I recently ran across this house on Zillow.  It looks a lot like a kit house sold by Sears called the Osborn.  The house was offered from 1916 to 1929 and seems to have been a popular model for them.  I’m not sure if the house below is an Osborn, but if not it was definitely inspired by it.  There are several differences between it and the house depicted in Sears’ period advertising.  Take a look at the following catalog pages and compare them to the realtor’s photos which follow.  What do you think?


The Osborn as depicted in a 1921 catalog.  The colonnade is very stylish!  Image courtesy of the Winterthur Library via Archive.org


The floor plan shows a porch off the dining room… a very attractive feature.  Image courtesy of the Winterthur Library via Archive.org


The following images, except the last one, were taken from zillow.com:


The roof lacks the Japanese-influenced flair seen on most Osborns, but that could easily have resulted from alterations made when the roof was replaced.   The beams here differ in placement and in the fact that they have shaped ends.


This house has a window to the left of the porch rather than a chimney.


The dining room’s built-in buffet is nice, but very different from the one on the Sears floor plan.


French doors are shown in the living room opening into a bedroom – also not on the floor plan.


The door to the dining room’s porch may be seen at right.  Sadly, there is no colonnade in the opening.


A bedroom.  Wall sconces appear to be original.


The bathroom plan mirrors the floor plan.


A view of the dining room’s porch.

Here is another house I ran across recently.  I wish now that I had taken more photos as I am more confident that this is more likely to be a legitimate Osborn than the one above.  Maybe they both are…  thoughts, anyone?


Though drastically altered and mired in plastic siding, this house has a fireplace where it should be.


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