” Did you ever see a more beautiful picture of its kind than the one shown here? A mass of lights and shadows softening the greens, browns and grays of the foliage shingles and cobbles delights the eye.” That is the description given to the Aladdin Shadow Lawn when it was offered in their 1917 catalog.
Like Sears Home Kits, the Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan, designed and sold house kits for thousands of Americans across the country. Their 1917 catalog showcased over 60 home designs, from a plain four-room cottage to an impressive four-bedroom Colonial Revival, ranging in price from $475 to $1,900. All the materials needed to build yourself a home were shipped to your address, and then it was up to you to do the rest.
At a cost of $1,539 in 1917, the Shadow Lane was one of the higher end Aladdin home kits. Its interior featured a huge 28′ x 14″ living room with fireplace, a colonnade dividing the LR and DR, a large dining room, kitchen and pantry on the first floor. Lighting fixtures were available at an extra cost.
The second level housed four bedrooms and a bath.
With an exterior boasting Swiss influences, the eaves were broad with well proportioned brackets. The porte cochere was available for an extra $94, but at that price who could refuse the striking individuality that it added to the design? Today we might characterize the home as an arts and crafts bungalow.
Below are a few examples of the Shadow Lawn still around today. None are currently for sale. Some remained more true to their original design than others.