Many homeowners and communities value the history embedded in early twentieth century kit homes. Sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co., Aladdin, and other national firms, these homes were well-designed. And, if built according to the manufacturer’s instructions, remarkably durable.
Kit homes are historic and that historicity is recognized in books, academic articles, and by historic preservation designations. Decatur builder Arlene Dean, though, does not appear to be a historic kit home fan. In 2011 she described this property as an “ugly duckling” in her request for a zoning variance to increase the FAR for the lot. A single picture from the 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey does not provide sufficient information to determine if 136 Madison Avenue originated in a Sears, Roebuck and Company kit or from a Sears competitor, like Aladdin.