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Heritage lovers are invited to an open house of the model used by developer M.T. Broyhill in his Crescent Hills neighborhood development circa 1926-1937.  This home is part of one of the largest collections of some of the earliest manufactured homes of quality existing in the US.  From 1895 through 1940 Sears Modern Home Program offered 450 ready-to-assemble designs from mansions to bungalows and even summer cottages. 
On Saturday, February 20, 2021 the vacant home will be open for viewing from 10 AM – 2 PM by the owner, assisted by her contractor, DF Lunsford Construction, and the realtor.  Although the tourism office has promoted driving tours of the Sears homes in the past, there has never been an open house for the public. 
 

Visitors will see some of the common architectural features of a Sears home, which remain relevant to today’s quality and price conscious buyer.  These include sunrooms, columned or sleeping porches in the wings, back “tradesmen” entries, projecting gabled entries, dormers, flower boxes. Interior features include, the original working gas Caloric stove, glass doorknobs, brass fixtures, customized nooks, cabinets, fireplaces with a brass insert, and oak floors.  The catalogue base price for the home was $2,899! 
The last major publicity campaign to draw attention to the 42 verified Sear’s homes was in 1993 and was the brainchild of Mary Calos, Hopewell’s first tourism director, proponent of historic preservation, and author.  Ms. Calos remains active in the Historic Hopewell Foundation, on City of Hopewell committees, and in the historic neighborhood of City Point where she resides. 

 

References:  

Hopewell showcases the catalog houses that Sears built | Entertainment | richmond.com 

Sears Houses in Hopewell, Virginia – Old House Journal Magazine (oldhouseonline.com) 

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