Catalog Homes that Built a Village
Below of several examples of kit houses located in Clawson
Most have been positively identified, while many still remain a mystery
Think your house may be a kit house? Click here or here for more information on identifying kit houses
Aladdin Company of Bay City (click here for more information on the Aladdin Company)
Aladdin Georgia, 120 Fisher Court
Aladdin’s Georgia was one of the most popular plans ever offered. First offered in 1911, it remained popular throughout the 1920s. There were two different floor plans to choose from. The Georgia combined the arts and crafts bungalow style with a two-storey farm house design. Large windows promised light and cross-ventilation, both important considerations in modern homes of the 20th century. This Georgia II is located at 120 Fisher Court, and was built by Oswald Fisher, who lived in and built the house at 41 Fisher Court.
Aladdin Venus, 150 Fisher Court
The Venus was similar to the Georgia, offering the same unique porch design and numerous windows, but placing the front door on the gable end. Also available in multiple floor plans, the Venus offered architectural details usually lacking in small homes. This Venus #1, located at 150 Fisher Court, was built by Oswald Fisher, the same builder of the museum house at 41 Fisher Court.
Aladdin Dresden, 33 Church Street
Aladdin’s Dresden was a compact and attractive bungalow home. This home, at 33 Church Street, was purchased in 1919 by J. Edward Rogers. Except for a few updates, it still appears as it did in the 1919 Aladdin Homes in a Day catalog.
Aladdin Edison, 37 Renshaw
This tiny Aladdin Edison is a good example of the basic small home that many families built; a four to five room home contained the basics needed, and could be added onto later when funds and needs allowed. This Edison, located at 37 Renshaw, was constructed in 1919. The front porch was later enclosed to provide more living space.
Wardway Cranford, 1066 Selfridge, 470 John M., 560 John M
Montgomery Ward offered the Cranford in the late 1920s as Tudor revival and “storybook” style homes were gaining in popularity. This house combines several varied architectural features, including a gambrel roof, dormers, Tudor peaks and faux stucco and half-timber. Three Cranford's can be seen in Clawson; 1066 Selfridge, 470 John M and 560 John M. The extant home at 470 John M still bears these details; the other home on John M and the one Phillips feature the optional hip roof.
Wardway Kenwood, 697 Phillips
Although it has been extensively remodeled, the original part of this house at 697 Phillips matches the Kenwood model. It was purchased in 1930 for $5,700, which likely included the cost of the land, as well. The Kenwood is another model that demonstrates the popularity of the neo-Tudor style in the early 1930s.
Wardway Ridgewood, 155 Broadacre
The exterior of this house is a match for the Ridgewood, however the floor plan seems to vary. The house had a 1930 Wardway mortgage for $4,750.
Wardway Norwood, 175 Broadacre
The Norwood is an example of the popular foursquare design home. This one, located at 175 Broadacre, was built in 1918. Variations in the window placement are common on Wardway homes, which seemed to have encouraged buyers to customize their models.
Wardway Newport, 588 Lincoln
Wardway’s Newport was a model available through at least four kit home companies with minor variations. The windows beside the fireplace and the window and chimney options suggest this home, at 588 Lincoln, was Ward’s offering. The attractive model was offered from 1926 through the mid 1930s.
Wardway Plymouth, 425 Allen
This home has a Wardway mortgage and is closest to the Plymouth model; however, the chimney placement does not match the catalog image. Possibly the house was customized by the buyer. The Plymouth sold for $1,278 in 1930.
Wardway Raymond, 451 Gardner
This home appears to be the Raymond model. It was purchased in 1930 for $4,150. The house sold for about $1300 in 1930, so the mortgage price likely included the land.
Wardway Kenmore, 326 Broadacre
The Wardway Kenmore was offered as a simple, convenient plan in the 1925 catalog for $1,558 readi-cut. This house on Broadacre has been researched and confirmed by the owners; even though it has had an addition to the rear, the floor plan is still a match.
Wardway "mystery houses"
These homes have a Wardway mortgage, but don't match any known models offered in the catalogs. Were they special orders? Did the builder simply purchase (and finance) materials from Montgomery Ward? They remain a mystery...
252 Gladwin had a Wardway Mortgage for $4,400 in 1929; an identical house is located at 333 Massoit, purchased the same year, with a mortgage for the same amount! They were purchased by two different people who, as far as we know, were not related.
21 Hendrickson had a Wardway mortgage in 1929, but it also does not match any known models. The photo at right shows the house shortly after construction. We know quite a lot of the history of this house, but its origins are still a mystery.
This home at 118 Nakota had a Wardway mortgage, and it is similar to the Plaza model, but isn't a match. Another mystery mortgage....
1346 Selfridge had a 1929 mortgage for $5,600, which likely included materials and land, but this foursquare house doesn't match any known model. Mystery houses.....
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