|Sears model No. 178 • 901 State Street, Guthrie Center, Iowa • 1910|
Back in June, I came across this incredible house, in Guthrie Center, Iowa. I had found another Sears house here, and thought I'd take a look around some more. When I stumbled upon this No. 178, my jaw dropped and my eyes bugged out, and I gasped. I'm sure I gasped. The funny thing, is that I had seen this house numerous times in the catalogs, and remember thinking to myself, "This is such an odd-looking house, that I bet it's one that no one ever even built." And... here it is!
|From my 1914 Sears Modern Homes catalog, page 44.|
So, I did my duty, and checked the tax records. Once again, though, I had great trouble finding the exact address of this house, despite a good bit of playing around with Google maps. In fact, I did get, eventually, that the house number is 901, but, if you plug in "901 State Street" for this town, into a search for a possible real estate listing, you don't get this house, you get the one across the street. Throws you off!
|This is the floor plan for either the model No. 264P210, or for this one, the No. 178.|
|Comparison of the footprint images.|
More photos (all from Google maps, so none of them are the best shots, but they do show the details we need to see):
|The roof eave on the side is deep enough to accommodate the gable build-out that the catalog shows, but they apparently opted not to include that.|
|Matching chimney design!|
|Love the tracery detail.|
|Notice the triple windows.|
|That's a bay window there, on the right side of the porch -- on both levels!|
|Straight-on view of the front. The house is missing the little "wings" at the top of the columns, but, the owners may have opted against having those, especially with this "Stonekote" exterior.|
It looks like the exterior of this house is probably the gritty cement substance known as Stonekote, which Sears mentioned in their catalogs. According to the Garden City Sand Company, in their advertisement in "Sweet's" Catalogue of Building Construction for 1911 , it "is a ready to use Portland cement... made with White Silica Sand".
According to Houses By Mail, this house wasn't in the catalog until 1911, and it was last offered in 1913. But, the tax records give 1910 as the build year of this house, and I also have this model in my 1914 catalog. So, HBM is a bit off-- and/or, the tax records reflect when the original owners bought the plot of land. In any case, it was only offered in the not-yet-kit-home era, meaning that, though you'd get the plans, and (almost) all of the materials to build it, the lumber wouldn't have been pre-cut, and labeled, for ease of construction. That pre-cut-and-fitted option didn't start until about 1916. In 1910, Sears estimated that, after buying the plans and materials from them for $1,440, with "a fair price for labor, cement, brick, and plaster, which we do not furnish", you could build this house for a total of $3,200.
And, they offered a chart for heating, plumbing, and light options, which were all additional costs:
The No. 264P210 (The Sears Milton)
The No. 178 appears in the 1914 catalog, on the same page as the No. 264P210 (later re-named The Milton), and Sears wrote that the two models shared the same floor plan, and, for no additional cost, you could choose either front design:
|Either exterior, same floor plan, same price.|
|It's funny that I ran across this on my own tonight, and didn't realize that it was already on our National Database of Sears Homes, because I was looking under, "No. 264P210", and not under, "Milton" -- I didn't realize that this model was the Milton! Ha! Always learning :) And, apparently, someone sent this home to another blogger, and its images were posted here, in 2012.|
|These last two are from the Trip Advisor website.|
A similar house to the No. 178, is the maybe-not-quite-two-full-stories bungalow model No. 124. The 124 only has the bay window on the first floor.
|From page 33 of my 1914 Sears Modern Homes Catalog.|
From reader comments on a blog post at Searshomes.org (Rose Thornton's blog), I learned that there is a No. 124 in Medina, Ohio:
|528 E. Washington Avenue, Medina, Ohio|