May 13, 2021

Alexandra Beer House

The Real Estate Experts

3 Sears ‘Kit Homes’ Known To Continue to Exist In Jacksonville. May possibly You Have The 4th?

The nonprofit Riverside-Avondale Preservation is spotlighting a established of impressive structures in Jacksonville: three make-it-on your own properties you could purchase from the Sears Catalog – also regarded as the “Big Book” –  in the early component of the 20th century. 

The households are located in Ortega, Murray Hill, and Fairfax Manor neighborhoods, and Jacksonville Historic Modern society historian-at-huge Wayne Wooden stated Wednesday they characterize an essential part of American history. 

“Most of these homes are not massively architecturally significant, while many of them are desirable in their development,” Wood mentioned. “But they are a remarkable piece of Americana, in the reality that individuals could create their personal residences, out of a package that they purchased out of a catalog, in the early aspect of the 20th century.”

Beginning in 1908 and into the 1940s, you could flip as a result of the internet pages of a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog and select out your house from a collection of models, most costing between $400 and $5,000. The property would get there on the railroad in a sequence of shipments, beginning with the basis and extending all the way up to the roof. Every thing would be provided, Wooden stated, from the toilet to the doorknobs. 

Linked: Illustrations Of Sears Houses 1908-1914

Close to 70,000 kit homes sold in overall in the U.S. about 10,000 are imagined to exist these days. 

“Some of these properties ended up modest, little bungalows, but some of them ended up really substantial and amazing,” Wood said. “There was a single, the Magnolia. It was palatial. It was two tales, with fluted columns, costing $5,972 in 1921.” 

Accounting for inflation, that will come out to $87,749.  

The early several years of the mail-order dwelling coincided in Jacksonville with the great fireplace of 1901, when many persons shed their houses Downtown and sought new houses in the suburbs. They contributed to the character of neighborhoods like Riverside and Avondale, which are famous for their architectural diversity. The kit households were being also a lot more economical than contracting with an architect or a builder, and ended up particularly popular with soldiers returning from Planet War I.

In 1925, the Percy Butcher spouse and children ordered the “Crescent” design for $1,761, according to The Florida Moments-Union. Which is about $26,466 in today’s pounds. 

The advert for the Crescent design was titled “Five Rooms – Neat Porch” and browse, “At the price ranges quoted we will furnish all the mill do the job, kitchen area cup-board, flooring, shingles, siding, ending lumber, making paper, eaves trough, down spout, roofing, sash weights, components, porch, screens, portray content, lumber and lath to establish this five-area household.” 

The Butcher family members lived in the home for 50 years, Wood stated. The making continue to stands, although it was relocated from its primary site in 2003 to make way for a gas station expansion. 

Wood claimed it’s uncommon to see Sears kit houses this far south, because the lumber primarily came from the Northeast and the Midwest. But there may be more kit residences in Jacksonville that we do not however know about. 

Wooden claimed, a person way to check if your household came down south on the railroad is to appear in the attic. You may find lumber stamped with Honor Bilt, which was the Sears manufacturer, or logos from Montgomery Ward or Aladdin, which have been other kit-property firms. 

Speak to Sydney Boles at [email protected], or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.