90-year-old Sears kit house recommended for Crystal Lake landmark status – Shaw Local

Built in 1929, Roberta Reed’s Crystal Lake home is straight out of a box.

The home, located at 215 Illinois St. near the city’s downtown, is representative of the Barrington model of Sears kit homes, said Reed, who decided to apply for landmark status for the home after more 50 years to call it home.

The home, which includes features such as a built-in phone nook and drop-down ironing board, received a boost last week from the Crystal Lake Historic Preservation Commission and will be presented to city council later this month. here for final approval.

Reed and her late husband, Ron, first purchased the home in 1967 for around $13,500, Reed said.

“Inside, there was a stone fireplace in the living room, which we found quite charming,” Reed said. “It just seemed like a good fit for us at the time.”

The Reeds’ daughter, Emily Reed, now a teacher at Northbrook, said she always thought it was cool to grow up in an “antique house”, even when many of her friends lived in newer models.

“There were these crystal doorknobs, a full basement and an attic,” she said. “There were lots of places to explore; it always looked very classy and charming. There is something very nostalgic about the neighborhood and about Crystal Lake in general.”

The house also still had its original cedar shingle siding, Roberta Reed said.

The previous owners, the Granthams, moved across the street, she said, and “watched the house”, even calling to let the Reeds know when they accidentally left the attic light on. .

Roberta described the neighborhood as a “welcoming, diverse community of people”, who did neighborhood things like “shovel each other’s driveways”. Now 86, Roberta is one of the neighborhood’s oldest residents.

They first came up with the idea to apply for historic status after attending a historical society briefing earlier this year, the two women said. They spent much of the summer researching Barrington models and learning more about the history of the house.

The Sears models were among kits shipped across the country to be assembled on site, with parts labeled as Ikea furniture today, according to preservation commission documents.

About two dozen similar “kit” homes are clustered around downtown Crystal Lake near the Metra station where the kits were reportedly delivered, said Diana Kenney, president of the Crystal Lake Historical Society.

If city council approves landmark status, the reeds will receive a plaque for the house and the historical society will hold a small ceremony for them in the coming months or early next spring, Emily Reed said.

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