In the early 1910s, it’s probable that the Sears Starlight was their most popular model. In the early days, it was offered with and without an indoor bathroom.

In 1921, the Starlight had a significant model change. The small shed dormer in the attic was enlarged and changed to a hipped dormer with three windows. In addition, the pitch of the attic was made more steep, creating space for an additional room (for short people with a good tolerance of summertime heat).

The pre-1921 Starlights are miserable to try and identify because they are so simple, and they look like every other little house out there. Plus, before 1920, lumber in Sears Homes was not marked. Authentication of these pre-1921 Starlights requires measuring the home’s footprint and measuring individual rooms to affirm that it really is a Starlight, and not a “look-alike.”

Click here to learn more about Sears Homes.

In the 1919 catalog,

This little ad appeared in the the 1919 catalog, showing the many sizes and shapes of the Sears Starlight. This shows the houses with a myriad of dormers!

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In 1920, the Starlight had the shed dormer (most of the time).

In 1920, the Starlight had the shed dormer (some of the time).

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This Starlight in Boone, Iowa has a

This Starlight in Boone, Iowa has a traditional shed dormer.

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But this little Starlight in Painesville had

But look at the dormer on this little Starlight in Painesville. It's a gabled dormer and it's really, really tiny. And the front porch roof is flat, and it's not an integral part of the house, as it is with the traditional Starlight. How confusing!!

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Built in Castalia, Ohio, this

Built in Castalia, Ohio, this Starlight has a different railing, and I have no idea what the floor plan is, because those windows down the side are in the wrong place.

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Detroit

Again, the railing is different and this one has a hipped dormer (rather than shed) and this appears to be a bathroom-less model.

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Starlight

In the 1921 catalog, these interior photos were featured.

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house

A view of the Starlight's dining room (1921 catalog).

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Early starlights

The bathroom-less Starlight was offered into the 1920s.

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1921 Starlight

In1921, the Starlight sold for $1,553.

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Sears Starlight in Alton, Illinois.

Sears Starlight in Alton, Illinois.

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This Starlight in Duquoin, IL is in mostly original condition.

This Starlight in Duquoin, IL is in mostly original condition.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To learn about Wardway Homes, click here.

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Starlight, Starlight, First Kit Home I Find’s Not Right

February 12th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

There’s a whole lot of confusion around Sears Homes. Most often, people rush to declare they have a Sears Home, when in fact, their home bears little resemblance to an actual Sears Home. Way too often, I hear the exclaim, I know it’s a Sears Home because the floor plan is a good match!

If you’re going to use a floorplan to identify a Sears Home, it must be precise. Each of the rooms in the subject house must be exactly the same dimension as shown in the original catalog image. For instace, the living room in a Starlight should be 12′8″ by 10′5″.   Not 12 by 10, but exactly 12′8″ by 10′5″.

Often people say, “Well, it has the same room arrangement as a Sears House.”

When you’re dealing with little homes (like the Starlight), there aren’t but so many ways to lay out the rooms. Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen on the left, and bedroom bath bedroom on the right. That’s pretty much it. There’s a lot more to identifying Sears Homes. Click here to read the rest.

An article in the Green Bay Press Gazette mistakenly called this house (click here) a Sears Starlight. It’s not. Click on the link (to see images of the house in the piece) and then look at these photos below.

What’s most troubling about this erroneous piece is that Wisconsin is loaded with Sears Homes. Perhaps there are several Sears Homes in the same neighborhood as the NASH (Not a Sears House) featured in this Green Bay Press Gazette piece.

Alas!

This is what a Sears Starlight looks like.

Starlight

Starlight, as seen in the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Starlight in Alton, IL. Now this is a Starlight! These houses should be a spot-on match to the original catalog image (as shown above).

Starlight in Alton, IL. Now this is a Starlight! These houses should be a spot-on match to the original catalog image (as shown above).

Starlight in DuQuoin, IL

Starlight in DuQuoin, IL

And in the basement, you should see this.

Stamp

This mark (a 3-digit number with a letter) together with a 75-page instruction book helped the novice homeowner assemble his own house!

For more information on how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

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