River Road Manor: A Sears Kit Home in Canada
I discovered this house on the Sears Homes Facebook page. It is located in Niagara Falls, Canada and it looks a lot like a very distinctive Sears Kit Home known as the Alhambra. In fact, it was verified as an Alhambra by Rosemary Thornton who is the preeminent American expert on historic Sears kit homes. Sears Homes are few and far between in Canada, but they do exist. And this one is a pretty fine example of a Sears Roebuck Company mail order home. Here’s how the home model looked when depicted in a 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog:
And here’s how the Niagara Falls specimen looks today:
The Alhambra style is very distinctive and easy to identify, even when it has been altered and bungled up from renovations and “updates”. But this particular Alhambra on River Road is in very near to original condition!
Let’s have a look inside:
The baseboards, wainscoting and trim are all unpainted and in excellent condition – as are the wood floors.
Sears Kit Homes were pre-cut in a factory and then assembled on-site by either the homeowner or a hired contractor. So all these boards and pieces of millwork would have come in hundreds of bundles and boxes, right down to the nails and fixtures.
Unfortunately, nothing remains of the original kitchen in this vintage Sears home:
The home’s bathrooms were also gutted and remodeled, although the sink in this one [below] looks like it might be a reproduction of a vintage Sears bathroom sink vanity:
The 4 bedrooms, however, look relatively untouched with original wood floors and wide baseboards.
The doors and windows appear to be original as well.
I know I’m not the only one who loves those old heat registers!
And I adore this room [below] because you get a glimpse of the distinctive Alhambra mission-finish on the balcony:
To top it all off, this home has a prime location on the majestic Niagara River, which flows from the famous Falls.
You can rent this exquisite Sears kit home for between $295-$395 per night. That price may seem a little steep, but you are also paying for the novelty of saying you’ve slept in a historic Sears Roebuck mail order home!
official site -
Rosemary Thornton’s page on the Alhambra home: