Haus Schwatz: Cati's DC Real Estate


Kit House Of The Week: 1928 Sears "Americus" in Chevy Chase, DC

Modified Sears "Americus"As we skipped the Kit House of the Week feature last week, I'm making up for it by presenting you with two historic mail-order homes for this weekend. Both are on the market for sale, and both will be open this weekend.

Number one is a somewhat modified but still recognizable Sears "Americus" on Morrison Street in theRectangular joint block in sears house historic part of Chevy Chase, DC. While unfortunately much of the original woodwork on the exterior has fallen victim to "modernization" efforts, presumably during the 1980s, there's a lot of it left inside. (Note the crude little wooden rectangles at the junction of baseboard and stair trim--this was a peculiar Sears feature to make this connection less awkward for the amateur home builder.)

Preceding the current sellers' ownership, there were two additions made to the original house: a smaller one on the left added extra space (and a fireplace) to the living room, as well as a full bath behind it. The other addition is in the back. It's a spacious family room with a vaulted ceiling that was conceived as a music room by previous owners. (Dear colleague and fellow Rainer, Pat Kennedy, who is a musician, fondly remembers the amazing acoustics from house concerts at this place in the 1990s.)Sears Americus - catalog reprint

Check out the picture of the front porch corner: you can still see where the two missing members of the characteristic "Americus" triple columns used to be.

You can find the listing, courtesy of Mary McGuire/Long & Foster, here. It was just reduced from its original asking price of $939,000 to $899,950. As always, let me know if you're interested in seeing it.

House number two to follow in the next post.

(Front Photo courtesy of MRIS/L&F)


P.S.: After digging a little more in MRIS, our local multiple list system, I found this picture from an old listing of 3500 Morrison St. In 2001, the house still had all its colums and the original porch railing!

© 2012, Catarina Bannier


Comment balloon 6 commentsCatarina Bannier • January 27 2012 03:41PM


It is hard to believe homes were sold by Sears.  Love history. Good luck on your listing. ;)

Posted by Jennifer Green (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) over 7 years ago

Hi Jennifer- yes, they did, for more than 30 years. Most of the Sears houses we see here are from the 1920s, though. they came on rail cars, in a gigantic kit with thousands of pieces and instruction booklets on how to put them together.

Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 7 years ago

Cati, this is a wonderful old place that my first ex-husband grew up in.  And the changes had to have been made after they sold it sometime in the mid-90's.  They were very care to preserve the old details when they added the two additions.  It is sort of sad when people buy these wonderful pieces of history and then destroy the lovely details.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Pat, it's heartbreaking, really. And the renovators didn't even add anything of value to the house, if the additions were already done before by your ex-inlaws, right?

Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 7 years ago

Miss Cati!

I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Hi Caterina, a great way to buy a home for the handi person. I believe everything came in a kit

for the home owner. I bet you could "charge" it at Sears.Thanks for sharing this with us.

Posted by Irene Durocher, (Coldwell Banker BUYERS AGENT) almost 7 years ago