sears kit house

Sears Kit House Spotlight Tuesday – #145 The Arlington – Triplets In Detroit

The Sears Arlington model initially was known as No. 145, making its first appearance in the 1911 Sears Modern Homes catalog and its last in 1922. The home was described as a “Colonial home with bungalow effect,” noting how the long slope of the roofline was broken by four Colonial windows. The porch extended along the front and one side of the house where an exposed cobblestone chimney was prominent.

Not-Cut Package

The Arlington was only offered as a “not cut “package, not as a pre-cut kit. This meant that the lumber came in standard lengths, and the homeowner would have to measure and cut the lumber himself according to the house plans. All other materials, including paint, varnish, floors, windows, exterior shingles etc., were delivered exactly as required for the plan and could be purchased in 1913 for $1,294.

Extras

Sears stated, ” By allowing a fair price for labor, cement, brick and plaster, which we do not furnish, this house can be built for about $3,050, including all material and labor.” While Sears did not furnish those items, they could refer the homeowner to reputable vendors. What you could order for an extra fee were the lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and heating, plumbing and electrical materials.

 

First Floor

The front door opened into a large foyer with an open staircase. A brick fireplace was specified for the living room and beamed ceiling for the dining room. Craftsman floors and trim in those rooms were made of oak. In the kitchen, pantry and maid’s room, yellow pine was the norm. A rear porch was approached from the dining room, and all the rooms had 9-ft. ceilings.

Second Floor

Three bedrooms and one bath with yellow pine floors and trim graced the second floor, along with a linen closet. Ceilings were 8-ft.

 

 

Three Arlingtons in a Row in Detroit

(Not for sale)

The most notable example of Sears Arlington is the triplets on Chalmers Street in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan.  Numbers 605, 621 and 635 Chalmers were built in 1915, and although homeowners could choose differently, all three homes have the twin square  porch columns. Most likely the triplets were built as spec or rental houses. While I could not find the original owners, the owners in the 1920s through the 1940s did not have a live-in maid to occupy the Arlington’s maid’s room. I assume that that room would be converted to a second bathroom in later decades.

605 Chalmers

605 Chalmers

 

Number 605 Chalmers was owned by William and Anna Chalmers in the 1920s to the 1940s. The older couple were married in 1896, and William worked as an insurance salesman. The house was valued at $25,000, a hefty sum, in the 1930 U.S. Census.

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621 Chalmers

621 Chalmers

Love the landscaping that was pictured here in the 2019 Google Map street view. Harold Pope and his wife Leona lived here along with their young son Robert in the 1930s and ’40s. Interestingly, according to US Census records, Harold worked as an auditor for Sears product manufacturing.

 

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635 Chalmers

 

635 Chalmers

Per US Census records, this home was owned by Frank and Isabelle Babcock in the 1930s and ’40s. Franks was an electrical welder in the automobile industry, and the couple lived in the home with two adult daughters, Barbara and Beverly.

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More Arlington Models Across the US

Washington D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood

 

Tulsa, OK

 

1004 Farnsworth, Waterville, Ohio

 

77 Wabash Avenue, Kenmore, New York

 

Nigel R. Tate located the three homes on Chalmers Street in Detroit. For more information see, Judith Chabot’s blog post.

The other Arlington examples were located by:
• Waterville, Ohio example: Cindy Catanzaro (Sears Houses in Ohio)
• Kenmore, New York: Sarah Mullane (Catalog Homes of Western New York)
• Cleveland Park, Washington DC: Catarina Bannier
• Tulsa, Oklahoma: Rachel Shoemaker (Oklahoma Houses By Mail)

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