The "Ashmore", 424 Oliver Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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|Address:||424 Oliver Avenue S|
|Neighborhood/s:||Bryn Mawr, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Hennepin County, Minnesota|
|Primary Style:||Arts and Crafts/Craftsman|
|Historic Function:||House/single dwelling or duplex|
|Current Function:||House/single dwelling or duplex|
|Architect or source of design:||[[Source of design::J. S. Long / SALA Architects]]|
|Material of Exterior Wall Covering:||Weatherboard|
One of the rarer kit home models available from Sears, Roebuck and Company, this "Ashmore" appears to be one of only three confirmed "Ashmore" models that originated from Sears. One of these is in Kansas City, Missouri, and the other in Pleasant Plains, Illinois, although there are three other probable examples in other Illinois cities. Another nearly identical design was published in American Builder and Carpenter, a magazine of the period. Chicago architectural historian Jeannette Shames Fields authenticated this "Ashmore" for Sears in 1995.
During the years that Sears offered complete homes, there were a total of 370 different designs. "The Ashmore", was available between 1916 and 1922 at a cost that ranged from $1,648 to $3,632. It is larger than most Twin Cities bungalows, containing 6 bedrooms and a living room 23 feet long. It is quite extraordinary for it's interior features and finishes which include: paneling in the living room and dining room, a raised inglenook with built-in bookcases and cabinets, built-in buffet, and coffered living room and dining room ceilings. This particular incarnation included the optional clear red oak for "inside floors, trim, doors, etc." In addition to the fieldstone fireplace, fieldstone was also used for the garage walls.
The Sears design appears to be based on an identical design that appeared in the May 1916 issue of The Craftsman magazine. This home, featured in "A Story of Home-making", was designed by J. S. Long and built by the Long Building Company in Seattle. (This article has been reprinted in the book Craftsman Bungalows: 59 Homes from "The Craftsman".) The room dimensions are very close but not identical. The timing, design credit, and essentially identical images suggest that this is the model for "The Ashmore".Sears supplied materials such as "millwork, medicine cabinet, buffet, kitchen cupboard, lumber, lath, shingles, porch ceiling, flooring, finishing lumber, building paper, eaves trough, down spout, sash weights, hardware and painting material" as well as plans and instructions. All materials arrived at the nearest railroad station in two boxcars.
At some point in time both the entry porch and the side pergola porch were enclosed. The kitchen was modernized and the "Pullman breakfast alcove" was removed.
In 2000 the kitchen was remodeled in keeping with the level of detail found elsewhere in the public areas of the house. The work included a new breakfast alcove with seating for 4 (compared with seating for 2 in the original). Modifications including new windows and entry door were installed in the previously enclosed porches to make them more appropriate to the look of the original home. All work was designed by Joseph G. Metzler of SALA Architects.
In 2006 the three existing first floor bedrooms and bath were remodeled to create a master bedroom suite. This remodeling was also designed by Joseph Metzler.
The home was featured in the Fall 2005 issue of American Bungalow and the May 2004 issue of Midwest Home & Garden. The kitchen was featured in the Spring 2007 issue of American Bungalow as well as The New Bungalow Kitchen by Peter Labau. The master suite was featured in the December 2007 issue of Twin Cities Home Improvement and the November 7, 2007 issue of Star Tribune Home & Garden.