CPRV Kit Homes

Do you love old houses?  Then you’ll love Colonial Place and Riverview!
 
These two neighborhoods are filled with an amazing array of diverse architecture, and included amongst that amaazing array is an impressive collection of kit homes!
 
In the early 1900s, you could order an entire kit home from a mail-order catalog. Sears was the best known of the national companies that sold kit homes, but they were not the largest. The largest company was Aladdin Homes, based in Bay City, Michigan. Most of the kit homes we have are from Aladdin. Although the company was based in Bay City, there was a major mill in Wilmington, North Carolina, so that might help explain that large number of Aladdins in our area.
 
These kit homes came in 12,000-piece kits and were shipped by train.  Each kit came with a 75-page instruction book and a promise that “a man of average abilities” could have the house ready for occupancy in 90 days!
 
Today, the unique history of these homes is long forgotten, so rediscovering them is like finding hidden treasure.
 

Enjoy the photos!

Aladdin Virginia from the 1919 Aladdin catalog.

Aladdin Virginia on Virginia Avenue in the state of Virginia!

Wow.

Wow

Aladdin Plaza

An interesting aside: The Pungo Grill in Virginia Beach is also an Aladdin Plaza. Click here to learn more.

Perfect Aladdin Plaza. Just perfect.

The Pomona (named after the city in California) was a classic Arts & Crafts bungalow.

This Pomona has seen some changes in its many decades of life, but still retains its classic lines.

The Aladdin Venus was one of their most popular houses.

Close-up of the Aladdin Venus

Looking a little rough around the edges, this Aladdin Venus still retains many original features.

Notice the original wooden casement windows are still in place, now hidden behind double-hung aluminum storm windows.

Aladdin Sheffield

Despite the fact that the front porch on this house is quite different from the Aladdin Sheffield (pictured above), Im still quite certain this house is an Aladdin kit home. The Sheffield has a number of quirky details that are unusual, and the subject house has each and every one of those quirks.

Aladdin Lamberton

Its done up pretty in brick, and its had many modifications, but Im 97.736% certain that this is an Aladdin Lamberton.

This is the only Wardway House I know of in Colonial Place. Like Sears, Montgomery Ward also sold kit homes. To learn more about Wardway Homes, click here.

This is the only Wardway House I know of in Colonial Place. Like Sears, Montgomery Ward also sold kit homes. To learn more about Wardway Homes, click here.

Seems like this house should be located on Michigan Avenue, since it is the Wardway Michigan. Ive always wondered how we ended up with a Michigan Avenue in a neighborhood named after the 13 original colonies.

In addition to kit homes, we also have pattern book houses in CPRV, such as this Regent from a 1926 pattern book. Interested homebuyers would order blueprints from a pattern book. Typically, your purchase price would also include a detailed inventory of all the building materials youd need for your new home.

This Regent is a perfect match to the pattern book page (above). THeres another Regent in Larchmont.

And onto the kit homes in Park Place…

Like Colonial Place, Park Place also has several kit homes. This house (see picture below) was from Gordon Van Tine, a kit home company based in Davenport, Iowa. As you can see from the original catalog picture, it was a fine and spacious home.

Park Place

Is this a Gordon Van Tine #703? Again, without inspecting the homes interior, its hard to be sure.

Another spacious foursquare is the Aladdin Wenonah.

The Wenonah was an unusual home and this is the only one Ive seen in my many travels. Its in Park Place.

Whitehall

Whitehall

Sears Lebanon. Note the flowerbox in front of the second floor windows.

Lebanon in Park Place area

Sears Americus

Americus in nearby Park Place


The above information was assembled and provided by Rose Thornton, a former resident of Colonial Place who is an expert on Sears and other kit homes.
Want to learn more about kit homes? Click here!

 

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