The Nine Sears Alhambras in Cincinnati

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The Alhambra was offered in the Sears Modern Homes catalogs from 1918 until 1929.  While basically an American Four Square design, Sears added Mission style elements to give it a unique appearance.  Once you have seen this model in real life, it’s doubtful you would miss spotting one again, even if it has been modified to lose its Mission features, as many of them have.

Along with the seven that were identified by Bea Lask in her Sears Houses in Cincinnati thesis, my nose was pointed to two more by another Sears House lover, Donna Bakke.

It’s no wonder this model sold so well in Cincinnati, since Sears featured it in advertisements in the Cincinnati Enquirer a number of times.  Here’s one of those ads, from March of 1925.



I’ve been on a mission (pun intended) to get photos of all the Alhambras in Cincinnati, but haven’t accomplished it yet.  Fortunately, there are good pictures available on the Hamilton Co Auditor’s website of the ones I’m missing, so I’m putting them all here in this post.

The first Alhambra I ever saw “in real life” is this beauty on Central Terrace in Wyoming.

S Alhambra 20 Central Terrace CCat Cincinnati OH

20 Central Terrace, Wyoming

Here’s the rest, in no particular order.

S Alhambra 2824 Werk Rd (Auditor) Cincinnati OH

2824 Werk Rd., Westwood   (photo from Hamilton Co Auditor)


S Alhambra 5252 Montgomery Rd L CCat Cincinnati OH

5252 Montgomery Rd., Norwood

Yeah.  OK.  So maybe I wouldn’t have recognized the one above if Donna Bakke hadn’t driven me right to it.  Maybe someday all that siding will get taken off.  There’s another one that has had the Mission details covered over in Madisonville, pictured below.

S Alhambra 5031 W Eastwood Cir CCat Cincinnati OH

5031 West Eastwood Circle, Madisonville

Donna speculated that the one above might have been customized when it was built, but I guess we’ll never know.

S Alhambra 4020 Paddock Rd L CCat Cincinnati OH

4020 Paddock Rd., North Avondale

S Alhambra 3006 Springer Ave R CCat Cincinnati OH

3006 Springer Ave., Hyde Park

The one above, in Hyde Park, had a sad beginning.  Nobody wanted it.  It was for sale for, like, 12 twelve years.  I’ll post the history sometime in the future.  Fortunately, it is lovingly cared for now.


S Alhambra 1484 Dixmont (Auditor) Cincinnati OH

1484 Dixmont Ave., Evanston  (Photo from Hamilton Co Auditor)

The Alhambra above is listed on the Bea Lask thesis as 1484 Gilbert Ave.  It’s placement on the lot is right where the two streets merge.

S Alhambra 2419 Jefferson Ave L CCat Cincinnati OH

2419 Jefferson Ave., Norwood

S Alhambra 1627 Elkton Pl CCat Cincinnati OH

1627 Elkton Pl., College Hill

There they are.  It’s nice to have them all in one post, to compare colors and how the owners choose to accent the house.

I know of one Alhambra in Columbus, two in the Cleveland area,  and Sears mentioned in their catalogs that one was built in Dayton.  I tracked the Dayton one down to a location on Lexington Ave.,  but it has been demolished.   If you know of any others in Ohio, I would love to hear from you.

Sears offered a couple other Spanish or Mission style homes, as did the other kit house companies. Click below to see some of them.

Spanish and Mission style kit houses

Thanks for following along.





12 comments on “The Nine Sears Alhambras in Cincinnati

  1. It is nice to have them all in one spot to see. My favorites, from the outside, are the one in Wyoming, and the one in Hyde Park. When I was doing a blog post about one in Hopewell, New Jersey, I got to really appreciate the interior– it’s a lovely home 🙂


  2. I know of two “Alhambras” in Westchester County, New York. One is on 434 Pelhamdale Ave. in Pelham, New York. The other is on 1 Hillcrest Road in Mount Vernon, New York.


    • Thanks Jeff! It seems The Alhambra was a really popular model. One of the addresses you posted was already on the National Database, but not the other. Your second one brings the total number to 75, built all across the country! That’s a whole lot of Alhambras.


  3. There is one just south of Cincinnati in Fort Thomas, KY.


    • Thanks! There is one in Fort Thomas on the National Database, at 532 S Fort Thomas Ave. I know there must be train loads of Sears Houses just across the river. I really need to go check those out.


  4. The one that Donna commented might have been customized was, and it is located in the Eastwood Historical District in Cincinnati, OH. But it had been changed so much from the original plan it was not included in the Historical District. I have a picture of it if I could upload it. I love all the Sears Houses.


  5. Hi, the second one on the list is mine, and I just got it painted. Can I send you a new photo? It looks so much nicer, now. There’s also one in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, that’s very well kept.


  6. There’s also a house that appears to be an Alhambra in Cincinnati’s Bond Hill neighborhood, at the northwest corner of Laidlaw Avenue and Matlock Avenue, which is a mirrored layout of the other Alhambras, but has been modified and covered in vinyl siding. The mission-style parapets and overall massing are intact, but the window openings have been mostly filled in. It also appears to have been built with a stacked stone porch, with a roof that was later extended. I found the house when I was out getting photos of the surrounding historic district for a research paper I did for a University of Cincinnati class on Historic Preservation several years ago.


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