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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week, I was in Illinois and traveled to Mt. Olive, IL to visit a Sears House that was in largely original condition.

The outside of the house had (sadly) been covered in asbestos siding (probably in the 1950s) but inside, it was breathtaking.

I've posted some photos below. Most of the wood was oak, but the fireplace mantel (shown below) was something else. I'd be grateful if one of the smart fellows here could identify it for me.

Enjoy the pictures!

And you'll notice, the colonnades are right out of a 1908 Sears Building Materials catalog!





The detail around the top of the colonnade: Ionic capitals!



The corbels:






The stained glass was also offered as an "upgrade" to homebuilders.



The fireplace mantel was solid oak on the bottom, but it's the top I'm wondering about.




And a close up on the upper portion:


Beautiful, isn't it?


*

More photos here at my website:
http://www.searshomes.org/index.php/2014/03/02/a-rare-beauty-in-mt-olive-illinois/

And it can all be had for $94,000.

It's about 2,800 square feet, not counting the basement (which is also finished).


I'd love to know what type of wood that is at the top of the fireplace mantel. Any guesses? Everything else - EVERYTHING ELSE throughout the house is solid oak.

It's stunning.

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The outside

The house when offered in the Sears Modern Homes catalog:



And the floorplan:


And the house today:


Did I mention that all the light fixtures are original?



I wish I could move to Mt. Olive and buy it.

And yes, I'm 100% certain it is a Sears House!

:clap: :clap: :clap:
 

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Beautiful house! Thanks for posting, Rose.:thumbup:
 

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Seeing this size house as a kit really accredits Sears for their innovation and determination to enter a field that would seem unfathomable today.
I never knew they made this sized house.It makes me wonder if the house in the ad below was a Sears home.
This was my grandparents house,one of the last remaining residential structures on Main St in my home town:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/151-Main-St-Winsted-CT-06098/2110351136_zpid/

Scrolling through the pics,some of the architectural details seem similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seeing this size house as a kit really accredits Sears for their innovation and determination to enter a field that would seem unfathomable today.
I never knew they made this sized house.It makes me wonder if the house in the ad below was a Sears home.
This was my grandparents house,one of the last remaining residential structures on Main St in my home town:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/151-Main-St-Winsted-CT-06098/2110351136_zpid/
That is a BEAUTIFUL house, but it's not a Sears House. Sears first offered these houses in 1908, and your grandparent's home was built in 1895. Plus, Sears offered 370 designs and your house is not a match to those 370 designs.

But that is one heck of a house!!
 

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Good to see ya Rose:thumbup:


Was green shag carpet an upgrade?:no:
 

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Butcher of wood and metal
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I just love the wood work in those older houses. Looks like the room off to the right has planeling on the walls. To bad there is not more craftsman work this that goes into houses built today. Great to see you back Rose.
 

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I love old,beautiful woodwork that was prevalent in turn of the last century homes. It is a shame that today we have gravitated to 2.25" clam shell base. Thank you for posting great pictures.
 

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Here the wood would be chestnut not oak, there are many around. Trim usually now painted white to cover old varnish
 

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I can't really pick up the grain on it, so no guess on what the wood is. I can say the Curtis Cabinet and Stair Co was using white pine and birch for a lot of mass produced interior details around 1930.
 

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can't really see enough of the mantel, and it does look like there is an overglaze on it, but it looks like cherry.
But then it could be birch or poplar, hidden under the glaze/stain.
 

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I thoroughly enjoy taking in the beauty and artistry exemplified in photos such as these. It always causes me to take pause and lament that we as a country have chosen to create buildings of such mediocrity and lack of embellishment. Knowing well and good that all things are relevant ,with all the advancement in power tools and technology why is it that we do not build on the details of the past as opposed to slipping into the abyss ?


Here is an article that speaks in those same terms.


http://www.period-homes.com/Previous-Issues-10/SeptemberForum10.html
 

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That is beautiful. The house we just bought has 5 fireplaces similar to that, but they have been painted. They have a mass amount of build up. I stripped the door trim and base and it had originally been stained. Because of the clear coat the paint didn't soak in. It came out looking new. I tried stripping 1 of the fireplaces, and was not so lucky. I wish they would have looked as good as those. This house is in Portsmouth va 1910ish
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is beautiful. The house we just bought has 5 fireplaces similar to that, but they have been painted. They have a mass amount of build up. I stripped the door trim and base and it had originally been stained. Because of the clear coat the paint didn't soak in. It came out looking new. I tried stripping 1 of the fireplaces, and was not so lucky. I wish they would have looked as good as those. This house is in Portsmouth va 1910ish
Seriously???

I live in Norfolk, and I'm an old Portsmouth girl (born and raised). I grew up in Waterview.

Are you in Portsmouth?

I love that town.

Wish I could move back there, but hubby works for the city of Norfolk and we have to live within city limits.
 

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Seriously???

I live in Norfolk, and I'm an old Portsmouth girl (born and raised). I grew up in Waterview.

Are you in Portsmouth?

I love that town.

Wish I could move back there, but hubby works for the city of Norfolk and we have to live within city limits.
Yeah this house is in park view, down town. I moved here from southwest va. My wife is a p-town girl, well churchland. Never figured that Portsmouth errr churchland thing out yet... She grew up here
 

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The main problem is that all of the exterior wood is probably covered with lead-based paint, and then there is the asbestos. It may also qualify or be made to qualify, as "historic," despite the A-C shingles, adding more cost to any work done on it. Perhaps it is best a project for a historic preservation organization, or a dedicated owner-occupant who is willing to spend what it takes.

Can you imagine buying a house like that for 1700 dollars. Great old house.
Inflation: That is $44,500 in today's money.
 

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If you're the owner, lead based paint doesn't matter.

As for the price. I wonder what a carpenter would have charged to put that together for the new owners? Any thoughts on that Rose?
 
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