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Old 02-21-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Norfolk
1,574 posts, read 1,978,161 times
Reputation: 5058

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I love Sears Homes. I've been writing about them since 1999, and have traveled all over the country learning more about them.

Based on my research, about 90% of the people living in these historically significant houses didn't realize what they had until I knocked on their door and told them.

For several years, I lived in St. Louis and in 2006, I moved back "home" to Portsmouth. And I had a lot of fun finding the kit homes here in my old stomping grounds.

Finding Sears Homes is like looking for hidden treasure. It's a lot of fun, and the discoveries are always a thrill.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here or here.

In short, these were 12,000 piece kits, ordered right out of the pages of the Sears catalog. They were shipped by boxcar and came with a 75-page instruction book and a promise that a "man of average abilities" could have the house completed in 90 days.

In addition to Sears, there was another large company called "Aladdin" and the Hampton Roads area has many Aladdin kit homes. Like Sears, they were ordered out of a mail-order catalog and shipped by rail where a waiting homeowner would start assembling the 12,000 pieces of house.

There were six companies (like Sears and Aladdin) selling kit homes through mail order.

Enjoy the photos.





This house is in Portsmouth (downtown) in a "development" zone.


This Alhambra is in Cradock (Portsmouth).





This house (below) is in Portsmouth on King Street. It recently endured a major renovation.



Several of the houses below are kit homes from Aladdin. Sears was in business from 1908-1940, but Aladdin was in business from 1906-1981. The hay-day of kit homes was 1915-1940.



This Aladdin Venus (see below) has had siding installed over its original exterior, and aluminum storms put over old wooden casements, but it's still clearly an Aladdin Venus!



This house (below) is not a kit house, but a "plan book" house. Interested wanna-be homeowners would pick a house they liked and then send in a few dollars for a full-set of blueprints. Building materials were not included, and were obtained locally.




This house is in Colonial Place (Norfolk), and there's another one (also stucco) in Larchmont (Norfolk).


* *




This is one of my favorite kit homes in all of Tidewater. It's in Norfolk and in beautiful condition! Still has its original siding and original windows!





The Aladdin Shadowlawn was a very popular house. The house below is in Port Norfolk (Portsmouth). Some Shadowlawns had the Porte Cochere and some did not.




Here's another perfect Aladdin kit home, The Marsden. This one is in Port Norfolk and is also in beautiful shape.





The Aladdin Edison was a very modest house, but easy to identify - IF they're not covered up in substitute siding and stripped of their original wooden windows. THis one is near ODU in Norfolk.





The Pasadena is also easy to identify with these massive clipped gables (where it looks like someone took a bite out of the roof top's edges. This one is in Norfolk.



****
*

There are several kit homes in Deep Creek, and this little Aladdin "Detroit" is on Deep Creek Blvd.



Perfect Gordon Van Tine "Roberts" in Ocean View area.



There are more than 80 kit homes in Norfolk, about 50 in Portsmouth, another 60+ in Hampton, and about two dozen in Chesapeake. The above is just a sampling!

Hope you enjoyed looking at my pretty, pretty houses.

Rosemary T.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:02 PM
 
1,673 posts, read 5,526,009 times
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Rosemary, you have done a great job in finding these 'treasures' around the area! It's amazing you could buy a kit and actually build a complete house from it!
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
135 posts, read 300,734 times
Reputation: 56
Very interesting read. I wonder how many were built by people of "average means"?
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Norfolk
1,574 posts, read 1,978,161 times
Reputation: 5058
Default Right here in Norfoke

And there's these, too.







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Old 06-21-2011, 11:18 PM
 
12 posts, read 27,664 times
Reputation: 16
Default Park View in Portsmouth

This Craftsman built in Victorian Community in 1927. Has anyone seen this in the Sears catalog? There is a second mirrored in Park Place at 38th and Colonial. Looking forward in sharing a restored photo in a few weeks.
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Pictures of pretty, pretty Sears Homes in Hampton Roads area.-r0300206.jpg  
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Where ever you're at, that's where you are!
371 posts, read 1,016,943 times
Reputation: 223
To the Origional Poster, have you looked at Hilton Village in Newport News? It is my understanding that the community was built of catalog homes for the shipbuilders after the war.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Norfolk
1,574 posts, read 1,978,161 times
Reputation: 5058
Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Cin! View Post
To the Origional Poster, have you looked at Hilton Village in Newport News? It is my understanding that the community was built of catalog homes for the shipbuilders after the war.
I've been through Hilton Village. I think I found two Sears Homes in the entire neighborhood.

As to the post above, where is that house with the gray siding (the house pictured in your photo).

That really does look like a Gordon Van Tine Model #605.

Let me know the address?

Rose
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:02 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,672 times
Reputation: 10
Hey! We have The Plaza too! We're in the Shenandoah Valley.
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Pictures of pretty, pretty Sears Homes in Hampton Roads area.-exteriorshot.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, VA.
867 posts, read 1,020,866 times
Reputation: 600
Great thread RosemaryT!!! Is that picture of "The Virginia" in Riverview? Riverview-Norfolk is said to have several kit homes over there. How did you go about finding the amount for each city?
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Norfolk (ODU)
86 posts, read 80,385 times
Reputation: 130
You learn something new everyday up here, wow that's interesting!
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