Hello friends and loyal readers. Well……I guess it is pretty hard for you to be a loyal reader when I rarely write anything! When I started this little blog, my goal was to do one post per month. Yeah………that never happened. And now, since I am officially retired, I have no excuse for not making an attempt at that old goal.
But….you know…..life. Retired doesn’t always mean you have more time. In fact, it feels like I have less. How did I ever manage to work full time, raise a family, run a business, rehab almost forty houses, and still hunt down Sears Houses in my spare time? I guess I had more energy in those days.
But maybe…..just maybe…..I can get back to it. I have some new parts now! I had a total hip replacement in April, and while I am not back to “normal”, and won’t be for a few more months, getting around is a bit easier. At least I can get in and out of the car easier! Some days.
I haven’t spent near as much time as I hoped tracking down Sears Houses on the internet during my initial recovery period from surgery, because sitting at my desk just wasn’t great for a while. I use a desktop PC for my research, and since my office is on the second floor of my house, I couldn’t even get there for a couple weeks!
But enough about me. How about that Sears Langston in Urbana? I spotted it on Realtor.com just a week or so before my surgery. I couldn’t believe it! Urbana is only about ten minutes north of where I live, and we go there regularly for shopping, Flea Market, Antique shops, restaurants…….just about everything. And I’ve driven all over town looking for kit houses. Well….I guess not everywhere, since there it was on the Realtor site. A street I hadn’t been down , even though it was only a couple blocks away from our favorite restaurant in Urbana, The Farmer’s Daughter.
We had even been in town the very morning it was listed, but I didn’t know that until I got home. Yeah…..back we went. Hubby Frank is such a good sport, driving me all over everywhere checking out these houses.
This one, however, was right up his alley, since it was in need of serious renovation. He hopped out and was in the back yard before I could even get myself out of the car! Yes, we knew it was a vacant property from the real estate listing, so no worries about that.
I took a bunch of pictures, of course, so I could share some of them with you all, but……I am just now getting around to it. I took these photos on April 3, 2022. The house has since been sold and when we drove past it last week, it appears as if somebody has moved in already. I hope they were able to fix what’s broke!
The Langston was offered in the Sears Modern Homes catalogs starting in 1916. It had more than one floor plan over several years and then was updated to the Gladstone model about 1925. That model also had more than one floor plan over the years, and made it’s last catalog appearance in 1938, just a couple years before Sears got out of the business of selling homes.
Judith, one of my research partners, tells you all about the changes to this model on her blog. Here’s a link to her post if you are interested.
The Langston model in Urbana was most likely built around 1917, according to records I found at the Champaign County Recorder’s Office. It has the distinctive porch pillars that are found on quite a few Sears models of that time period and what I recognized when I saw the house on Realtor.com
Here’s my photo of the Sears Langston at 344 Mosgrove St in Urbana. Sturdy and attractive!
The two windows on this side that are in the Living Room are there, but are not visible in the photo due to the added carport.
All the windows match up with the catalog illustration of the floor plan.
Here are those distinctive pillars seen on several Sears models.
The house needed quite a bit of maintenance inside and out. Here’s the link to the real estate listing with photos of the interior. We never went inside.
The house sold for less than asking price, which in today’s market is very unusual, even for houses that need renovating. I will keep my eye on this one, and hopefully the new owners will be able to catch up with the deferred maintenance.
Thanks for following along, and I hope to post more regularly in the future.