Marketed as a “model bungalow of the California type,” house plan No. 1000 was a big seller for the Harris Brothers Company of Chicago.  Its popularity is evidenced by the fact that the façade graced the cover of the kit house manufacturer’s 1918 catalog of homes.  Offered for at least five years, the design was sometimes preceded by a lettered prefix (i.e., K-1000, L-1000, M-1000, and N-1000) to denote subtle changes of plan (the  K-1000 and the L-1000, for example, do not have a grade-level exterior door to the basement as the others do).   The catalog’s description reads, in part, “Viewed from any direction a passing glance is invariably turned to a look of prolonged admiration.  With its wide overhanging eaves supported by heavy decorative brackets, the unique treatment of the side porch with its exposed rafters, this bungalow is graceful in structural lines, picturesque and substantial in appearance.”  We are further assured that the house has been designed for any locality — even those with severe winters!

While the house shown below sure looks like an M-1000, I’m certain that it isn’t.  What gives the house away?  The house shown below, in Bloomington, Indiana, has an extra front gable in the attic of the house — this detail is not seen in the Harris Brothers drawings or authenticated examples.  I have not found a match for it in any competitor’s catalogs, but suspect that it does appear in one somewhere.

First, we’ll take a look at the house as published by Harris Brothers.   Then, we’ll take a look at what appears to be a really nice copy-cat design in Bloomington:



The facade graces the cover of the Harris Brothers Company’s 1918 Plan Book. Image courtesy of


This catalog rendering of the exterior has been reversed from its published orientation to reflect the house below as built in Bloomington.  Image courtesy of


The M-1000’s floor plan is shown in reverse to match the plan of the house seen below. The L-1000 plan did not have a grade-level door to the basement staircase at the side; it was located where the pantry is seen here – and accessible only from within the kitchen. The curvature of the porch is also more generous in this plan than on earlier versions of the house.  Image courtesy


449 S. Henderson St., Bloomington, Indiana.  Note the extra gable projecting above the main roof; this is the most blatant discrepancy from Harris Brothers design.  Image courtesy Google Street View.


Note the end rafters have been decoratively notched – another difference from the Harris Brothers illustration.  Image courtesy Google Street View.


A better view of the attic gable which betrays the house.  The curved porch and deep roof overhangs can be better appreciated from this perspective. Image courtesy Google Street View.


The side door seen here leads to both the basement and kitchen.  Image courtesy Google Street View.


The back of the house tallies with the published plan except for one difference…   Image source:


Plan variations by Harris Brothers show a small and recessed porch leading to the kitchen from this corner.  Image source:


The living room fireplace is intact, but did not escape the paint that now covers it and all of the woodwork.  Image source:


The wall at right is not shown on the M-1000 plan and appears to have been dropped into the dining room as an afterthought to create a hallway – or it may be original to the copy-cat plan.  Image source:


Authentic examples of the Harris Brothers M-1000 may be seen on Sears Homes of Chicagoland here, here, and here.  Any thoughts about the origin of this house would be greatly appreciated!


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