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Posts Tagged ‘vintage houses’

All Settled In…

October 2nd, 2011 Sears Homes 4 comments

Yesterday, October 1st, was our housewarming party and we had about 35 of our friends and relatives show up, which was 100% delightful.

We closed on the old house on Wednesday, August 14th and the following day, we closed on our “new” house, a 1962 brick ranch.

It took us a solid six weeks to get “settled in” to our new house, and even now, we’re still missing several boxes! (Not sure where they ended up.)

In preparation for our big housewarming party, we worked for hours and hours cleaning and scrubbing and tidying up and painting walls and washing windows. We worked for days and days trying to get the yard prettied up, and had help from one of the world’s best neighbors, who gave up three hours of his life weeding and mowing and raking.

And it was all worth it.

While I had the house all prettied up, I decided it was an ideal time to take some photos.

Enjoy the photographic tour of our beautiful brick ranch!  :)

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Our house in Norfolk.

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Not a big flower bed, but keeping it pretty takes some work!

pagoda

At our old house (on Gosnold), we had a big fancy pergola. And this house, we have a cute little pagoda. Pergola, pagoda - pretty close trade.

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This brick ranch is almost 80 feet wide. It's tough to get a good shot straight on. Notice the shrub on the far right that I pruned? It's look a little barren these days, but it was way, way too tall. I like big plants, but not when they interfere with my electricity!

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The picket fence was recently added to contain the wild beast in the back yard.

Teddy

Here, Teddy is demonstrating that she knows how to open the gate (which has no latch on the inside), and is merely "choosing" to remain contained in the spacious back yard.

And what a fine back yard it is.

And what a fine back yard it is.

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And Wayne has it all set up for our house-warming party!

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Another view.

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Many of our guests said that the den was their favorite room.

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The bricks in the fireplace came from an old house in Norfolk that was torn down in the early 1960s. The home's original (and only) owner (Mr. Martin) worked for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

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Mr. Martin had these bookcases put in when the house was built.

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This light is not only handy, but a delightful piece of early 1960s Americana.

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And we've added a few accouterments to our 1960s house, such as this vintage cigarette lighter. Lighter fluid was stored in the bowl, and when you withdrew the rod, a spark was ignited which lit off the wick at the end of the rod.

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Another piece of 1950s Americana: An old wall clock.

licinf

An anachronistic living room: A 1960s ranch with 1980s carpet and 1920s Arts and Crafts furniture and a 21st Century La-Z-Boy.

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My mother gave me this quilt about 15 years ago, and it's always been one of my favorite possessions. I painted the room to match the comforter. The master bedroom (shown above) was the same size as the master bedroom at our old house (on Gosnold), but we couldn't fit the same amount of furniture in the new bedroom. Perhaps it was because of all the windows and doors at the new house.

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The guest room also serves as my hide-away. Very quiet at this end of the house. And very pink. I really like pink.

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The man cave.

All

Our long hallway provides a perfect gallery for family photos!

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One of the top five most perfect bathrooms in North America.

The mans room

As with the pink bathroom, all the tile in the master bathroom is in top-notch condition.

trimBack in May 2011, when I first read the listing info on this house and saw that (according to the realtor’s comments), the house needed “some updating,” I knew I’d found something special. The house was custom built in 1962 and had only one owner (The Martin family), and it’s evident that they really did love this house. Even the formica countertop was in flawless condition. The kitchen is 49 years old, and still looks shiny and new and beautiful. I love the look of 1962.
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Detail on the unique trim molding in the kitchen.

sun

When we first walked into the sunporch, it was pretty smelly. The house had been closed up for a time and there were several issues on the sunporch. This was the first room we started working on, and it took about six weeks, but eventually, we got it all done. We removed the green indoor/outdoor carpet, washed and sanitized the floor, removed the ceiling fan (low ceiling height), and then painted everything. Each window had a storm window that had to be removed for painting and cleaning. Many, many years ago, the walls, ceiling, trim and windows had all been painted YELLOW. Our new paint job (pink and white) required two coats, but when it was all done, it was stunning!

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The new and improved sunporch, looking transformed. And the windows are so clean and pretty! It is a grand and glorious room.

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Bev and Mike brought us these gardenias as a house-warming present. They were grown from cuttings off two beautiful gardenia plants I'd purchased from Bev, three years prior. It'll be a real treat to watch "The Twins" take root and grow at their new home.

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Mr. Ringer was tired at the end of the day.

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To read about Addie, click here.

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Have You Seen This House (part 2)

April 15th, 2011 Sears Homes 3 comments

Norfolk is home to 16 of these little bungalows (see below), which were moved to their resting place in Riverview and Highland Park from another location.

They’re fairly distinctive little houses, and the $64,000 question is, where did they come from?

Did they come from Hopewell? That’s one popular story, and it’d be especially interesting because Hopewell had hundreds of Aladdin kit homes, ordered by Dupont for their workers. (The factory in Hopewell manufactured gun cotton.)

Maybe they came from Penniman, Virginia, where DuPont built 600+ homes for their workers (now Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and Cheatham annex). DuPont again turned to Aladdin to supply those houses, as well. (And this was one of the largest collections of Aladdin Homes in the country.)

Despite searching throughout my old Aladdin catalogs, I have not been able to identify these Norfolk bungalows as Aladdin kit homes, but it’s possible that Aladdin created some custom designs for these large orders for Dupont.

The indefatigable researcher and fellow kit-home aficionado Mark Hardin just discovered an old article that states, “Late in the fall of 1918 the nearby munition plant (The Penniman plant in DuPont) began gradually to decrease its activities, and by March 1, 1919, there was quite an exodus of population from Williamsburg and the county…”  (The Great War ended in November 1918.)

The article goes on to say that the “ready cut houses” in Penniman “were knocked down and moved great distances on trucks and barges to many different localities, a number of them being most attractively re-erected in Williamsburg and the county.”

Here in Norfolk, we’ve long heard that our 16 bungalows arrived by barge. That old legend, coupled with the story above, suggests even more strongly that these houses were part of the 600+ houses that Dupont ordered from Aladdin sometime in the early 1910s.

Now it’s time for me to go to Williamsburg and see if I can find the rest of the collection. If anyone has any idea where I might start find early 1900s bungalows in Williamsburg, I’d be grateful to hear!

If you’ve any information to contribute, please post a note in the comment’s section below!

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One of our mystery bungalows on 51st Street. Photo is courtesy of David Spriggs and may not be reused or reprinted without permission from David Spriggs.

Another

Good shot of the two bungalows on 51st Street. This photo is courtesy of David Spriggs and may not be reused or reprinted without permission from David Sprggs.

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This is one of the houses in Riverview that's in mostly original condition. The little dormer on the side was added in later years.

Close-up of dormer

This dormer window is a pretty distinctive feature.

another Ethel

Another "Ethel Bungalow" in Riverview

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Close-up of the original porch railing.

Aladdin promoted itself to companies as a supplier of industrial housing. It was believed that providing housing for workers created a more stable workforce. And that was probably true.

Aladdin promoted itself to companies as a supplier of industrial housing. It was believed that if a company provided housing for its employees, this would create a more stable workforce. And that was probably true. Dupont turned to Aladdin to supply homes for Hopewell and Penniman, Virginia. (1919 Aladdin catalog)

To contact Rose, please leave a comment below.

To learn more about the kit homes in Norfolk, click here.

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My Little Pretties in Richmond, Virginia

August 2nd, 2010 Sears Homes 2 comments

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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