Sears Kit Homes

Sears Kit Home Spotlight Tuesday – The Avondale

UPDATE: In addition to the Greeley, Colorado, Avondale Sears Kit Home, we have now tracked down and included an Avondale in New Orleans with interior shots from an MLS listing which are included below.

Sears Modern Homes catalog was first published in 1908. The 1913 volume featured 112 designs for homes for which homeowners could purchase a kit that was delivered with all the materials needed to construct the home. Later volumes offered up to 370 designs. Between 1908 and 1940, more than 70,000 of these Sears Kit Homes were built across America. Today we are doing a deep dive on Modern Home No.151, which was later renamed The Avondale in a later Sears catalog. (Please note, this is not a home currently for sale.)

 

 

 

In 1913, a homeowner could purchase the No. 151 Sears kit for $1,332. The kit for the six-room bungalow included everything the builder needed: mill work, ceiling, siding, flooring, lumber, finishing lumber, plumbing, hardware, painting material, lath, shingles, builtins and more. By 1940, The Avondale had risen in price to $2,176.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the 1913 catalog was published, homeowner testimonials were added to certain designs. Below is the testimonial of Winfred H. Senier who likely built No. 151 in Greeley, Colorado, in 1909 or so as his farmhouse for a farm he owned on the east side of Greeley. He was a breeder of Shire horses, Tamworth hogs, and Airedale and Shepherd dogs.

 

 

This is an early photo of Mr. Senier’s house when it first appeared in the 1912 Sears Modern Homes catalog soon after it was built. Note the lack of landscaping and the stained glass windows which were an upgrade.

 

 

 

This is Winfred and his wife May with two of their dogs.

 

You can see a corner of the house with one of the Senier’s horses.

 

Winfred submitted a photo of his kit house again for the 1919 catalog. You can see how the vegetation has grown. And that’s Winfred and his wife May on the porch.

 

This is the Senier’s house today at 120 East 4th in Greeley, Colorado. The farmland was subdivided years ago.

 

 

Sad condition for a treasured Sears Kit House.

120 East 4th Google Street Map View

Here is a copy of Winfred’s obituary.

W. H. Senier Dies Thursday (December 4, 1945).


Winfred Howell Senier, who for 35 years operated a stock farm east of Greeley, died early Tuesday morning at the Weld County hospital after an illness of a year and a half. He had been a patient at the hospital only a few days.

He was 73 years old. Mr. Senier was a breeder of Shire horses, Tamworth hogs, and Airedale and Shepherd dogs. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Senier, Greeley pioneers, his mother being Eva Camp, daughter of a Union Colony member.

Mr. Senier was born in Covington, Ga., and came to Greeley with his parents when he was six years old.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. May Porter Senier, and one son, Archie Camp Senier, eight grand-children and one great grandchild, Richard Glen Senier.

His grand-children are Pfc. Winfred E. Senier of Fort Lewis, Wash.; Pfc. Robert John Senier of Lamar; ARM 1/c Woodrow E. Senier of Bakersfield, Calif.; WT 1/c William A. Senior [sic] awaiting discharge from the army following overseas duty; Gloria May, June Alice, Buddy and Doral Senier, all of Greeley.

One sister, Mrs. Jeanette Noxon of Greeley, also survives.

 

 

Other models of The Avondale were built in the following cities below. If anyone has addresses for any of these home, please do let me know.

 


Update: OHU50K found a 1986 press photo on eBay that identified an Avondale at 3501 Banks Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photos below are from a 2020 Realtor.com listing when the home was on the market for $499,000. It subsequently sold for an unknown price.

 

The low-level bungalow was built in 1919. Per the 1930 US Census, George August Lotz, a proprietor of a wholesale glass company, owned the home, then valued at $8,000, with his wife Viola Michel Lotz. The couple lived here with their daughters, Violet and Yvonne.

 

Note the original columns and brick fireplace.

Seen here is the original window seat.

Sears, Roebuck Catalog of Houses, 1926: Small Houses of the Twenties – An Unabridged Reprint 


For almost 20 years, Sears, Roebuck and Company purveyed the materials for complete prefabricated houses, providing thousands of Americans with attractive and comfortable low-cost dwellings. Many of these homes are still a common feature in cities and towns across America.
The present volume, a meticulous reproduction of a rare Sears, Roebuck catalog of 1926, provides a thorough, accurate record of the company’s “Honor Bilt Modern Homes.” Over 300 photographs and illustrations, with full descriptions, offer views of 86 different houses and cottages of widely varying sizes and designs.

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