Last year we ran a series of blog posts on the kit homes of Grosse Pointe. Several of these homes were authenticated, while others were identified as ‘probable kit homes’ due to the lack of supporting evidence.
Given that none of the traditional kit house companies are still in business, and because many of the kit home records were either lost or destroyed it can be extremely difficult to authenticate these homes.
This week we can add another chapter to our kit home story – the Detroit News Plan Book Homes – of which there are at least four (that we know of) found in Grosse Pointe. Thanks to research on the wonderful blog ‘American Kit Homes’ we are able to present the story of these four residences.
From information found of the blog we understand that ‘for many years, newspapers and other news publications sold home plans, some through their own publication, and others via a homebuilders catalogue’.
During the early 1920’s, the Detroit News sold home plans. The plans sold through this publication, other similar publications, along with the Home Builders catalogue, allowed people to purchase home plans in order to build their own home.
During the 1920’s the ‘build your own home’ market was arguably in its hey day with many companies competing in this sector – from the various publications selling home plans through to the major kit home manufacturers who had the substantial share of the market.
Many of the homes available in the home build sector bore similarities to homes sold by competing firms. The design were, after all, influenced by the architectural trends of the era, and many clients were looking to purchase homes of similar style, size and price. This particular home plan sold by the Detroit News was no exception, bearing similarities (internal and external) with several kit homes from the leading manufacturers – Sears Barrington, Sears Brookwood, Aladdin Newcastle, Aladdin Sovereign, or Wardway Maywood.’ Source: American Kit Homes.