West Side Story: The Probable And Improbable Wardway Whitmores Of Detroit’s West Side (Updated)

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Detroit architectural researcher extraordinaire Benjamin Gravel found this advert from Montgomery Ward’s Homes Division (Wardway) in a digitized issue of the Detroit Free Press dated from 4/6/1930.

The Wardway Whitmore is an exceedingly rare kit home, seeing as the only known mentions of it are in the 1931 Wardway Catalog, and in this 1930 ad. Knowing that an ad for this model was released in early-mid 1930, and knowing that certain geographic areas could get early or extended access to a certain model of kit home, it could be quite likely that there may be a regionalized copy of a 1930 Wardway catalog floating around somewhere with a page devoted to this model. This still indicates that the Wardway Whitmore was only sold in the two year period of 1930-31. Also, knowing as this was during the onset of the depression, and that many builders and customers would shy away from building large (for the time) houses-such as the Whitmore-one can ascertain that not very many were built, let alone still be known to this day. Instead, such customers would be more likely to purchase smaller designs like the Fairfax and Piermont. However, an example has already been identified by the esteemed kit home researcher Dale Wolicki, much to my delight.

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The Detroit News Plan Book Home And The Home Builders Channing: A Curious Case Of The Chicken And The Egg

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Current Detroit News logo.
Image credit: Detroit News Twitter account

For many years, newspapers and other news publication have sold home plans. The Detroit News was no exception. From 1923 to 1924, the Detroit News sold a home plan that had a marked resemblance to the Sears Barrington, Sears Brookwood, Aladdin Newcastle, Aladdin Sovereign, or Wardway Maywood. This was a common style of home in the day, so clones were to be expected. Continue reading

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A Neighborhood of Wardway Homes in Flint, MI

(Republished with permission from Kit House Hunters; authored by Andrew Mutch)

As I was researching the origin of the neighborhoods of Wardway homes in Pontiac, Michigan, I discovered a connection between those houses and the General Motor’s subsidiary Modern Housing Corporation. As I noted in that previous post, starting in 1919, Modern Housing Corporation was responsible for two major developments that provided worker housing for GM employees in Pontiac and Flint.

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Hello! I Made A Thing!

See the reference?

See the reference?

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine. However, unlike those other blogs, this one will focus on kit houses.

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