Back in the day, a slice of the American dream could be ordered from a catalog. Flipping through the Sears Roebuck catalog in say 1916, one would find ads for everything from bicycles to sewing patterns to Model Home No. 163. Really! Was your house delivered by cargo train and assembled in a day? If so, then you are the proud owner of a kit home! Kit homes are a type of prefabricated housing available in a wide range of architectural styles and multiple floor plans.
Amirah Lane, our summer intern, has done extensive research on kit homes. She recently presented her work at the 2nd Annual UNCG Graduate Research and Creativity Expo, winning 1st Place in the humanities category. Her research entitled “Aladdin Kit Homes and the Fisher Park Neighborhood” highlighted a cluster of eleven Aladdin Kit Homes located in the Fisher Park Neighborhood of Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Aladdin Company was a major manufacturing of the housing type in the early 20th Century. Amirah’s research focuses of the architectural significance of the housing type, modifications made to the properties over the years and the importance of preserving such amazing architecture.
So the next time you’re driving around some of the Triangle’s older neighborhoods, play “I spy” and find one of these historic gems.