Category Archives: Observations

The “Rodessa” by Sears?

I recently ran across a house in McDonald, Kansas, which looked oddly familiar.  Pretty sure I’d seen this facade before… maybe a Sears kit house?  So I took a photo.  After some digging, I found what I was looking for.  To me, the house at first appeared to be an astonishingly intact example of the “Rodessa” which was marketed by Sears between 1919 and 1929.  However, the rear of the house has a different roofline than some other examples of the Rodessa I found online.  And it has triangular brackets beneath the eaves which other examples do not have.   And the brackets aren’t the standard Sears 5-piece bracket.  And there are several other details which differ.  So, I’m really not sure… it may be a knock-off.  Or perhaps it’s a less popular version.  Or a design by someone else which was “borrowed” by Sears.  Or an interpretation by a local house builder.  It’s hard to tell.  Ideas, anyone?

 

The “Rodessa” as promoted by Sears in their 1925 catalog.

 

 

From the 12-over-1 windows to the distinctive porch and clipped gables, this house looks a lot like the “Rodessa”.  But is it one?

 

 

The Rodessa was offered both with and without a bathroom… many kits were sold in rural areas.

 

 

 

 

A Stylectomy in Progress

No, stylectomy  is not a word, but it should be, because this house has had its style excised from it. More frequently than I would like, I run across houses which have been brutalized from the perspective of architectural integrity.  Today I ran across this house and was saddened to see that it appeared to… Continue Reading