When New Prefab Meets Old: A Missed Opportunity

Sears House Elevation© Sears Archives

Between 1908 and 1940, Sears Roebuck sold over 70,000 kit house packages in 447 different designs. Traditional in design, they were really modern in their amenities. Many are still around; Take a tour of one in a museum here. The Sears Roebuck Home was a pioneer in prefab.

Carbide © Carbide Construction

In Washington, DC, a family "loved their Dutch Colonial home", a Sears Van Jean, so they decided to add onto it. It is the first time I have seen the blending of a classic Sears home with the more modern modular technology. It could have been a wonderful blend of the old and new technologies. Alas, it is the exact opposite.

Carbide addition joint© Carbide Construction

The builder describes the problem:

From a design perspective, it was interesting to marry a pitched roof addition with a Mansard, but in the end, everyone was pleased with the result.

Carbide Construction© Carbide Construction

In the end, there is not a whole lot left of the beloved Dutch Colonial; this has been stuck in front of it and an addition has been stuck behind it, and the whole thing has been wrapped in pink stucco. I just don't know what to say.

Tags: Designers | Housing Industry | Preservation | Washington DC


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