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Tour Historic Downers Grove Homes

Homes assembled according to a do-it-yourself kit will be part of a tour Saturday.

You can revisit a time when homes could be ordered from a catalog—some assembly required.

A trolley tour of kit homes will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 in Downers Grove. In cooperation with the and the , the Museum is offering the tour that will feature kit homes and historic Downers Grove.

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Downers Grove boasts excellent examples of kit homes, the heyday of which was from the early 1900s to the 1940s. Sears, Montgomery Ward, the Hodgson Company and Aladdin Homes all produced and sold the kit homes with prices ranging from $146.25 to $5,140. The Sears catalog alone offered more than 450 models of kit homes.The average kit home had 30,000 parts, not including the nails and screws, etc. Each piece was cut and shaped to fit. No sawing was necessary and each piece was numbered and keyed to a blueprint. All a buyer had to do was provide a piece of land, order his home, and Sears sent it on by rail. 

The tour of kit homes and local historical homes will begin at the museum, 831 Maple Ave. The fee is $12 for residents and $18 for nonresidents. Additional parking is available at Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave. Advance registration is required at Lincoln Center, the Recreation Center, 4500 Belmont Rd., or online at dgparks.org. Registration forms also are available at the museum. For more information, call the museum at (630) 963-1309.

Note: Originally planned as two tours, the kit home and historic home tours have been combined into one tour.

Tony Cesare August 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Don't forget to wave as you pass Messer's house! http://downersgrove.patch.com/articles/life-in-the-house-messers-built

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