Real Estate

Yorktown Homes of Historic Distinction: Sears Kit House

9801908da29bfbb0d971_ec1202e3565c67a55c58_54401.jpg
Credits: Nancy Milanese
3c6bf4f8fb7f85573972_3c2638dad4911ba924d1_54402.jpg
Credits: Nancy Milanese
9801908da29bfbb0d971_ec1202e3565c67a55c58_54401.jpg

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – In the early days of the 20th century, and much as Amazon does today, the Sears Roebuck catalogue (minus the internet) provided a mail order source of everything for everyone—from groceries, shoes and clothing to hardware, building materials and eventually even to houses. (From 1908 to 1912, the company even produced its own line of automobiles.) In 1906, a glut of inventory in the company’s building materials department prompted Frank Kushel, a Sears manager, to suggest that the company sell entire houses in kit form through mail order. The first order for a Sears house was filled in 1908, and by 1940, some 70,000 homes were constructed from kits supplied by mail through the company.

One of those Sears home kits was delivered to the Croton Heights station of the Putnam Railroad in 1929, hauled up the hill to Croton Heights Road and assembled, where it stands today, much as it did almost 90 years ago.

Larry Klein and Terry Dugan are the current owners of this property, recently named a Home of Historic Distinction by the Yorktown Landmarks Preservation Commission. The couple purchased their home in 1989, and, in researching the property, discovered that theirs was a Sears kit home dubbed “The Maywood”.

Sign Up for E-News

First offered in the 1920s, the home is described poetically in a Sears Modern Home Catalogue: “The Maywood two-story home bespeaks simplicity and worth. Designed after the finest in modern architecture, it makes an ideal home. Viewed from any angle, its lovely proportion and balance is outstanding. Every line is expressive of quality, durability and good taste.” The kit, in its entirety, retailed for $2,805.

Kit homes supplied the purchaser with everything necessary to finish a home—from exterior lumber, roofing, siding, flooring, windows, interior doors and trim to kitchen cabinets, hardware, paint, stain, and even wallpaper. (Plumbing, heating, wiring, electric and shades were extra.) The Klein/Dugan house today features its original wallpaper in the dining room. Over the years, the couple has renovated the kitchen and bathroom, and at some point before their purchase of the home, the side porch was enclosed. Otherwise, the house is remarkably the same as it was in 1929.

After 28 years in their home, Terry Dugan sees little to change. She admits that a bathroom renovation might be on the horizon, but agrees that, just as the Sears catalogue described, the Maywood “makes an ideal home…”

The Yorktown Landmarks Preservation Commission is always seeking applicants for the Homes of Historic Distinction Program. To qualify, homes must have historical significance based on age, architectural style, past ownership or association with a person or event important to Yorktown’s history. Through the program, plaques designating the basic facts about each house’s history are fabricated and installed on or near the home. The commission will work with each homeowner on appropriate wording for the plaque and will assist in research. The cost for the application and the plaque is $100. Applications are available online at yorktownny.org/planning or by emailing nmilanese@yorktownny.org.

. Other Yorktown Homes of Historic Distinction

This article was submitted by the Yorktown Landmarks Preservation Commission as part of a series highlighting Yorktown Homes of Historic Distinction.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

An 'Air of Hypocrisy' at Town Hall

February 22, 2018

There is an air of hypocrisy blowing over Yorktown and it is coming from town hall. Over the past couple of weeks, I questioned the “temporary” hiring of the Oxman Law Group as legal counsel to Yorktown in a purported “interim” capacity. I have had comments of support and comments questioning my motivation. Rather than have people guess, I would like to be ...

The DACA Dilemma and the Trick of the Trickle-Down Theory

Here is our very own Sen. Charles Schumer on the Senate floor last week: “President Trump has stood in the way of a bipartisan solution to DACA, a problem he created in the first place, and yet the president is in this dream world. He thinks, ‘Oh, I can blame Democrats for the impasse.’ As I said, only in the 1984 world where up is down and black is white could this be true.

A Gold Medal for Jerry

Time advances at a relentless pace. It seems like life moves as though through a movie projector operating at triple speed. As Virgil commented, “It flies never to be regained.” We desperately try to slow its unyielding march by celebrating milestones: birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, etc. The hope is that we can somehow slow the process, take a breath and enjoy the ...

I Love 'I Hate Hamlet'

Let’s face it, folks. Not everyone loves Shakespeare. Not even all actors. Andrew Rally is one of them. In fact, where there’s a Will, there’s a way Andrew will find to avoid acting in one of those famously timeless plays. And for good reason. Shakespeare tests, to the fullest, an actor’s mettle, and Andrew is strictly a TV actor.

He has just ended a star turn in the ...

I Am Woman, Hair Me Roar

When you have short hair, it is inevitable that you will spend an inordinate amount of time growing your hair out and then getting fed up and cutting it again. I have been down this hair-brained road several dozen times before, complaining for months until I am convinced my husband is going to cut it all off while I sleep just so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about it one more ...

Should Valentine's Day Be Celebrated at School?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’ve been a third-grade teacher for over 20 years and have never allowed my students to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my class. I know my colleagues think I’m mean, but I’m refusing to celebrate it for many reasons.

1) Children hand out cards to each other and there’s always some child left out or who gets very few; 2) Children are always asked ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Heights

Kids Hamantash Bake

Religions And Spirituality

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

Robert Kesten to speak on Property Taxes & ...

Government

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Westchester Collaborative Theater, Ossining

WCT Scene/Monologue Study Open For Enrollment Now

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

Red Cross blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood and platelet donations during National Blood Donor Month

February 23, 2018

This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet ...