While the main purpose of this blog is to showcase houses that were purchased as kits through the Sears Modern Homes catalogs, occasionally I will feature something different.
This blog post is one of those “something different” ones.
Although Sears sold houses by mail from roughly 1908 to 1940, I generally focus on the smaller time period of the 1920’s. I like those styles the best, and since that was the largest sales period for Sears Houses, there are more of them to be found. At least in my area.
But I also look through the “plan” or “pattern” books of the same period, to compare styles that Sears offered to other designs that were available at the time. Many of those are available for viewing on websites like Antique Home.
But the “Big Daddy” of pattern books of the 1920’s, in my opinion, is the Home Builders Catalog.
Published annually from 1926 to 1931 (those are the years I have seen for sale on line), the book was around 1200 pages. The first 500 to 600 pages featured information and advertisements for all kinds of stuff you would need to build a house, and the rest of the book showed more than 500 plans that you could purchase from the company. Twenty bucks got you two sets of blueprints, a list of building materials, specifications sheets and contract forms.
The book was distributed mainly through local lumber companies, and in my research, I have found that local builders and developers also offered the plans to prospective home buyers.
I’ve identified several Home Builders designs right here in my hometown of Springfield, and I knew there was one in nearby Urbana as well. So on Sunday, while attending the CCPA (Champaign County Preservation Alliance) Home & Garden Tour, I made an extra stop to get photos of the house.
It’s The Crestwood.
While the house itself was an English Cottage style, the interior was way ahead of its time with a two story living room!
And the one in Urbana is a beauty! Maybe someday it will be on the Home & Garden Tour, and I’ll get to see if it has that two story living room.
And if you’ve got an hour to spare, you can look through the plans that were offered in the 1928 Home Builders Catalog here.