Instant House

A blog tribute to the manufactured, mass-produced, modular and kit homes that grace the American landscape.

Monday, June 18, 2012

California Kits - Sears of the West

Pacific Ready-Cut Homes
Another Ready-Cut Variant  
The Los Angeles company Pacific Ready-Cut Homes manufactured pre-cut homes in the fashion of Sears & Roebuck from 1908-1940.  The company maintained its own lumber mills in close proximity to the port of Los Angeles, allowing for easy shipping across the pacific.  Pacific was mostly a "regional" company.  Sears had sales centers throughout the country, but Pacific did not.  Pacific's promotional materials encouraged prospective buyers to visit their "exhibition grounds" to view the sample homes.

The Homes 
Like the Sears and Aladdin homes, the Pacific Ready-Cut Homes bear a strong allegiance to the craftsman architectural style, with a "Spanish Mission" or "Mediterranean" flare.  *Side note--this type of exoticism was common in the 1910s and 1920s in middle-class architecture.  My mother lives in a home in Berks County, PA that has a Mediterranean influence, despite the fact that no one in 1920s Berks County had ever been to the Mediterranean!  Back to Pacific Homes--these homes have one major difference between Sears and the others--size.  For the most part, the Pacific Ready-Cut homes were quite small.  A quick perusal of their catalogs reveals that almost none of their homes had a second story.  Most were designed to be built without basements (in keeping with California tradition).  Like the other major companies, Pacific offered trim, fireplaces, and other finishes for the homes.

The Los Angeles convention of clustering lots of smaller homes on one oversized lot--commonly called a "court"--is reflected in Pacific's offerings.  Some of their "court units" even included a second story.  See below for examples.

Hang Ten, Anyone?
Pacific Ready-Cut Homes stopped building and shipping pre-cut homes in 1940, but they continued to build....surfboards!  The son of the owner convinced his father to craft some surfboards out of their residual redwood stock.  At some point the name was changed to Waikiki Surfboards, and they continued to build 10-foot long 70 lb redwood surfboards into the first years of World War II.

A Typical House
Style 66 - A Nice Example of a Quaint Home

The Court Units

Four Different Court Varieties

A Spanish Mission Home

Another "quaint" home--with a Mission!
More Modest - TINY Kitchen!

Modest 2 BR with a TINY kitchen!

Interior Views

1 comment:

  1. Like your site. Check this out.
    Here is an un-molested example in Elysian Heights, Los Angeles on the western edge of Elysian Park.

    Javier Vidaurre
    Acapulco, Perú